By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff made her final national address of 2013 on Sunday, December 29th. Broadcast on radio and television, the approximately twelve-minute speech summarized the events and the government actions taken during the at times turbulent year and emphasized that 2013 is ending “better than it started.”

President Rousseff's final national address of 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
President Rousseff’s final national address of 2013 on Sunday, December 29th, image recreation.

Confidence about the country’s future was a reoccurring theme in the speech as Rousseff stated in the opening minutes; “Brazil is entering 2014 with energy and optimism and with the assurance that life will continue to improve.”

Rousseff promised the standard of living, one of the her major initiatives during her Presidency, will improve throughout Brazil in 2014.

“We will not stop for a single moment fighting on behalf of all Brazilians especially those most in need,” Rousseff stated adding, “With a very special focus on the young, women and blacks […] we will strengthen the “Brasil sem Miséria” (Brazil without Misery) program and we will be one step closer to ending absolute poverty across the country.”

Additionally the massive protests held earlier this year were addressed as Rousseff said; “You young people know how much your standard of living has improved compared to what you had in your childhoods and what your parents had when they were your age. Use those images of the present and the recent past as a foundation to create the future.”

Emphasizing that the unemployment rate reached its lowest point in the history of the country in 2013, Rousseff also vowed reduce taxes and ensure fiscal balance in 2014. “The government is aware and firm in its commitment to fight inflation and to maintain the balance of public accounts,” said Rousseff. “We know what it takes to do so and nothing will make us get off of this course.”

On Sunday, Rousseff finished her address optimistically saying; “There are few places in the world where people have better conditions to grow, improve their lives and be happier. This is what I feel all over Brazil and this is what I feel inside my heart.”

Rousseff faces several challenges in the coming year including Brazil’s hosting of the FIFA 2014 World Cup and the October elections. How Brazilians will feel about Rousseff and the Workers Party (PT) will likely be correlated – at least in part – to how the country does on and off the football (soccer) pitch.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. That was an optimistc speech but it did not reflect the reality of the country. If there is a thing that we do not have here in Brazil is quality of life. We have to face and suffer, terrible traffic jams and crowded public transports everyday. We do not have security to stay in the streets until late at night, hospitals and schools are crap. I am not opitimistc about this country it will never reach the level of The USA and the European countries because the government does not have a serious birth control program. Brazil would be more prosperous if they had a birth control program because it is easier to benefit few people. Quality of life has to do with the number of people that live in a country.

  2. Marcos, Brazilians like you make keep this country where it is. In my opinion, you are a sick person because the growth/ making Brazil better has NOTHING to do with birth control. Second tt is we the people who have to make it better. We elect the people who work for us and we decide which way Brazil is going. It’s we the Brazilian people and residents in Brazil have to make things work. If you prefer that so called “high standard of living” in the US (see detroit and more cities in the US include Europe where the engineerd credit crisis hits the people and cities)..back your bags and just leave. You are free to go. Nobody holds you. I’m sorry for you that you are not optimistic about your life and prospects of Brazil, which has made big progres compare to the horrible late 70’s and 80’s. Yes, we have a long way to go, but the opportunities are there. Perhaps not just for you..and perhaps you should do better rather than waiting for the government.

  3. I think when the system and politicians are held accountable for the actions Brazil will take a giant step forward. I look forward to moving to Brazil when I retire.

  4. I agree with Marcos. Brazilians aren’t happy at all with the PT Government. This is why there were the demonstrations of millions of people through the streets, in June and July. Besides all corruption (and it’s crime in Brazil), the Government still sends hundreds millions of dollars to Cuba and Venezuela, but no help in building hospitals or schools, or infrastructure improvement in their own country. When the matter is unemployment, please, don’t trust, the IBGE (research institute) haven’t interviewed me, for example, on its last census, and I live in downtown Sao Paulo. One more thing is related to the Internet. This plan to have the Brazilian Internet has existed since 2009, it’s a Law to be voted since 2009!!!. She used the excuse of Snowden, to have one more argument to take off the population freedom. In the past, she kidnapped people, robbed a bank and her Party’s colleague (marco Aurelio Garcia), is related to FARC (terrorists of Colombian’s jungle). Can somebody trust in this kind of people???

  5. As usual, Pres Dilma used free tv time continuing her political campaign for reelection, and talked about an imaginary country that only exists in a very limited area of Brasilia, and in the mind of her party, the so called “workers” party, PT. Her speeches never acknowledge the real issues that are growing by the day such as ridiculous growth even when compared to other countries in Latin America, inflation, the second worse stock exchange performance in the world, lack of education, lack of security, lack of public health services, government corruption at all levels and branches, very little investment in infrastructure, and massive government investment in publicity and advertisement of works that are seldon completed. When protesters took to the streets after massive spending in “FIFA standard” soccer stadiums and cosmetic infrastructure investments, speeches were made promising needed reforms but nothing substantial really happenned.
    She continues to govern under the influence of Lula, the ex-president who incredibly never knew of any of the corruption cases that surrounded him in the presidential palace, and continuing her past history of being what today would be classified as a terrorist, is aligned with democracies such as Venezuela and Cuba.
    Through massive spending in social programs (over 50 million people live off welfare, do not work nor have plans to) she has managed to maintain very good approval rates with those 50 million and will most likely be re-elected, furthering Brazil´s quick march to becoming a giant, Portuguese speaking Cuba.


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