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Lula: Sugarcane will not grow in the Amazon and U.S. should recognize this progress

(Left to right) Lee Hamilton, president of Woodrow Wilson and
president Lula (Ricardo Stuckert)

Sugarcane cultivation in Brazil is sustainable, will not invade the Amazon, and these factors ought to make the United States more receptive to importing ethanol from Brazil. This was the message delivered by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to a select audience of business leaders at a gala dinner in New York on Monday (Sept 20, 2009).

"Cane will not be cultivated in the Amazon and we will be producing even more ethanol. Who knows, maybe now the U.S. will buy more and more of our ethanol" said President Lula, who received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, in the event held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. The Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service was presented by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in an event supported by the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) along with other organizations that participate at the Wilson Center. UNICA has been a supporter of the Center’s Brazil Institute since 2007.

UNICA’s Washington-based Chief Representative for North America, Joel Velasco, attended the dinner and said that “President Lula once again recognized that cane ethanol is not only sustainable, but can also bring more benefits to Brazil and the world, while huge oil reserves (pre-salt) discovered recently in Brazil still need more time”.

President Lula was identified as the political leader who most contributed in a positive manner to bringing about the end of military rule and reopening the road to democracy in the country. "This award is a tribute to a statesman who has strengthened Brazil immensely domestically and elevated its global standing,” said the president and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, Lee Hamilton. The award dinner was co-chaired by the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, and the chairman and CEO of the Brazilian EBX Group, Eike Batista.

The Woodrow Wilson Award has been granted in the past to the director of the O Estado de São Paulo daily, Ruy Mesquita and the founder of the Children''s Pastoral (Pastoral da Criança), Dr. Zilda Arns. 


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