Brazil may cancel US$4 billion fighter jets deal with US over NSA spying scandal

Eurasia News

BRASILIA: Brazil may cancel a deal worth more than US$4 billion to purchase dozens of military planes from the US after it was revealed that US National Security Agency (NSA) also conducted electronic surveillance on Brazilian Internet communications, Dispatch News Desk reported.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in the capital of Brasilia on Tuesday but the two leaders will not discuss the deal on purchase of 36 US fighter jets which cost more than US$4 billion.

“We cannot talk about the fighters now… You cannot give such a contract to a country that you do not trust,” said a high-level Brazilian government official on condition of anonymity.

The official further said that Kerry’s single-day visit to the country will focus on restoring the trust between Washington and Brasilia that was shaken by the spying disclosures, triggering a political fury in a country that remains the largest US trade partner in Latin America.

The development comes following the publication in July this year of documents leaked by whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, exposing US surveillance of Internet communications in Latin American states, including Brazil.

The revelation of the American spying efforts led to angry opposition by Brazilian lawmakers to Rousseff’s scheduled visit to Washington as well as signing the multibillion-dollar military contract to purchase 36 US fighter jets in a bid to overhaul Brazilian Air Force’s fleet of warplanes.