Is Brazil the Enemy?


2013-09-22 Brazil is the 6th largest economy in the world.  It is also a leader of a significant group of developing nations which is called the BRIC nations.

This term refers to the developing countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The NSA spy scandal has clearly hurt U.S. national security interests.

Kenneth Maxwell is currently traveling in Brazil and has filed the following update on the crisis:

President Dilma Rousseff had a dilemma: to go or not to go to Washington DC on a State Visit to the United States in October.

She decided like Dom Pedro to  say put.

Does anyone believe that NSA spying on Brazil has enhanced U.S. national security interests?   Credit Image: Bigstock
Does anyone believe that NSA spying on Brazil has enhanced U.S. national security interests? Credit Image: Bigstock

She was right to do so. Dom Pedro refused the demand of the Portuguese that he return to Portugal. Instead he stayed in Brazil and declared Brazil’s Independence.

The problem for her is the promiscuous surveillance of her communications by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

It is not good enough for the US to say everyone does it and that the threat of international terrorism justifies such surveillance. 

It does not. 

Especially when such surveillance covers not only Dilma Rousseff’s communications with her staff and ministers, but also other  Brazilian institutions, and in particular, Petrobras, whose offshore petroleum  assets are seen as having commercial as well as geopolitical significance.

Brazil after all is not the “enemy.” 

It is inconceivable that the US discovered any terrorist plot by having access to Dilma Rousseff’s  communications, or is seeing what Petrobras was up to.

But to make Dilma  Rousseff a target presupposes that she is and that Petrobras are also potential  threats.

And for Brazilians with a propensity to see conspiracies against their  national interests, especially emanating from the US, it is a formula for  disaster when it is revealed as it inevitably will be and has been.

Her dilemma is made worse by the fact that the leaked evidence for this spying comes from Edward Snowdon via Glenn Greenwald who lives in Rio de Janeiro and who works as a columnist for the Guardian but in Brazil also collaborates  with TV Globo.

The British ever eager to please the U.S. seized documents from Glenn Greenwald’s Brazilian boyfriend, David Miranda, when he was in transit  through Heathrow Airport in London.

Glenn Greenwald is evidently a master at timing the well placed leak and he is angry at the treatment of David Miranda.

One can be sure that he has much more to leak at an appropriate, or for Washington and Dilma Rousseff, an inappropriate moment.

The State Visit of  Dilma Rousseff to Barack Obama provided an obvious and irresistible target of opportunity.

One thing is certain: The loss is much greater for the U.S. and the U.S. has only itself to blame.

For an additional take on this important global issue see the following: