The tense relations between Brazil and U.S. became worse on Thursday as preparations for President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to Washington was cancelled over reports that she was the target of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance. A presidential spokesperson said that a trip to Washington by a Brazilian delegation next Saturday to prepare for the President’s October 23 visit to the White House “was cancelled.”
Relations between the two American nations have been rocky since it was revealed in July that the U.S. agency was collecting phone and Internet data from Brazil. Last Sunday, there was outrage in the countryt after it was revealed in a Globo TV report by The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald that phone, e-mails and texts of Ms. Rousseff were targeted by NSA. The Brazilian government had denounced the NSA surveillance as “impermissible and unacceptable” and a violation of Brazilian sovereignty.
After the disclosure, Ms. Rousseff had threatened to refuse the invitation of President Barack Obama. But there is no confirmation yet if the visit has been cancelled. The preparatory trip can be rescheduled.
A Brazilian official said on Wednesday that Ms. Rousseff was set to take punitive action in addition to cancelling the visit, which could include a halt on plans to purchase F-18 Super Hornet fighters from Chicago-based Boeing Co.
On Wednesday, Brazil announced an investigation into domestic telecommunications firms had been launched to determine if they had illegally shared data with the NSA.