The Brazilian president’s uncertain future clouds progress with America

Paulo Sotero – The Huffington Post, 7/10/2015

President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to the United States from June 28 to July 1 produced a striking improvement in the atmosphere of a relationship marred until recently by mutual suspicion and recrimination.

It could eventually help Rousseff improve her poor standing at home, assuming she survives growing pressures from adversaries and supposed allies who now speculate publicly about her resignation or impeachment. “I will not be removed [from the presidency],” said the president days after returning from the U.S. in an interview to daily Folha de São Paulo in which she acknowledged the pressures. She vowed to fight “tooth and nail” to preserve her mandate and disprove allegations of mismanagement of federal accounts and violation of campaign finance rules in her 2014 reelection campaign.

From a Brazilian perspective, the underlying message of the visit was that a results-oriented engagement with the U.S. that was seen as a problem and avoided in Brasilia after the Workers Party (PT) came to power in 2003, is now viewed in the government as part of the solution to the economic crisis the country got itself into. Good vibes aside, proximity with the U.S. is likely to remain a source of significant ambivalence among Brazilians and a challenge for politicians and businessmen invested in closer ties.

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