The Strategist

America Forgets about Other Ties While Concentrating on Europe and Cuba

08/25/2015 - 14:41

The political crisis in Brazil does not have a negative impact on relations with Washington, as well as the causes of delays in the bilateral cooperation.

José Cruz/ABr
José Cruz/ABr
This is the official discourse of both countries, which emphasize the resumption of relations, turned over from the fresh leaf, formalized by Dilma Rousseff’s visit to the US in June, after the crisis caused by the scandal with the surveillance of the President of Brazil, forcing her to cancel her previous visit in 2013.

Despite the normalization of relations, the American vision of Brazil is characterized by a lack of knowledge of what is actually happening. Experts of training centers and State Department officials have difficulty in understanding the crisis broke out in the country, and indifference dominates in many cases.

While American diplomacy is focused on the crucial terms of the heritage of President Barack Obama issues, such as the rapprochement with Cuba and the nuclear deal with Iran, other countries, such as Brazil, gets little attention.

-    It's a question of geopolitics. In South America, there is no threat to the United States - neither al-Qaeda, nor IG, - says James Green, a professor of Brazilian Studies at Brown University in the north of the United States.

The total lack of awareness on the situation in Brazil, is an indisputable fact in the United States. Often, it is observed  even among those who should be on duty to monitor developments (people such as the American diplomats and the so-called "experts on Latin America").

Brazilians are seeing some demonstrative gestures, such as tenderness shown by Obama during the visit of Dilma, or its definition of Brazil as a "world power." Or a recent editorial in The New York Times, warning of the risks of the president’s impeachment without a legal basis.

However, according to a researcher Peter Hakim, decrease in foreign policy of the Dilma’s government, together with the recent crisis, contributed in pushing the unawareness to something worse: the danger of losing any meaning. In his opinion, the crisis is "terrible" for bilateral relations.

-    Brazil today is much less important for the US than a few years ago," - says Hakim, president emeritus of the research center "Inter-American Dialogue".

Understanding that things are going badly in the country is even worse than Dilma’s diplomatic shyness, he notes. "The Brazilian government needs to understand that its international influence is primarily obliged to what is done within the country rather than abroad."
Original by Marcelo Ninio, Folna de S.Paulo (

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