President Barack Obama says he plans “to forge new alliances for progress in the Americas” in a visit to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador in March.
“Around the globe, we are standing with those who take responsibility,” he says in remarks prepared for delivery in tonight’s State of the Union address.
The trip will be Obama’s first to South America, either as president or as a private citizen, said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser.
“It’s an important opportunity to strengthen very important partnerships,” Rhodes said in a briefing to reporters before Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress.
“Brazil is, of course, a key emerging power, has a new president, and this is an opportunity to really get off on a strong and right foot with the new president of Brazil,” Rhodes said.
On Nov. 1, Dilma Rousseff won a presidential runoff with 55 percent of the vote, replacing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who picked her as his successor. In her inaugural address, Rousseff vowed to protect the nation’s industries from “indiscriminate flows of speculative capital.”
Rhodes also said that “Chile has been a close partner in the Americas, and El Salvador in Central America as well.”