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Brazil orders diplomats to rebut impeachment critics abroad
[BRASILIA] Brazil's new foreign minister, Jose Serra, has ordered diplomats to rebut any government, media or international organisation that criticises the impeachment of suspended President Dilma Rousseff, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
The nine-page document cited a dozen examples of censure of the impeachment process that removed Rousseff from office this month made by governments and other entities to which diplomats needed to respond in defence of Brazil's political process.
"The press, academics and members of civil society and also leaders of international organisations and government representatives have manifested frequently in improper and ill-informed ways about Brazil's domestic politics," the memo said.
It singled out recent criticism from Ernesto Samper, secretary general of the Union of South American Nations, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organisation of American States, as well as the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and El Salvador.
It said Brazil's political process should be actively defended by the diplomatic corps.
The memo suggested arguments to defend the impeachment process and rights established by the Supreme Court, including that millions of Brazilians voted for the congressmen and senators to carry out their constitutional functions.
Brazilian diplomats responded positively to Mr Serra's initial statements upon taking office regarding his plan to shift the corps' focus from ideology of the Rousseff administration back to trade.
Mr Serra, at a news conference on Wednesday, defended the memo saying the country's diplomats needed to have a united front against attempts to delegitimize the Senate's right to try a president for mismanaging public accounts.