On Tuesday the US Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis met with Brazil military leaders with the aim of consolidating ties in the region, as well as to fend against Chinese influence. Secretary Mattis reminded Brazil of their shared history dating back to World War 2 and there aligning values.
The US is very interested in partnering with the Brazil Alcantara space centre, as it advantageous equator location makes it ideal for effective rocket launches. China is also working to build up a space framework, agriculture and mineral ties throughout South America, so the US is worried it may start losing influence in the region as a result.
US relations in Latin America haven’t been the best especially after the failed ‘War on Drugs’ campaign, which is one of the reasons China has been able to grow in the region. But the US and the secretary of defence are committed to re-establishing Latin America influence, with Brazil being the first leg the secretary’s tour.
Secretary Mattis praised Brazil as a regional leader, its multiple UN peacekeeping missions and its efforts in managing the Venezuelan crisis. The Brazilian defence minister also stated that solving the Venezuelan crisis will need Brazil to take on a leadership role.