Author: Robert

Dilma Rousseff: The First Woman President of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff: The First Woman President of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff Fast Facts

Dilma Rousseff is the country’s first woman president. She was first elected to the Brazilian presidency in 2004, when her father, president Lula da Silva, resigned in the wake of the impeachment of his successor, Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff was reelected in 2014 and again in 2018.

Born into one of Brazil’s most prominent families, Rousseff was trained in Brazilian classical dance and was the first woman and the first African-American to be awarded a degree in classical ballet from the prestigious Brazilian State University of Rio de Janeiro, when she was 16. She also attended Harvard University on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Rousseff was a member of the Socialist Party of Brazil, which had been outlawed as a political party by the military dictatorship. She left the party in 1983 in protest of the human rights violations that had been carried out under the regime of dictator Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Early life

Born on April 13, 1967, in a state known as Rio Grande do Sul, the capital of Brazil, Rousseff was the second daughter of President Lula da Silva, and his wife, the former Maria das Dores (later Maria de Lourdes Pires de Oliveira). Lula founded a popular political movement in the early 1970s, and had been elected president in 1988, the first time in Brazil’s history that a sitting president, as opposed to an acting president, was elected to the country’s highest governmental office.

Upon Rousseff’s birth, Lula’s ex-wife, former model Luciana Botelho, helped raise her and her brother, while Lula served as her father’s main adviser and benefactor. Luciana would become an important political ally for Rousseff during her political career. After the military coup staged by general João Figueiredo in 1964, the family moved to a ranch in the São Paulo state forest.

Rousseff had one brother—Lula da Silva Jr. Lula da Silva Jr.’s father was a successful film actor and radio presenter named Lula Ribeiro da Silva, who in 1974 had founded the socialist youth organization, the Liga Comunista Brasileira (LCB). The original chairman of the Liga was Lula Jr., who would go on to become Brazil’s first black elected president in 1988. Although Lula

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