There is a lot at stake here for the major U.S. foreign policy institutions, which include the 17 intelligence agencies, State Department, Pentagon, White House National Security Council, and foreign policy committees of the Senate and House.
There is no doubt that Lula has changed Brazil's foreign policy and has joined with other left-of-center Latin American leaders in bringing about historic changes in the region. Now, Brazil's election will resonate far beyond its borders.
In the set of developing countries, Brazil is relatively privileged. It can stand up to the U.S. and get away with it. Some poor country in Africa might not be able to do the same -- privilege creates responsibility.
Feeling a clear and present danger from Team Obama's new bases designed to contain the FARC, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is threatening retaliation and cutting off oil exports to his top customer, the U.S.
The two front-runners in the race to succeed Brazilian President da Silva, one of the world's most popular leaders, resigned from their current political posts yesterday, kicking off what is bound to be a competitive election.