Brazil bestows posthumous rank on poet, diplomat Vinicius de Moraes

16:34, August 17, 2010      

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Late Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes was posthumously promoted from First Secretary to Ambassador by the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

"Vinicius was a superior being. I could not imagine that someone could know how to live as he knew," President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said during the ceremony held at Itamaraty Palace, expressing his regret over not having had the chance to become a closer friend of the poet.

"What we rescue today is not the poet or the diplomat Vinicius de Moraes, it is the name of the Foreign Ministry that still bore traces of the period of dictatorship," Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said at the ceremony.

Amorim said the Brazilian military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 to 1985 "retired prematurely the First Secretary (Vinicius de Moraes) as part of the 'witch-hunting' movement in the public service."

Moraes started his diplomatic career in 1942, served in Los Angeles, Paris and Montevideo (Uruguay) and was compulsorily retired in 1969. He died in 1980 at the age of 66.

"The dictatorship stopped the diplomat, but could not stop the man, or the poet," Amorim said.

The posthumous promotion granted to Moraes is also an "acknowledgement of his huge contribution to the propagation of Brazil's image abroad," the foreign minister said.

As one of the composers of the song "Girl from Ipanema," Moraes made Brazil's Bossa Nova anthem famous around the world in the 1960s.

The poem "Construction Worker" was recited at the ceremony by Professor Eucanaa Ferraz, a researcher on Moraes. Moraes had read the poem himself in 1979 during the celebration of Workers' Day in Sao Bernardo do Campo (Sao Paulo State) at the invitation of Lula, who was then president of a metalworkers union.

Source: Xinhua


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