Remarks to the People of Brazil Prior to the President's Visit

November 29, 1982

Last May I had the honor of welcoming President and Mrs. Figueiredo to the United States. Our discussions taught me how much our two countries have in common and how important it is that we understand each other well. I also learned how easy it is for Americans and Brazilians to talk as friends.

I am delighted to have President Figueiredo's invitation to return his visit and have made a special effort to learn more about Brazil, its people, their heritage, and their aspirations.

In the course of my readings and conversations, I've noticed many similarities between our two countries and their people. We're both nations of immigrants, yet we have successfully capitalized on the cultural, religious, and racial diversities of our peoples. We're both committed to peaceful resolution of global and hemispheric conflict, yet we both understand the need for strong and vigilant armed services.

We are both in positions of economic leadership on our respective continents. At the same time, we're major trading partners. The winds of economic crisis have buffeted our nations over the past few years -- inflation, energy shortages, high interest rates -- and we're still struggling to gain ground and prosper in these turbulent times.

Both Brazil and the United States have demonstrated during this same month of November that democracy is the world's best hope for peaceful change and progress.

While I am President Figueiredo's guest in your country, my colleagues and I expect to spend many hours in close consultations with distinguished Brazilians. We will discuss how our two governments can best support each other's efforts to meet the economic, social, cultural, and political aspirations of our people and how we can best strengthen the future security of our countries, our hemisphere, and our world.

Note: The President's remarks were taped on November 22 at the White House for later broadcast on Brazilian television.