There's a chance to build a new foreign policy alliance that disdains dictators like Hugo Chávez.
By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY
President Obama's trip to
Yet there is a case to be made for going—to
Unfortunately, Mr. Obama discredited his trip even before it began by peddling it as a trade mission to create jobs and boost the
Let's face it: Mr. Obama's reputation as a protectionist precedes him. If he believes otherwise, our silver-tongued president has a tin ear.
As to the good reason for such a trip, consider the shared geopolitical interests between the
Millions of Brazilians climbing out of poverty is something to celebrate. But it is troubling when the leadership of a formerly isolated sleeping giant announces that it seeks alliances with tyrants. That's what was happening during Lula's time in office.
Lula had a thing for thugs. Given his roots in the left-wing labor movement, his soft spot for
Now Ms. Rousseff wants to shape a new foreign policy that, while far from aligning itself with the
As president, Ms. Rousseff, who was once a member of a Marxist guerrilla group, was expected to be further to the ideological left than her predecessor and just as dangerously populist. But so far she has proven pragmatic. Whereas the charismatic Lula was fond of the limelight, she keeps a low profile. When she does speak, she is serious and measured. Lula complained loudly about media criticism and wanted to clamp down on press freedom. Ms. Rousseff has rejected the idea.
It is an old Brazilian tradition to reserve the foreign ministry for the country's crackpot left. That and the time-tested Brazilian ambition to defeat
Shortly after she won the election runoff last Oct. 3
1, she began criticizing the human rights records of
That could make for a situation not unlike what is unfolding in