BOGOTA, Colombia -- Last week, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a U.S. state visit over allegations that the National Security Agency listened into her conversations and spied on state-run oil company Petrobras.
On Tuesday, as she kicks off the United Nations 68th General Assembly, shes expected to vent those grievances to the globe by calling for more oversight and stricter rules to keep the U.S. from being a global peeping tom.
The U.N.s annual six-day event is expected to be dominated by talk of chemical weapons in Syria, the terrorist attack at a Kenyan mall and the prospects of a U.S.-Iran rapprochement. But leaders of the Americas are bringing their own agendas, including allegations of U.S. meddling, development in the Caribbean and peace in Colombia.
Rousseffs call for reining in U.S. intelligence is likely to resonate among nations that have been stung by the spying allegations that came to light after NSA contractor Edward Snowden began revealing details earlier this year.
If the issue comes up, President Barack Obama is likely to respond by making the point that U.S. intelligence activities also increase the security of its allies, Ben Rhodes, a U.S. deputy national security advisor, told reporters.
What the president has said is that were going to be reviewing our intelligence capabilities to ensure that were focused on threats to deal with things like terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, security challenges in different parts of the world, he said. These are not tools that are intended to target, single out friends of the United States.
During his 14 years in power, late President Hugo Chávez used the annual event to put on one of the best shows in international diplomacy, playing air guitar, calling President George W. Bush a sulfur-emitting devil and flogging the books of his favorite authors, including U.S. philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky.
This time its the turn of his successor Nicolás Maduro. Maduro set the stage for his U.N. debut last week by accusing the United States of trying to hamstring his visit by denying visas to members of his delegation a charge the U.S. State Department denied. Venezuela also accused the U.S. of initially denying Maduro the right to fly through U.S. airspace in Puerto Rico on his way to China.
Those gripes will likely get a global airing during Maduros Wednesday address. Whats not known is if Maduro will use the stage to advance his theories that a broad-based conspiracy is causing his countrys economic problems from blackouts to inflation to food shortages. Earlier this month, Maduro said the White House was trying to destroy the nation through a plan called Total Collapse. Those accusations play well with some government loyalists, but its unclear how they would go over internationally, said Saul Cabrera, a political analyst with Consultores 21, a polling and political analysis firm.
Im hoping he doesnt put on a media show like Chávez sometimes did, he said, and instead comes prepared with a thoughtful agenda.
As in years past, Cuban leaders are expected to bring up the U.S. embargo against the island. On Monday, it released the highlights of a report it plans to present on damages to its healthcare system and other costs of the embargo, which it refers to as the blockade.