An Open Letter to Brazil’s Tourism Minister


Figure 1- Milena Santos, wife of Brazil’s Tourism Minister in his office.


Dr. Alessandro Teixeira

Excellentismo Minister of Tourism

Republic of Brasil

Most Excellent Minister Dr. Teixeira:

I am certain that you will remember when we met during Carnaval.   Carlinhos de Jesus had us both following his charmed dance steps as well as those of his assistants, some very pretty and pleasant sambistas, as your trained eye knows.


Figure 2 – Alessandro Teixeira speaking at an APEX event during Carnaval.

At the time, we were both promoting Brazilian exports: me through my modest consulting company and you as the esteemed President of APEX (Agencia de Promocao de Exportacoes). While we both showed some competence on the dance floor and on the “asfalto” of that Carnaval (Viva Unidos de Tijuca), you will remember that we were only able to take our school (Salgueiro) to a second place finish. In 2012, President Dilma was still popular, the corruption scandals were still evolving and APEX and MDIC had ample resources to promote Brazil’s best products. Admittedly, there were some concerns on the horizon but nothing that the multiple beauties of Rio and Brazil could not easily cover.


Figure 3 – The author demonstrating his samba skills on the behalf of APEX.

With the President’s election to her second term, there were changes and you left APEX. So, in the new structure of governance in the midst of the impeachment process it is of note that you have been promoted to Minister of Tourism. Congratulations on the accomplishment and please make the best of the task by continuing to show the many good things that Brazil offers.

Thinking about goods, I was quite impressed with the photographs of you and your wife, Milena Santos, in the office of the Ministry. These photos and Milena’s statements on the social media have been met both with approval and concern. On the one hand, there is admiration and perhaps even envy as Milena’s photos show the face and figure of a woman who has been a model and the winner of contests such as Miss Bum Bum USA. Many men and numerous women have praised the fullness of her form and physical attributes.

Critics, on the other hand, found the setting in your office somewhat questionable and emphasize that Brazil should be promoting tourism without somehow resorting to attractiveness of the Brazilian bumbum. Milena herself has responded by noting that Brazilians need to focus on more important things than other people’s behinds. I find her statement commendable but of course her photos sometimes take us in the other direction.


Figure 4 – How Brazilians see the Statue of Liberty if it were in Rio.

This back and forth is part of the much larger debate on the direction of Brazil. As you know there is something of a contest between Milena and Marcela Temer, the presumed first lady to be. Although some may consider Vice President Temer’s wife a trophy, she has been described as “pretty, demure and family oriented”. Some might say the opposite of Milena. This false dichotomy arises from the ongoing impeachment and PT versus PMDB dispute. Nevertheless, it also raises the question of the role of women, sexual discrimination, hypocrisy, feminism and right against left. Certainly, all valid themes of discussion that could provide a tourism opportunity through say the promotion of a beauty contest associated with a debate on how men and women behave in the contemporary Brazilian context.

At any rate, important events are in offing. We have the Olympics, the municipal elections and then it will be time for Carnaval. I hope to receive an invitation and would love to practice, once again, my samba. In the meantime, I wish you the best success and the hope that President Dilma can work a miracle and escape impeachment.

layerofsocietycarnavalFigure 5 – Layers of Brazilian society for tourists.

Sincere regards and um abraco,

Steve Scheibe

PS: I hope you enjoy the pictures.


Figure 6 – Composite photo from:

2 comments on “An Open Letter to Brazil’s Tourism Minister

  1. Alexandre says:

    Steve: congratulations to you for such inspiring samba dance performance!


  2. Alexandre, voce esta me gozando!


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