> "Wow! Brazil is big." —George W. Bush, after being shown a map
> of Brazil by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,
> Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 6, 2005
Bush has certainly come a long way since November 2001 when he had the following exchange with then president Cardoso. By the way, some sites claim this is an urban legend, but it comes from Cardoso's autobiography and I have no reason to disbelieve him.
Bush had recently been to a mosque in Washington to show his support for the Islamic community. I congratulated him for the gesture.
"We can't confuse religion with terrorism," I commented. "Our world is a world of diversity. In Brazil we have 10 million Arabs, and they are overwhelmingly peaceful."
Bush nodded. "It sounds like you've got a real diverse country down there."
"Oh yes," I said. "We are truly a melting pot." I told him about all the immigration Brazil had from Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Japan and so on. "we also have one of the world's largest populations of blacks, you know."
"Do you have blacks in Brazil?" Bush asked.
At that point [Condolezza] Rice chimed in. "Of course, Mister President," she said, and we quickly changed the subject to other matters.