Amidst the tears and cheers, Dilma Rousseff was sworn in as Brazil's first female president in an inauguration ceremony held Saturday.
Vice-President Michel Temer was also sworn into office in the said ceremony which took place just before 3:00 pm Brazil local time. The inauguration ceremony was attended by heads of state, ambassadors and secretaries of state from various countries. Among them were Hillary Clinton and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
"This is the first time that the presidential sash hangs over the shoulders of a woman," a tearful Rousseff said, pointing to the historic weight of her presidency.
The whole world watched as the former guerrilla fighter-turned politician addressed the huge crowd of supporters that gathered to witness this momentous event as they chanted "Ole ole ole ole... Lula …Dilma…"--the song of Rousseff's Worker's Party.
In her inauguration speech, Rousseff, age 63, referred to herself as the "president of all Brazilians" who promises to fight against hunger, increased gender equality in the country, and establish closer relationships with emerging nations as well as with both the United States and the European Union in spite of current disagreements over the currency crisis, trade and environment issues. She also took time to honor the 11 women that were imprisoned with her back in the 1960's.
Carlos Fico, a leading historian on Brazil's brutal military rule that began in 1964, said Brazilians -- especially victims of torture -- were moved that she chose to include her cellmates in the historic inauguration.
"It coincides with many changes taking place in Brazil," Fico said.
As for her past and the allegations that she engaged in subversive activities to fight the military regime, Rousseff said she had "no regrets, resentment or rancor."
Rousseff was elected as Brazil's president in a runoff vote back in October 2010, replacing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva under whom she served as Chief of Staff. Hailed as the country's "subversive Joan of Arc," Rousseff--a former left-wing guerilla fighter--was arrested 41 years ago under Brazil's then-dictatorship government. She was committed at the Tiradentes Prison where she reported to have been severely and brutally tortured for almost two years.