Dilma Rousseff Visits Grave of Her Bulgarian Brother in Sofia

Diplomacy | October 6, 2011, Thursday // 16:52|  views

Pictured: the white-flower wreath laid by Dilma Rousseff at the grave of her Bulgarian half-brother. Photo by Frognews

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has paid a visit to the grave of Lyuben-Kamen Rusev, her Bulgarian half-brother, whom she never met.

Russeff's visit to the central cemetery in Sofia was not part of her public program for her first ever trip to Bulgaria.

Dilma Rousseff, the first woman to become President of Brazil, is the daughter of Bulgarian immigrant Petar Rusev (Pedro Rousseff) (1900-1962), who left Bulgaria in 1929 for France, and ended in Brazil after World War II. Before emigrating, however, Rusev had a wife in Sofia, who gave birth to a son, Lyuben-Kamen, shortly after he had left.

Brazil's President visited her half-brother's grave in Sofia early Thursday morning, on the second day of her Bulgarian visit, before she left Sofia for the cities of Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo, the birthplace of her brother, Frognews reported.

Dilma is reported to have left a wreath of 100 flowers at her brother's grave, with an inscription in Portuguese, "With Love for My Late Brother". She lit a candle and spent 20 minutes at the grave.

Servicemen from the cemetery are cited as saying that they had not even known whom the grave in question belonged to, and that the grave was cleaned and restored several days before the visit of the Brazilian President, when a photo of the late Lyuben-Kamen Rusev was added to the tombstone.

Dilma's half-brother Lyuben-Kamen Rusev (1929-2007) had communication with his sister in Brazil by mail.

At one point, Dilma decided on her own to help financially her ailing Bulgarian half-brother in 2006, as Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) reported in November 2010.

In 2006, Lyuben Rusev, a successful Bulgarian engineer who by that time was a childless and ailing old man living in Sofia with his wife, received a certain sum of money from his sister in Brazil without having requested it, Bulgarian diplomat Rumen Stoyanov told Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) in an exclusive interview.

Stoyanov, a long-time Bulgarian diplomat in Brazil and a professor of Latin American studies, helped Lyuben Rusev by translating into Portuguese letters to his sister Dilma, who by that time had become part of the Cabinet of Brazil's President Lula da Silva.

Stoyanov is positive that Lyuben Rusev never asked his sister for any money but that she must have decided on her own to do this generous gesture, i.e. to help out her brother who she really wanted to meet but never managed to.

The former diplomat, who first met Dilma Rousseff's mother in Belo Horizonte in 1973, says this occurred after a few years ago he accompanied Bulgaria's honorary consul in Rio de Janeiro, Joao Vaz, in 2005 to meet Lyuben Rusev.

Full Text of Novinite.com's interview with former diplomat Stoyanov READ HERE

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Tags: Dilma Rousseff, Brazil, Brazilian, Petar Rusev, Presidential elections, Lula, Workers' Party, Bulgarian immigrants, Rumen Stoyanov, Joao Vaz, cemetery, grave, graveyard


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