After Cuba, has U.S. spying on Brazilians and their President Dilma

Rouseff been set aside? Folha columnist Clóvis Rossi writes that the

Dilma Administration is ready to bury the hatchet.



After Snowden, Cuba, a New Honeymoon for U.S. and Brazil (Folha, Brazil)


"Before the spying episode, Brazil-U.S. relations had never been better. … For Dilma, the significance of Cuba normalization goes well beyond U.S.-Cuba relations. In her view, a new dynamism - more productive and constructive than the eternal criticism of Washington over its attitude toward Cuba - will infuse multilateral meetings in Latin America. It will therefore set a tone that in 2015 will mark relations with the United States."


By Clóvis Rossi*



Translated By Ricardo Farinha


January 21, 2015


Brazil – Folha – Original Article (Portuguese)

Even before the productive first meeting between President Dilma Rousseff and Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had written to his then-Brazilian counterpart Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, suggesting he urgently travel to Washington to begin to trace the agenda for Dilma’s state visit.


It is well known that the visit should have taken place last year, but was suspended due to the spying episode directed against Dilma.


Figueiredo failed to respond to Kerry because he didn't know how long he would remain in office. Yet Kerry's suggestion remains a good one for newly-appointed Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira.


Moreover, the contours of the visit began to take shape at the Dilma-Biden meeting.


Dilma made it clear that she doesn't want a visit she described as “black tie,” that is - full of pomp and circumstance. She wants substance, she told Biden.


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The vice president took up the theme and reminded her that the United States has a clear agenda it wishes to develop with Brazil. What's missing is the agenda Dilma wants to pursue so relations can reach an even higher level, which is a desire Dilma expressed to Biden.

It may have been mere courtesy, but if it there is substance as well, this is a relevant characterization. After all, before the spying episode, Brazil-U.S. relations had never been better. Therefore, to climb a step is not trivial.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


According to the president, the conversation she and Biden had dealt with the theme that cooperation should be much more dynamic. Dilma mentioned trade, recalling that China has supplanted the United States as Brazil's largest trading partner.


The president also mentioned the area of defense, where she said much more can be done. One of my own speculations that was not a topic of conversation: I would imagine that on the defense issue, Dilma wants to include the battle against organized crime, which is for the most part driven by drug trafficking.


For the United States, defense relates chiefly to the fight against terrorism; for Latin American countries, it means battling drug trafficking. That's where my speculation ends and I return to our conversation.


Dilma also showed an interest in the field of innovation, citing the enormous capacity of the United States in this area, especially in science and technology. The conversation began with Dilma praising the "courage" of President Barack Obama for normalizing relations with Cuba, calling it a "historic" gesture.


Biden returned the caress by volunteering that on the eve of the announcement he had tried to call Dilma to warn her, but that he couldn't reach her because the Brazilian leader was in Argentina for the Mercosur summit.


For Dilma, the significance of Cuba normalization goes well beyond U.S.-Cuba relations. In her view, a new dynamism - more productive and constructive than the eternal criticism of Washington over its attitude toward Cuba - will infuse multilateral meetings in Latin America. It will therefore set a tone that in 2015 will mark relations with the United States.

Clovis Rossi is a special correspondent and member of the Folha editorial board, is a winner of the Maria Moors Cabot award (USA) and is a member of the Foundation for a New Ibero-American Journalism. His column appears on Thursdays and Sundays on page 2 and on Saturdays in the World Notebook section. He is the author, among other works, of Special Envoy: 25 Years Around the World and What is Journalism?





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Posted By Worldmeets.US January 21, 2015, 5:49pm








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