NSA Surveillance Blowback: Brazil's President May Cancel Washington Visit

Published on
by
Common Dreams

NSA Surveillance Blowback: Brazil's President May Cancel Washington Visit

A day after Rousseff demands public apology for being target of NSA surveillance, Brazil cancels advance team's trip to US

by
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Brazil's President Rousseff arriving at the G20 in St. Petersburg on Thursday. (Photo: Ichiro Guerra/Blog do Planalto/cc/flickr)

In the fallout of the revelations of vast spying by the NSA, there are signs Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff may be canceling her scheduled Oct. 23 visit to Washington.

On Sunday, journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that the NSA had spied on the phone calls and electronic communications of Rousseff as well as Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Rousseff would possibly cancel her formal trip to the White House in October unless she received a public apology for the surveillance.

An unnamed senior Brazilian official told the news agency, "She is completely furious."

"This is a major, major crisis .... There needs to be an apology. It needs to be public. Without that, it's basically impossible for her to go to Washington in October," Reuters reports the official as saying.

And on Thursday, another sign the visit could be canceled emerged.

Various news agencies are reporting that Brazil canceled a visit by a team of aides in preparation for Rousseff's trip.  The team was expected to head to Washington this weekend.

Reason for the cancellation was not given, though the Associated Press reports it is a "further sign of the escalating tension with the U.S." in the wake of the spying revelations.

Whether or not the October meeting is canceled, Rousseff and President Obama have the chance for a confrontation over the espionage as they are among the leaders at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday.

"The President, I think, will be able to see President Rousseff on the margins of the G20, I'm sure, and to discuss these [NSA spying] issues," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for Strategic Communications.

The spying controversy is unlikely to die down anytime soon, as Greenwald tweeted on Thursday that "there's an even bigger Brazil/NSA story coming Sunday."

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