Venezuelan Official Ruffles Feathers in Brazil

Hannah Dreier and Adriana Gomez Licon – ABC News, 11/6/2014

A Venezuelan official’s seemingly low-key visit to Brazil has drawn a rare rebuke from a staunch ally and prompted grumbling at home about privileges enjoyed by top government officers.

Brazil contacted Venezuelan diplomats on Wednesday to complain that the socialist country’s former foreign minister, Elias Jaua, had met with a domestic activist group without providing any kind of heads up.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said the surprise visit was out of step with the excellent relations between the two countries, and could be interpreted as interference in internal affairs. Brazil does not require ministers to provide notification when they do work in the country, but it is considered good form.

Read more…


White House soothes Brazil over NSA

Julian Hattem – The Hill, 1/30/2014

The Obama administration is making an effort to quell foreign concerns about spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence arms.

On Thursday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice met with Brazil’s foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, to update him on President Obama’s plans to rein in the spy agency.

Rice “outlined the results of the review of U.S. signals intelligence activities, and the reforms to be implemented,” the White House said in a statement.

Read more…

Brazil seeks end to international arms flow into Syria

Associated Foreign Press, 09/16/2013

Brazil on Monday called on the UN Security Council to order an immediate end to the international arms flow into Syria.

“It is urgent to immediately stop the flow of arms from the outside, which supplies all sides in the conflict,” Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said.

“This arms inflow aggravates the humanitarian tragedy,” he told a news conference.

Read more…

Brazil’s Rousseff urged by top advisers to cancel U.S. visit

Brian Winter – Reuters, 09/14/2013

Top advisers to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff are urging her to cancel her planned state visit to the White House next month after revelations the U.S. National Security Agency spied on her and other Brazilians.

Among those now encouraging Rousseff to cancel the trip is former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a senior government official told Reuters on Saturday on condition of anonymity. Lula preceded Rousseff in office and remains enormously influential in important government decisions.

A former Cabinet minister under Lula, Franklin Martins, who also remains influential with Rousseff, previously urged her to cancel the trip, the official said.

The official told Reuters that Rousseff had not yet made up her mind and would only do so after a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with her foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.

Read more…

As Brazil’s uproar over NSA grows, U.S. vows to work through tensions

Catherine Shoichet – CNN, 09/12/2013

As the furor mounts in Brazil over reports that the United States spied on President Dilma Rousseff and her advisers, the South American country’s foreign minister was in Washington on Wednesday.

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo that the United States is committed to working with Brazil to address its concerns, the White House said in a statement.

But in Brazil, debate over media reports about alleged National Security Agency spying showed no signs of cooling.

Read more…

Brazil said to cancel trip to U.S. to prepare meeting with Obama

Arnaldo Galvao – Bloomberg, 09/04/2013

Brazilian authorities have canceled a trip to Washington that was designed to prepare for President Dilma Rousseff’s state visit next month in response to charges the U.S. spied on the South American nation.

Brazilian officials originally scheduled the trip for Sept. 7 to 11 to organize the details of Rousseff’s state visit, according to a government official who is close to the president and asked not to be named because the information isn’t official. He didn’t know whether Rousseff would cancel her trip in October.

Brazil’s government want the U.S. to respond this week to a report the National Security Agency used software to probe Rousseff’s communications with several aides, Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo told reporters in Brasilia Sept. 2. The spying, if true, would be “inadmissible and unacceptable,” he said.

Read more…

Brazil probes U.S. spying allegations

Paulo Trevisani & Loretta Chao -The Wall Street Journal, 09/02/2013

Brazil and Mexico each demanded responses from the U.S. Monday after a Brazilian news program alleged that Washington monitored the private communications of the countries’ presidents.

The allegations were made Sunday night on the Brazilian news program Fantástico by Glenn Greenwald, a Rio de Janeiro-based staff journalist with the British newspaper the Guardian.

On the show, Mr. Greenwald displayed what he said were U.S. intelligence documents obtained from Edward Snowden, who the U.S. government accuses of leaking thousands of classified documents from the National Security Agency. One document shows a chart mapping Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s communications patterns.

Read more…