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Brazil and the United States Relations

Introduction

Brazil is the most powerful country in the South American continent. Its social-economic status evokes the diplomatic enthusiasm of the United States of America[1]. To determine a country’s status in the sphere of global and regional leadership, three dimensions are critical to examine. These include territorial, economic, and military controls[2]. Relations between Brazil and the United States have been generally amiable and at worst somewhat adversarial in the past. As of lately the relationship, is even more strained? The current Obama administration has not yet addressed the alleged accusations of espionage towards Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president. This paper seeks to discuss the political, social, and economic relationship between the two nations from the 1950s to date.

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How did the conflicts begin?

The conflict between Brazil and the United States was evidently prevalent in the 1950s. During this time, the Brazilian government adopted a Capitalist governance system. The main cause of disagreement between the two nations was based on political priorities. The United States insisted that Brazil should conduct a considerable amount of work in all spheres, especially in the military and political frontage. However, Brazil had the opposite opinion[3]. Vargas, the president at that time, focused more on economic development than on the military and political issues[4]. Ironically, the same issues he chose to ignore led to his alleged suicide.

Americans opposition to Brazil’s development agenda

Nonetheless, even his predecessor, Juscelino Kubitschek, was determined to enhance Brazil’s international status in the eyes of Americans[5]. Brazil’s aspiration to be a global political and economic giant did not find approval in the eyes of the United States. Nonetheless, soon after coming to power in 1956, Juscelino Kubitschek made and supported the industrialization efforts[6]. Brazil was seeking economic liberation in the late ’50s and this did not favor the United States’ interests in the country. In 1958, the president proposed his country’s withdrawal from the Pan-American Operation[7]. Later on, in 1959, Brazil terminated its association with the International Monetary Fund and defiantly re-establishing its commercial ties with the Soviet Union[8].

Brazil’s foreign policies posed a threat to the US

These events proved that the nation was gradually becoming a reputable global authority. The Brazilian foreign policies were founded on national interests and this was made clear by the country’s resistance to sanctions against Cuba[9]. Brazil enjoyed an economic and diplomatic relationship with Cuba. Brazil under the leadership of president Goulart also reinstated its diplomatic associations with the Soviet Union and its trade with China resumed[10]. These events were progressively destroying the relationship between the US and Brazil.

Effects of Brazil’s foreign policies on American agenda in the region

As if to disappoint the US, the Brazilian government declined the support of the invasion of Cuba. The United States was worried by Brazil’s Nationalist measures enacted by president Goulart[11]. At this point, the relationships between the two countries were already weakening. The tense relationships between the United States and Brazil were getting out of hand. The North American business community intervened in the internal struggles in Brazil and the situation worsened leading to the coup d’état in 1964[12]. This marked the fall of Goulart and the rise of General Humberto Castelo Branco. At this point, the United States was not interested in restoring democracy in Brazil. Rather they were interested in transforming Brazil into a bulwark against Cuban influence in the region[13].

Brazil’s Relationship with the Clinton and Bush’s administration

In the 1990s, the rivalry between the two nations was very clear. During the time of Clinton’s presidency, launching the anti-narcotics strategy, President Cardoso, was inviting presidents to the region to form an economic unit[14]. This was a threat to the relationships between the two countries. Nonetheless, during President Lula’s tenure, US-Brazil relationships improved[15]. This was influenced by the Brazilian president’s quest for a positive bilateral relationship with the US. However, President Lula [16]continued to support the economic unity for his region in order to improve Brazil’s bargaining power against the US[17].

Brazilian’s current perception of the US and the espionage reports

Brazil believes that the United States of America can be either a prime supporter or a prime obstacle to its long-term achievements as a global leader in 2012[18]. The country worries that the US feels threatened by the possibility of its economic independence[19]. They suspect that the US will do everything possible to ensure that this will not happen and this is already being experienced with the frustrations experienced in the Mercosur project.

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The recent point of conflict between the two countries is about the espionage reports[20]. Brazil has expressed its displeasure and fear of its right to sovereignty being breached. The documents leaked by a former National security contractor, Edward Snowden, have raised controversy between the two nations. The espionage reports show that the surveillance began a month before the current President Enrique Pena Nieto took office. This has led to a standoff between Brazil and the United States in a new era of Obama’s administration.

Conclusion

To understand the conflicts between Brazil and the US, this research has identified Brazil’s social-economic and political position in the South American continent. The paper further explains in detail how the conflict began providing facts of its development in chronological order. In the paper, America’s displeasure in Brazilian’s development strides is clearly shown. In addition, the foreign policies that the US disapproved from the inception of their enactment are discussed. Lastly, the paper reviews the relationships between the countries in the recent past.

  1. Larison, Daniel. “Fixing the U.S.-Brazil Relationship.” Theamericanconservative. 2104.
  2. Porter, Keith. “The Relationship of the United States with Brazil.” About. 2014.
  3. Alberto, Luiz. “Brazil and the United States: from dependency to equality.” Opendemocracy. 2003.
  4. Alberto, Luiz. “Brazil and the United States: from dependency to equality.” Opendemocracy. 2003.
  5. Alberto, Luiz. “Brazil and the United States: from dependency to equality.” Opendemocracy. 2003.
  6. Weisbrot, Mark. “U.S. Relations with Brazil and South America Still Worsening.” Center for Economic and Policy Research. 2013.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Farnsworth, Eric. “U.S., Brazil Search for Equilibrium in an Unstable Relationship.” World Politics Review. 2013.
  10. Farnsworth, Eric. “U.S., Brazil Search for Equilibrium in an Unstable Relationship.” World Politics Review. 2013.
  11. Buzan, Barry, and Ole Weaver. Regions and Powers. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 67-79.
  12. Hirst, Monica. The United States and Brazil: a Long Road of Unmet Expectations. (New York: Routledge, 2005), 56-89.
  13. Amanda, Earley. “Brazil’s “love-hate” relationship with the United States.” Amanda Earley. 2009.
  14. Hirst, Monica. “Brazil as an intermediate state and regional power: action, choice, and responsibilities,” International Affairs 82, no. 1 (2006): 23.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Buzan, Barry, and Ole Weaver. Regions and Powers. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 67-79.
  17. Russell, Jim. “Geopolitics of Talent: the United States vs. Brazil.” Psmag. 2013.
  18. Wertheimera, Linda. “As Brazil Grows, U.S. Refits Relationship.” Npr. 2012.
  19. Hoffman, Stanley. “The Foreign Policy the US Needs,” The New York Review of books 53, no. 13 (2006): 106.
  20. Porter, Keith. “The Relationship of the United States with Brazil.” About. 2014.

Bibliography

Amanda, Earley. “Brazil’s “love-hate” relationship with the United States.” Amanda Earley. Web.

Alberto, Luiz. “Brazil and the United States: from dependency to equality.” Opendemocracy. Web.

Farnsworth, Eric. “U.S., Brazil Search for Equilibrium in an Unstable Relationship.World Politics Review. Web.

Larison, Daniel. “Fixing the U.S.-Brazil Relationship.Theamericanconservative. Web.

Buzan, Barry, and Ole Weaver. Regions and Powers. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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Hirst, Monica. “Brazil as an intermediate state and regional power: action, choice, and responsibilities”. International Affairs 82, no. 1 (2006): 21-24.

Hirst, Monica. The United States and Brazil: a Long Road of Unmet Expectations. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Hoffman, Stanley. “The Foreign Policy the US Needs”. The New York Review of books 53, no. 13 (2006): 102-123.

Porter, Keith. “The Relationship of the United States with Brazil.” About. Web.

Russell, Jim. “Geopolitics of Talent: United States vs. Brazil.” Psmag. Web.

Weisbrot, Mark. “U.S. Relations with Brazil and South America Still Worsening.” Center for Economic and Policy Research. Web.

Wertheimera, Linda. “As Brazil Grows, U.S. Refits Relationship.” Npr. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Brazil and the United States Relations." January 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/brazil-and-the-united-states-relations/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Brazil and the United States Relations." January 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/brazil-and-the-united-states-relations/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Brazil and the United States Relations'. 4 January.

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