On Tuesday (12), the Plenary Assembly of the Senate approved the nominations of the President of the Republic for the Brazilian ambassadors to Venezuela, Guyana, Oman and Trinidad and Tobago. Also this Tuesday, the four candidates were already considered and approved by the Committee on Foreign Relations (CRE).
Appointment of diplomat Glivânia Maria de Oliveira as Brazilian ambassador to Venezuela (MSF 86/2023) was adopted with 41 votes in favor, one vote against, and 2 abstentions. The approval of the appointment came amid concerns over Venezuela's attempt to annex the Essequibo territory, which today belongs to Guyana, and the lack of Brazilian ambassadors in the neighboring country – during the government of former President Jair Bolsonaro in 2020. Brazil broke diplomatic relations with Venezuela and closed its representative office in Caracas.
During Glivânia's hearing, Maria de Oliveira sat at the CRE table with the candidate for the embassy in Guyana, diplomat Maria Cristina de Castro Martins. Asked by senators about a possible conflict between the two countries, Glivânia said she was assessing the situation with concern but was closely following the meeting between the presidents of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro and Guyana Irfaan Ali to discuss the territorial dispute.
– We have to build bridges. […] This meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. and this fact is very important. We have seen a scenario in which there are moments of greater tension and searching for ways, he emphasized.
Glivânia Maria de Oliveira currently serves as director of the Rio Branco Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She worked in the embassies in Warsaw (Poland), London (Great Britain) and Asunción (Paraguay), managing the Consulate General in Boston (USA) and the embassy in Panama.
With 49 votes in favor, one vote against and two abstentions, the plenary session also approved the name of diplomat Maria Cristina de Castro Martins as Brazilian ambassador to Guyana. Indication (MSF 76/2023) also emphasized the demand for a peaceful solution to the territorial dispute with Venezuela.
During her hearing, the candidate highlighted the Essequibo issue as a major contentious issue in Guyana's foreign policy. Among the mission's priorities in the neighboring country, Maria Cristina highlighted opportunities to promote investment trade.
— The discovery of hydrocarbons opens up opportunities for Brazilian entrepreneurs in this field, he noted.
A graduate of architecture and urban planning, Maria Cristina de Castro Martins began her diplomatic career in 1994. In 2021-2022, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she served as an advisor to the Secretariat for Foreign Trade and Economic Affairs, and is currently assigned to the Department of Immigration and Legal Cooperation.
As indicated, by 41 votes in favor, 6 against and 1 abstention, diplomat Alfredo Cesar Martinho Leoni was confirmed as ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman (MSF 38/2023) reported by Senator Chico Rodrigues (PSB-RR). Leoni was born in Bauru (SP) in 1956 and started his diplomatic career in 1980. He was ambassador to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan and until 2018 represented Brazil at the embassy in Poland.
During the CRE hearing, Alfredo Leoni said that the presence of the Brazilian mining industry, which has been operating in the Asian country since 2011, is crucial to expanding the Brazilian market in the Middle East. He also noted that one of his priorities will be to ensure the development of mineral and poultry exports.
Trinidad and Tobago
Ultimately, with 49 votes in favor, 3 votes against and 2 abstentions, the nomination was approved (MSF 75/2023) from diplomat Maria Elisa Teófilo de Luna as ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. Also discussed on Tuesday, Maria Elisa explained that she intended to balance the trade balance with Brazil, which currently has a large surplus for Trinidad and Tobago, and suggested increasing exports of chicken, meat and agricultural products.
Maria Elisa Teófilo de Luna joined the Rio Branco Institute in 1980. In the years 2010-2015, the diplomat served as ambassador in the capital of Senegal, Dakar. Maria Elisa was also ambassador in Accra, the capital of Ghana, from 2017 to 2022. Currently, he works as an advisor at the Supreme Court (STJ).
Agência Senado (reproduction authorized based on the quote from Agência Senado)