Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff yesterday called off her state visit to Washington as allegations of U.S. espionage damage relations between the two biggest economies in the Americas.
Rousseff canceled the October meeting less than a day after President Barack Obama called her in an attempt to keep Brazil’s first state visit to the U.S. in almost two decades on track. Obama also held an unscheduled meeting with his Brazilian counterpart this month at the Group of 20 meeting in St. Petersburg as part of the U.S. effort to smooth relations.
Originally scheduled for October, the state visit will take place as soon as possible after the U.S. government explains allegations that it spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Brazilian companies, Brazil’s presidential press office said in a statement posted on its website. Photographer: Jody Amiet/AFP via Getty Images
The diplomatic setback is the latest fallout from revelations about U.S. interception of Internet and telephone traffic that was expanded after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Rousseff said Sept. 6 she was outraged by allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency monitored her e-mail and telephone communications with top aides. The NSA also spied on state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, according to accusations presented by U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald based on documents leaked by fugitive security analyst Edward Snowden.