Wednesday, September 18th 2013 - 00:27 UTC

Rousseff postpones state visit to Washington over US cyber-spying allegations

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday postponed a state visit to Washington over allegations of US cyber-spying on her country. She announced the decision after discussing the spying row with US President Barack Obama Monday in a telephone call.

The decision was agreed by the two presidents following a phone call on Monday night

“The two presidents decided to postpone the state visit since the outcome of this visit should not be conditioned on an issue which for Brazil has not been satisfactorily resolved,” a statement from Rousseff's office said.

Originally scheduled for October, the visit will take place as soon as possible after the U.S. government explains allegations that it spied on Rousseff and Brazilian companies, Brazil’s presidential press office added in a statement posted on its website.

Obama regrets concerns generated by the allegations and will work to improve relations with Brazil, White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

The decision to cancel came less than a day after Obama personally called his Brazilian counterpart. It is the latest fallout from revelations about U.S. interception of Internet and telephone traffic that was expanded after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Rousseff is demanding a full explanation for allegations that the US National Security Agency monitored her communications with top aides. The charges were disclosed by TV Globo on Sept. 1 and based on secret documents from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. On Sept. 8, TV Globo reported the NSA also spied on state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

The spying would be a breach of sovereignty and individual privacy, the Brazilian president’s office said today.

Obama is committed to working with Rousseff “to move beyond this issue as a source of tension in our bilateral relationship,” Carney said in the statement posted on the White House website.

The postponement, discussed by the two leaders in their telephone conversation Monday night, was a “decision they made together,” Carney said at a briefing at the White House.

Opportunities that could stall include the opening of both countries’ beef markets, a bid by Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA) to sell jet fighters, as well as technology cooperation, and nascent discussions to launch industry-specific trade negotiations, said Liz Trebat, a former executive director of the Brazil-U.S. Business Council.

Growing congressional cooperation to advance negotiations on a bilateral tax treaty probably would also stall. “The sense of urgency is going to be gone,” she said.

While calling off the trip, the first Brazil state visit to Washington since 1995, further sours bilateral ties, much of the damage had already been done by the breakdown of trust caused by the spying scandal, said Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves, head of Cebri, a Rio de Janeiro-based foreign relations research institute.

“Without a doubt cancelling the trip carries a cost,” Castro Neves said from Rio de Janeiro on Monday. “More assertive reassurances from the U.S. would have been in order.”

The alleged spying on Petrobras and Rousseff had nothing to do with anti-terrorist intelligence and required a more accommodating stance by Washington, said Castro Neves.

However the political decision will have an economic impact since the US is one of Brazil’s two main trade partners and the deficit widened 161% in the first half of the year to 6 billion dollars from a year earlier, compared with a surplus of 5.4bn with China. Brazil also wants to attract U.S. investment for infrastructure and oil and gas projects.

22 comments Feed

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1 Gonzo22 (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 02:32 am Report abuse
Yes it is.
2 CabezaDura (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 02:47 am Report abuse
Just like Cristina mixing up domestic politics with foreign policy as usual. Make a big fuss for the left at home but Obama is not going to come begging “Ohh I’m so sorry for spying on you and Brazil... please, please come to Washington, I won’t be sleeping tonight if you don’t”
I don’t think this will have any economical consequences at all for Brazil-American business, the US always play on the long term and knows how anti-Americanism politics works out in Latam
3 ElaineB (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 08:14 am Report abuse
I heard this visit would be cancelled weeks ago.

It is a gesture for the domestic audience, nothing more.
4 ChrisR (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 11:17 am Report abuse
So the dummy IN the pram is throwing her toys OUT of the pram.

Why can't these SA presidents behave like grown up people.

She will be doing a MBOA thing and DEMANDING next.

Only by talking to others can anything peaceful be achieved, other than that it has to be “war”.

Brazil need the US far more than the US need Brazil.
5 Conqueror (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 11:54 am Report abuse
Can't see anything negative for the United States in this. “President of struggling South American country stays out of United States”. So what. A couple of tiny islands in the North Atlantic have more economic significance. Also more political and military significance. Question. Which country does the U.S. turn to when it wants support? Is it Brazil? No. Is it the UK? Yes. Brazil is still third-rate. It needs to understand that splashing its disgruntlement across the world's press is not the way. That's the way of an insecure, frightened also-ran. Advanced nations have quiet, private words.
6 Garrett Connelly (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 12:34 pm Report abuse
US spies are costing an already weak US economy tens of billions of dollars,. As the US military empire implodes it is trapped by war propaganda to spend tens of billions more on spies that accomplish nothing but accelerating collapse from economic isolation and revulsion at US totalitarianism hiding in a hollowed out fake democracy.
7 Troy Tempest (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 02:11 pm Report abuse
Is “Garrett Connelly” the name of an apartment block in BA ???

8 yankeeboy (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 03:03 pm Report abuse
6. What an idiotic post. Even NPR which is about the most liberally biased news organization in the USA mocked Dilma this morning saying she was playing up being tough on the USA because it is fodder for the masses.
Dilma is not equipped to take Brazil beyond the jungle.
Good luck with the coming economic downturn and favela riots.
Stupid monkeys
9 macsilvinho (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 03:28 pm Report abuse
The US will go bankrupt because dilma, the ex-terrorist is not visiting disneyland.
10 Stevie (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 03:52 pm Report abuse
We don't have any wishes of dealing with stalkers, no need to get upset.

Stalk on...

11 Garrett Connelly (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 03:59 pm Report abuse
Dictators who overthrew Brazilian democracy with the backing of the US fleet during operation Brother Sam called Dilma a terrorist, they tortured a pretty young college woman and called her a terrorist. Now the former freedom fighter is president of a huge country busily buying nuclear submarines from France so there will never be another US navy operation in the oil rich waters of Brasil. There's real history and then there's propaganda. There are also real problems to solve, propaganda history versions and national activities based on them are blocking growth of human knowledge. Mother Earth is becoming angry at her idiotic illnesses, the temperature is rising. Enough CO2 and lead will be molten if left in the sun. Dilma is aware of this, she has been a peace maker and democracy healer as best she can, hopefully she will rise to the needs of healing the planet.
12 Brasileiro (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 04:16 pm Report abuse

Thank you, Mr Connely. Good lesson of history and geopolitic.
13 Gonzo22 (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 05:06 pm Report abuse
@8 “stupid monkeys” it takes two words to see right through the very soul of the USA and the UK. The islanders have the same thoughts about Latin America. Nice people. Hands off Latin America.
14 reality check (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 06:16 pm Report abuse
Healing the planet! Ferk me!!!!! You for real?
15 ChrisR (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 06:27 pm Report abuse
@ 11 Garrett Connelly

You have clearly missed the U-turn going on with all the doomsayers!

The latest estimate for the rise in global temperature is ONE DEGREE C IN A HUNDRED YEARS.

BTW lead melts at 327.5 °C, but you could always try tin, which is 232 °C, stupid bastard.

What are you, a child or an imbecile? At least a child has an excuse.
16 yankeeboy (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 07:17 pm Report abuse
11.Healing the planet by drilling more oil than they ever have and burning down the amazon rain forest to grow Soy.
Yeah okay.

The more words you type the stupider you appear. I'd give up now.
17 Brasileiro (#) Sep 18th, 2013 - 10:23 pm Report abuse
Every anglodescendent is a idiot! Much money, no? Wow i am happy!
18 Hepatia (#) Sep 19th, 2013 - 01:59 am Report abuse
The future interests of the US require good relations with Brazil. This postponement is not good news.
19 Troy Tempest (#) Sep 19th, 2013 - 03:05 am Report abuse

you sound worried and unhappy.
20 BOTINHO (#) Sep 19th, 2013 - 06:12 am Report abuse
A great missed opportunity.

Imagine an official dinner for the head of state of Brasil, followed by President Dilma Rousseff then lecturing US President Barack Obama on his own home ground ? She could have held his “ feet to the fire ” publicly, and gotten whatever she wanted.

A more seasoned politician like Lula would have used the opportunity and managed it to Brasil's advantage.

Instead we have petulance, still no modern defensive jets, and wild ideas of internet optic cables to the Brics..
21 yankeeboy (#) Sep 19th, 2013 - 11:33 am Report abuse
18. I don't see any scenario where we need Brazil for anything. Please explain your post.
22 Captain Poppy (#) Sep 24th, 2013 - 02:00 pm Report abuse
#17 Brasileira, your racism is so unbecoming. Are you an example of fine South American education and open thinking?

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