Washington afraid of BRICS, needs to spy to maintain hegemony
RT:What impact will the NSA surveillance revelations
have on US ties in the region?
Eric Draitser: It is not going to necessarily have a direct impact, at least not in the way we might traditionally understand it. Where the impact will lie is behind closed doors. The revelations particularly from the perspective of the Brazilians about spying and surveillance, I think it was not necessarily news in Brazil. What was interesting to them was that surveillance was targeting economic interests and business interests. This adds entirely new dimensions to the story. As we all know, Brazil is one of the world’s leading emerging economies. And because the US is the number one trading partner in Latin America, ties between Washington and Brasilia are very, very important. So from a political as well as economic perspective, the Brazilians must be asking themselves, “Should we be questioning this relationship we have with Washington?”
RT:Would you expect a tough reception from Brazil,
given that the country is seeking to strengthen its position as a
key player in the region?
ED: It would depend how we would define a “tough reception.” For all appearances sake, it would go off as it normally would when a Secretary of State visits a foreign country. But as I’ve mentioned, behind closed doors, Brazilians are upset particularly with the regional perspective. We know that much of the surveillance was focused on the Organization of American States and some of the other regional groupings in which Brazil plays a key role and the US is attempting to use its surveillance and intelligence gathering as a way of leveraging the Brazilians as well as their regional partners in terms of their relations. So from a Brazilian perspective, they are asking, “Can we actually trust our American partners not only on the political level, but also on the economic level and simply in terms of international relations?” Remember Brazil has made tremendous strides in improving its relationship with countries like Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and elsewhere; so for them to be put in jeopardy by this sort of program, I think is very troubling for the Brazilian side.
RT:How would you explain the fact that the highest-profile targets on the US spying list are Brazil, Russia, and China - all members of the BRICS bloc?
ED: It is the ruling class in the US that is tremendously fearful of the rising economic power of BRICS grouping. It is not just a formality that we use this term BRICS. It represents a shift in the global economic balance of power - and the US, knowing that its economic power is waning, is using alternative means to exercise hegemony and project its own power and the surveillance that the NSA operates with and other agencies as well. That is the fundamental part of that. Whether it gives the US the upper hand in negotiations, whether it allows them to use blackmail and other forms of leverage – all of this is part of a toolkit of US imperialism in Latin America and around the world.