Brazil Shows Latin America’s New Autonomy from US, Possibilities for El Salvador’s Future
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has canceled an October visit to the US and lambasted the National Security Agency (NSA)’s international surveillance programs in what The Guardian deemed “the most serious diplomatic fallout over the revelations of US spying” leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Rousseff’s actions are the latest evidence of Latin America’s growing independence from US imperialism and hegemony, a trend that could continue in El Salvador should the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party secure a victory in the upcoming February 2014 presidential elections. Snowden's revelations show direct US surveillance of President Rousseff and her aids’ personal communications, along with targeting the state-run oil company Petrobras. In her address to the UN general assembly on Tuesday, September 24, President Rousseff sharply condemned US’s anti-democratic infringement upon Brazilian sovereignty: “In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among nations.” Rousseff, who suffered imprisonment and torture for participation in the armed popular resistance to the Brazilian military dictatorship in the 1970s, invoked the ongoing historic struggle for justice and freedom across Latin America: “As many other Latin Americans, I fought against authoritarianism and censorship and I cannot but defend, in an uncompromising fashion, the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country.” Strong words and serious action from Brazil have been accompanied by similar expressions of outrage from nations like Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, who have offered asylum to Snowden in the face of US demands for his extradition from his current location in Russia. FMLN presidential candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén has pledged has pledged that his administration would look to these Latin American nations in building alternatives to the US-led neoliberal development model of dependency and domination. The 2014 elections will mark a pivotal moment for El Salvador, a choice between a return to decades of subordination to US political and corporate interests by the local right-wing oligarchic elite, and the new paths of regional cooperation, sustainability and economic justice being forged by El Salvador’s neighbors to the south. Join CISPES in this historic moment for El Salvador as an international elections observer on our January 25-February 5 delegation! Click HERE to apply today!