QUESTION: I would like to know how does the Sean Goldman case issue fit into the conversation between the two countries? And the second thing is, what kind of cooperation do you expect from Brazil in terms of a coordinated stimulus – global stimulus package going towards the G-20 meeting?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHANNON: Right. Well, in regard to the case of Sean Goldman, obviously, we’ve made it very clear that from our point of view, this is a case that falls within the purview of the Hague Convention and that Sean Goldman should be returned to his father. The Government of Brazil believes the same thing and has said so publicly. Currently, this case rests with the federal courts of Brazil.
We are hopeful that the appropriate decision will be rendered. And this is an issue of great importance to us. The President’s aware of the issue. The Secretary raised the issue when she met with Foreign Minister Celso Amorim recently. And the Secretary spoke with David Goldman last night and underscored how important this case is to the United States and how hopeful we are of a positive resolution as quickly as possible.
QUESTION: Is the President going to raise the issue?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHANNON: Well, I can’t say what the President’s going to say or not. That’s his decision. But obviously, he’s aware of the issue. He knows – he understands it’s important – that it is important. And as I said, the Secretary has made it very clear, both publicly and in our conversations with the Brazilians, that this is an issue that should be resolved quickly and positively in favor of Mr. Goldman under the Hague Convention.
His case remains in federal court in Brazil awaiting a decision but what legally is left to decide? Either Brazil is in violation of the treaty or they aren’t. The Washington Post describes the Sean Goldman case as an irritant in relations.
The battle has become a preoccupation at the highest levels of the U.S. government and is an irritant in relations with Latin America’s most powerful country. The topic was the first Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton raised during a meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim in Washington last week, according to the State Department. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Wednesday calling for Sean’s return to his father, and a similar resolution is pending in the Senate.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fight for custody of an 8-year-old boy whose American father says was abducted by his Brazilian mother will be left to Brazil’s courts, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula de Silva said Saturday.
“The problem of the child is in the (Brazilian) federal justice system,” he told a Portuguese-language news conference at the Brazilian Embassy, despite pressure from Washington for Brazil’s government to intervene in the dispute.
“We expect the justice system to do what the justice system should do … and the Brazilian government will respect it.”
Update 03-25-09: Senate calls for Brazil to return boy to dad in NJ
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate has joined calls for Brazil to return a boy living there to his father in New Jersey.
Lawmakers unanimously passed the resolution late Tuesday.