NEW YORK- WORLD NEWS TOMORROW: Are there hidden tensions which stand to undermine the important diplomatic relationship between Washington and rising star Brazil? During a recent meeting at the White House, Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff sought to put on a good face. Brazil had made “extraordinary progress” under Rousseff, Obama declared effusively. Returning the praise, Rousseff called for greater Brazilian-US economic cooperation.
The meeting built upon a flurry of back and forth visits intended to solidify greater ties: in March, the US deputy secretary of state traveled to Brasilia, where he lobbied for greater joint trade and investment. On the defense front, too, the two nations recently signed an important cooperation agreement. Officially then, the US and Brazil enjoy cordial relations.
Look below the surface, however, and all is not well. Washington, which is used to calling the shots in South America, is wary of Brasilia’s intentions, and has been slow to accommodate the region’s newest up and coming player. In Brazil, many commentators claimed that Obama snubbed Rousseff in Washington by not granting her leader the honor of a full White House dinner.
Such slights were not lost on the likes of Caio Blinder, a columnist for Brazilian magazine Veja, who declared that Obama had intentionally “downgraded” Rousseff’s visit. Going yet further, the Veja writer lamented the “considerable lack of mutual respect” between the US and Brazil.