WASHINGTON DC – US President Donald Trump has notified Congress of his decision to designate Brazil as its main non-NATO partner, as Washington attempts to ratchet up pressure on Caracas, where Maduro’s government has recently succeeded in warding off two rounds of intensive coup-attempts.
FRN assesses that these moves represent attempts by the Trump administration to gear NATO towards Monroe Doctrine types of operations. This is a complicated endeavor because the main tension between the EU and Washington is over whether Washington will be allowed to insert itself as middle-man on Latin American business dealings, particularly in the area of banking and finance. Presently, Venezuela has strong ties not just to Russia, but also to Southern and Western European banking establishments.
The information was released in a White House statement without further details. According to the note, the appointment is linked to the US recognition of Brazil’s commitment to “increase cooperation on defense issues”, in particular surrounding Cuba and Venezuela.
“I am making this designation in recognition of the Government of Brazil’s recent commitments to increase defense cooperation with the United States, and in recognition of our own national interest in deepening our defense coordination with Brazil,” Trump wrote in a letter to the Congress and released by the White House.
Trump sends notice to Congress intent to designate Brazil as a Major Non-NATO Ally pic.twitter.com/v9bFIBdjeE
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) May 8, 2019
During the visit of President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) to Washington in the United States, the possibility of making Brazil a preferred NATO ally was voiced. In the White House, Donald Trump said that intends to name Brazil for the position.
On Monday, it was reported that the blockade was maintained for the analysis of new members joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which represents a failure to comply with Donald Trump’s promise to Jair Bolsonaro of support the entry of Brazil into the organization.
Trump also announced back in March that he was “very strongly” considering NATO membership for Brazil, during a visit from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the White House.
NATO leadership is a little cooler towards the idea of Brazilian integration. Secretary-General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg said last week that Brazil may not join the military pact, but could become “a very close partner” of the group.
NATO is currently made up of 29 full-fledged member states, and a handful of so-called “aspiring members,” including Ukraine and Georgia. Twenty-one more countries are considered partner states, with Colombia the most recent South American addition.
Bolsonaro rose to power last October as an unabashed admirer of President Trump, and his trip to Washington this year was the right-wing leader’s first trip abroad for a bilateral meeting. Since taking office, Bolsonaro has remained a supporter of American foreign policy, following Washington’s lead in recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s claim to the country’s presidency, and coordinating a politically-loaded humanitarian shipment to Venezuela with the US.