The conflict situation which has arisen between Brazil and the United States due to espionage by the NSA, the CIA and other intelligence agencies has highlighted the existence of deep crisis tendencies in the relations between the «only superpower» and Latin America.
The provocation of wars in Africa and Asia in order to establish control over hydrocarbon-rich countries, the early successes of this aggressive strategy and the illusion that they can get away with anything has made the U.S. ruling elite rather giddy with success.
Washington’s emphasis on brute force has led to a noticeable «dumbing down» (there’s no other word for it!) of its foreign policy, using threats instead of constructive dialog and reasoned arguments. Even outward political correctness has become a useless anachronism for American diplomats.
This explains the hard-line response of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseffto the Obama administration’s virtual refusal to apologize for its espionage in the country and guarantee that it would not occur again in the future.
To the Brazilian leadership, all Washington’s attempts to avoid concrete discussion of the problem are equivalent to a display of imperial haughtiness and hostility. If the Brazilians had any hopes for an «equal partnership» with the United States in the 21st century, they are now gone.
Theoretically, it is just such a partnership that could have helped Washington to maintain its position in South America. However, the Obama administration fumbled its chance, thus guaranteeing the further penetration of extra-regional powers into the continent.
On the backdrop of the Syrian failure, which revealed Washington’s dirty methods of organizing «humanitarian interventions», the Obama administration’s failure in Brazil is not so noticeable, but it is a momentous one for the countries of the Western Hemisphere. The Brazilians have finally shown publicly that they are displeased with the hostile actions of the U.S.
Previously, difficult issues were kept quiet and, at Washington’s insistence, were resolved «through diplomatic channels», that is, they were relegated to oblivion. U.S. diplomats and intelligence agents took the Brazilian leadership’s political correctness for weakness and a lack of political will.
Several times (during the presidency of Inacio Lula da Silva) the Brazilian government limited itself to «moderate reprimands» even when they had proof of specific subversive activities by Americans. It is sufficient to remember the U.S. intelligence operations for preparing the seizure of the Amazon basin on the pretext of «preserving» strategic reserves of fresh water «in the interests of humanity».
Amid increasing criticism of the U.S. in Brazilian society, President Dilma Rousseff is expanding relations with China, this time without the traditional glances at Washington’s possible reaction. China, one of Brazil’s partners in BRICS, is skillfully making use of this alliance’s potential to strengthen its positions in the country. The Obama administration has no leverage to hinder this.
The U.S. is gradually losing political and economic influence in Latin America, and the vacuum is being filled by powerful competitors.
If one were to analyze the intensity of visits of high-ranking Chinese leaders to the continent, Beijing definitely holds first place in this regard. As a rule, the visits are well-planned and end in the signing of specific agreements, and, most importantly, these agreements are subsequently implemented.
At the turn of the millennium, the Chinese promised Latin America that it would implement a program for capital investments in the region’s economy. The program is being carried out successfully, from Mexico to Chile and from Ecuador to the island states of the Caribbean Sea.
Without fuss, step by step, the Chinese are opening up the region, demonstrating the effectiveness of their industry, their aerospace potential, their technologies for manufacturing modern armaments, and their agriculture.
The United States can only conduct an increasingly noisy campaign about the growth of the «yellow peril» on the continent, but the Chinese barely react to it. They are confident in their strengths.
And that is one more proof that China has come to the Western Hemisphere, including to the U.S., for the long term, or more accurately, for good.
Experts predict the further consolidation of Brazilian-Chinese relations. Dilma Rousseff is essentially giving a signal to other countries: favorable conditions are now taking shape for getting out from under imperial guardianship and seeking alternatives for development and collaboration without ultimatums and dictates.
Previously, many of these alliances’ decisions were made with a backward glance at Brazil’s position in order not to exacerbate relations with Washington. In particular, this was the case with the issue of creating a South American defense system.
The need for one has come to a head. Sooner or later, the United States will be pushed out of foreign territories, but it will resist this with all its might. Is that not why dozens of U.S. military bases have already been created in Latin America?
Nil NIKANDROV | Strategic Culture Foundation