16 travnja 2009
Brazil 5 cruzeiros, 1953-1958
The Baron of Rio Branco (Rio de Janeiro, April 20, 1845 - Rio de Janeiro, February 10, 1912), is the patron of Brazil's diplomacy. The Baron of Rio Branco began his political career as a congressman in the House of Commons. From 1876 on, he was the Brazilian Consul General in Liverpool, England. He was also the Brazilian Ambassador in Berlin in the beginning of the XX century.
Rio Branco's most important legacy to Brazil was his successful effort, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, in defining the country's borders with all of its neighbours. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1902 and retained office until 1912, under four different Presidents, a feat unequalled in Brazilian History. Before and during his term, he negotiated territorial disputes between Brazil and some of its neighbours and consolidated the borders of modern Brazil. He is considered one of the most prominent Brazilian statesmen ever, as his proverbial work capacity, knowledge and skills were essential for the successful outcome of difficult boundary disputes, some of which submitted to international arbitration – such as with Argentina and France –, as well as for incorporating new territory (the state of Acre, originally Bolivian).
As a mediator he negotiated and settled disputes between the United States and many European countries. On those occasions, he never abandoned his belief in diplomacy as the means to handle international matters, thus helping establish Brazil's reputation as a peace-loving nation.
Many thanks to Tomislav Dolar from Nedelišće, Croatia!