BRASILIA, July 19 U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
called Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday to try to
smooth tensions caused by allegations that the United States
spied on Brazilian Internet communications, Rousseff's office
Latin America's largest nation has said Washington's
explanations about the National Security Agency's secret
surveillance programs have been unsatisfactory.
"He lamented the negative repercussions in Brazil and
reiterated the U.S. government's willingness to provide more
information on the matter," Rousseff's communications minister,
Helena Chagas, told reporters after the 25-minute telephone
Biden repeated an invitation for Brazil to send a delegation
to the United States to obtain more technical and political
details on the case, Chagas said. She said Brazil accepted the
proposal but has not decided who will go or when.
Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported earlier this month the
NSA targeted Latin American countries with spying programs that
can monitor billions of emails and phone calls for suspicious
activity, citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a fugitive
former U.S. intelligence contractor.
Latin American countries fumed at what they considered a
violation of their sovereignty and demanded explanations and an
The American ambassador in Brazil, Thomas Shannon,
acknowledged that the United States collects large amounts of
data on email traffic but does not access the content of
messages or conduct the monitoring on Brazilian territory. He
said the reports did not paint an accurate picture of U.S.
In Brazil, the United States' largest trading partner in
South America, angry senators questioned a state visit Rousseff
plans to make to Washington in October and a billion-dollar
purchase of U.S.-made fighter jets Brazil has been considering.
Rousseff told Biden her visit is still on and she hoped the
spying matter will be cleared up by then, Chagas said.
"The privacy of citizens and the sovereignty of countries
cannot be infringed in the name of security," Rousseff said to
Biden, according to her minister.
(Reporting by Nestor Rabello; Writing by Anthony Boadle;
Editing by Doina Chiacu)