Brazil and the United States signed a defense pact, that despite rumors does not include any access to bases as in Colombia. It has major financial implications, since the U.S. is trying to get Brazil to buy U.S. jets (to the tune of over $4 billion). So what's in the agreement? From the Defense Department:
The accord will expand the two countries’ relationship into promising areas of mutual interest, including research and development, logistics support, technology security and the acquisition of defense products and services. This cooperation not only will strengthen both countries’ military capabilities, but also will provide industrial opportunities, Gates noted.
In addition, the agreement opens the door for more information exchanges about operational experiences, defense technology and peacekeeping operations, as well as more combined training and education and joint military exercises.
This will likely help the U.S. get the jet sale, which in turn deepens and lengthens the defense relationship between the two countries. Given Brazil's prominence, and the Russian selling spree, this is an important deal for the U.S.
I can't help but be bothered by what seems to be a race between the U.S. and Russia to sell weapons and establish defense pacts. They will not make Latin American countries much more secure, and certainly will not contribute to alleviating long-standing socio-economic problems.