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Latino Daily News

Friday September 6, 2013

Brazil’s Rousseff is One Step Closer to Canceling U.S. Visit

Brazil’s Rousseff is One Step Closer to Canceling U.S. Visit

Photo: Dilma Rousseff

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has canceled a planned trip to Washington this weekend by members of her staff, who were to have made advance preparations for her scheduled Oct. 23 visit to the United States, the official Agencia Brasil news service said Thursday.

The delegation had been scheduled to fly to the U.S. capital on Saturday but the travel plans were apparently scrapped over revelations the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Rousseff’s personal communications.

The Brazilian government has not suspended the president’s visit to Washington, although an official source told Efe this week that “the next steps will decide” whether or not she makes the trip.

The Brazilian government will make a determination based on the content of the written explanation it has demanded from the United States, the source said.

The NSA intercepted telephone calls and e-mails of Rousseff and Mexican leader Enrique Peña Nieto, Brazil’s Globo television said this week, citing documents from whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Globo’s flagship news magazine, “Fantastico,” referred to a June 2012 “Top Secret” slide presentation touting NSA’s ability to access the content of the voice and e-mail communications of both Rousseff and her Mexican counterpart.

The slides were among the documentation that Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor, provided to Brazil-based U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The documents revealed that NSA systems allowed U.S. intelligence to monitor communications between Rousseff and dozens of her advisors, although they did not specify what specific information was collected.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo summoned U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon on Monday to discuss the Globo report.

“I made it clear that the violation of the president’s communications is inadmissible, unacceptable, and constitutes a violation of Brazilian sovereignty,” the minister said of his meeting with the U.S. envoy.

Figueiredo also told Shannon that Brazil wanted a written explanation of the spying.

Rousseff and U.S. President Barack Obama are currently in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week for the G20 economic summit, where, according to Agencia Brazil, the two leaders are expected to discuss the spying scandal.