Lula, Celso Amorim and Me
Actually there’s nothing about Lula and me, but I did have a run-in with his Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim. While I was the science officer at the US embassy in Brasilia, the US proposed a high level science exchange. At that time, Celso Amorim was the foreign policy advisor assigned to the Science Ministry. The Science Minister and I actually had a good working relationship. Things were going along relatively smoothly until Celso Amorim got involved. He was a real Brazilian nationalist, and was very suspicious that the US had some nefarious intention for promoting the cooperation. Brazil has been suspicious of US scientific cooperation for many years, since an American discovered the huge mountain of iron ore in Brazil that became Vale do Rio Doce, now one of the world’s biggest iron producers.