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The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) have just concluded their sixth annual meeting in Brazil. The major deliverable was economic in form and content, but its major significance is primarily geopolitical.

Last October, President Dilma Rousseff was to be the first Brazilian leader to attend a White House state dinner in two decades. Instead, angered by revelations that her phone calls and email had been intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA), she became the first leader to cancel a state dinner hosted by a U.S. president, lambasting U.S. surveillance as a violation of international law and a “totally unacceptable” infringement of Brazil’s sovereignty.

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