Two years after she cancelled her state visit to Washington in outrage over revelations that the U.S. had spied on her, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is back in Washington, taking a decidedly more friendly approach to President Barack Obama.
News articles in July 2013 based on documents provided by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the NSA had been spying on Rousseff’s phone calls and emails and hacking into the state oil corporation, Petrobas, where she serves on the board. She responded by delivering a fuming speech before the United Nations general assembly, and cancelling her visit.
But now, it’s apparently all water under the bridge. Many observers attribute the change to her newfound political weakness at home and Brazil’s economic downturn. She says it’s due to a conversation she had with Obama at the Summit of the Americas meeting in Panama City in April.
Here are some examples of Rousseff on NSA spying, then:
NSA’s motivations for spying on Petrobas “is not security or combating terrorism, but economic and strategic interests” which is “incompatible with democratic co-existence between friendly nations” and “manifestly illegitimate,” Rousseff wrote in an official note, dated September 2013.
“Tampering in such a manner in the affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and is an affront of the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations,” she told the U.N. in September 2013. “A sovereign nation can never establish itself to the detriment of another sovereign nation. The right to safety of citizens of one country can never be guaranteed by violating fundamental human rights of citizens of another country.”
“We recognize the actions taken by the U.S. … that friendly countries won’t be spied on,” Rousseff said at the April summit in Panama. “And we have a declaration from President Obama. When he wants to know something, he’ll call me.”
(This post is from our blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Photo: Obama with Rousseff visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. (Michael Reynolds/Getty)