Everyone is talking about whether or not Latin America was included in the debates. At least even though Barack Obama never mentions it, Hillary Clinton has been deepening ties with Brazil. For all the complaints about disengagement, lack of leadership, etc. the Obama administration got kudos from the Brazilian Foreign Minister two days ago:
FOREIGN MINISTER PATRIOTA: Thank you so much. Let me say how pleased I am to be in Washington for this fourth edition of our Global Partnership Dialogue. We’ve had frequent high-level contacts between Brazil and the United States over the past two years. We were very happy to welcome President Obama last year to Brasilia, and President Dilma was delighted to come to the White House this year. We had two visits by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Brazil: one in the context of the Global Partnership Dialogue and also the Open Government Partnership that we have been working on together; then for Rio+20. And of course, we appreciated greatly the U.S. participation and Secretary Clinton’s statement at the Conference on Sustainable Development.
This is my second time in Washington. We are not only having frequent high-level contacts, but I think the quality of the dialogue has also been improving and more in-depth discussions on issues such as possibilities for cooperation in Africa. This time around, we concentrated on the Middle East and the Far East, and I know that the two Under Secretaries who came with me, they found this extremely useful. So we would like to pursue and institutionalize, as you said, Hillary, this mechanism so that we continue deriving the greatest possible benefit from these discussions.
Public acknowledgment of engagement with Brazil is important. Not earth-shattering, but important. It is unfortunate, however, that this stuff does not get reported. There is almost nothing on these meetings, and even the reporting focuses on what Clinton said about the Middle East, not about Brazil.