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The fallout from the scandal over US espionage in Brazil is spreading, and Brazilian makers of telephone network equipment may be the beneficiaries. But Brazil should remember the last time it closed its borders to high tech imports, when the result was not a thriving local industry but years of technological backwardness. Read more

It’s become one of the most talked about questions in Brasília this week – will President Dilma Rousseff cancel her state visit to the US next month?

Brazil’s government has reacted with outrage this week over reports that the US has been spying on Dilma’s phone calls and emails – the latest twist in the recent saga over mass monitoring by the US National Security Agency.

On Thursday the president’s office said that Dilma had cancelled a preliminary trip of her advisers to Washington, raising further speculation. Read more

Latin America has never received so much attention from the world’s biggest economies.

As China’s Xi Jinping prepares to make his first state visit to Latin America this week – stopping off at Mexico, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago – US Vice President Joe Biden has also been on the charm offensive. Read more

If there is a slowdown in Brazil, George Fertitta is not seeing it.

As the head of NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism board, Fertitta has witnessed the meteoric rise of Brazilian visitors to the Big Apple. Last year, Brazil became the second most important overseas market for the city after the UK: 826,000 Brazilians came to visit, compared with 112,000 in 2006.

“We have never seen anything like it,” said Fertitta. “We have had big surges in visitors from Ireland but the surge from Brazil is unique in scale.”

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Too bad Barack Obama isn’t running for office in Brazil – the real Barack Obama, that is. The US president is so popular there that more than a dozen candidates at last month’s municipal elections adopted his surname to try and differentiate themselves from the rest of the field. One candidate, according to CNN, even called himself “Barata Obama”, which literally translates as “Cockroach Obama”. Read more

Raise a glass. The US and Brazil look set to resolve one of their longest running disputes – over whether to recognise each other’s national liquors as distinctive.

In Brazil’s case, it has been smarting for years over the labelling in the US of its national spirit, cachaça, used in the caipirinha cocktail, as “Brazilian rum” for US taxation purposes. Producers complain this subjects it to a tax regime designed to subsidise US-based rum manufacturers. It also makes it harder to market cachaça as something special to US consumers.

On Monday, the US finally pledged to recognize cachaça as unique. Brazil, meanwhile, will recognize US bourbon and Tennessee whiskey as different from other types of whisky. Read more

It was once the norm in the US to casually brand any equatorial Latin American country as a banana republic. But now it is the US that through its erratic decision-making is displaying the tendencies of a banana republic. At least that is the view from Brazil.

What else could explain the fiasco of the Super Tucano contract this week? Read more