Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has canceled her trip to the U.S. over spying by the National Security Agency.
The news was first reported by O Globo on Tuesday and later confirmed in an official statement by the Brazilian government.
Signs had emerged earlier this month that Rousseff would cancel the state visit scheduled for October 23, including a statement from one unnamed Brazilian official who said of the spying scandal, “This is a major, major crisis …. There needs to be an apology. It needs to be public. Without that, it’s basically impossible for her to go to Washington in October.”
Rousseff had a 20-minute phone conversation with President Obama on Monday to discuss the revelations that the NSA had spied on Latin American citizens including the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, but Rousseff was unsatisfied with Obama’s explanations for the surveillance, the Brazilian newspaper reported.
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The official statement called the “illegal practices” of the NSA an “assault on national sovereignty and individuals’ rights.”
It adds that both presidents had decided to postpone the visit and that “once the matter was resolved adequately” a visit by Rousseff to the U.S. would take place.
In a further sign of spying backlash, Rousseff is pushing legislative measures for her country to “divorce itself from the U.S.-centric Internet” by storing Internet data from Facebook and Google locally to keep it out of the reach of the NSA’s prying eyes.
According to the Associated Press, Rousseff asked a legislator to add the language about Facebook and Google data to an Internet bill that “has been before Brazil’s lower house since 2011,” but the President can force a vote on a bill within 45 days.
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