Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is demanding a public apology from the United States and threatening to cancel her White House visit next month after reports from this week that the National Security Agency spied on her and monitored her personal communications, according to an official in the country. Rousseff has already postponed a preparatory visit to Washington by her aides in response to this “major, major crisis.”
“There needs to be an apology,” the official said. “Without that, it’s basically impossible for her to go to Washington in October.”
President Obama is set to welcome Rousseff next month where the two leaders will discuss various commercial agreements, including a $4 billion jet-fighter deal. But she is apparently so “furious” that she would turn down purchasing the F-18 Super Hornet fighters made in the U.S. According to local analysts, the recent revelations of American spying put Rousseff in a difficult political position if she doesn’t take some sort of a stand against the U.S.
This week’s report by the country’s Globo TV based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, that the NSA spied on Rousseff’s private correspondences are the latest about American surveillance in the country. In July, Globo’s newspaper division published a report showing that the NSA targeted several Latin American countries, including Brazil, but did not detail how invasive it was into government officials’ communications.
One of Rousseff’s most trusted aides said, “All of the explanations that have been given to us from the beginning of these episodes have proven to be false.” He accused the U.S. of “espionage with a commercial, industrial aim.” Brazil’s foreign minister has demanded a written explanation from the U.S. government by the end of the week.
Obama and Rousseff are currently attending the G20 meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia, this week, but have no meetings scheduled.