O Estado de São Paulo, 12/20/2009 (summary from Portuguese)
Brazil has fallen out of grace with Washington. The enthusiasm shown in April by President Barack Obama – “this is the man” he said of his Brazilian counterpart- seems to have withered. After several clashes, the visit of the U.S. president to Brasilia in 2010 is uncertain.
Disagreements over the election in Honduras and Brazil’s support of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, went well beyond the normal differences between governments.
The malaise has infected the press and arrived in the U.S. Congress, where Sen. Frank Lautenberg suspended the vote of the beneficial measure for Brazilian exporters. According to a Lautenberg spokesperson, the senator’s action came as a response to the Brazil’s Supreme Court decision against the immediate return of the boy Sean Goldman to his father, David Goldman.
Lula’s support of Ahmadinejad, when even China and Russia condemned the Iranian nuclear program, was seen as a disastrous move in the U.S. media. In this context, a Washington Post editorial said the West was right in not offering Brazil a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
Lula was also criticized in the American press for dabbling in Central American politics without knowing enough about the region. His intervention in Honduras was seen as an obstacle to the solution of the crisis – an error compounded by the insistence of not recognizing the legitimacy of the elections.
According to Moisés Naim, editor of the magazine Foreign Policy, “Brazil behaves like an immature and resentful developing country.”
In a short time Lula poisoned, without any political or economic gain for Brazil, the goodwill that existed during the Republican administration and maintained in beginning of Barack Obama’s term. To have global influence, the Washington Post commented, Brazil would have to leave the Third Worldism of its foreign policy. Not likely to happen with Brazil’s Foreign Ministry under the control of the current ideological policymakers.
To read the full article (in Portuguese), click here.