Lessons from Recife: Riordan Roett on America’s Intervention in Brazil


China is South America’s largest trading partner. Brazil, the region’s largest economy and the Western Hemisphere’s second-largest democracy, has recently deepened relations with China. As the United States competes for influence with China around the globe, and as authoritarianism gains ground in places like Brazil, what will US engagement in the region look like? US intervention and influence in the region is nothing new, especially in Brazil, which this week’s guest walks us through. Professor Riordan Roett takes us on his journey as a young Fulbright Scholar living in northeast Brazil during the Cold War, to becoming one of America’s leading experts on the country. Seeing firsthand the consequences of US intervention, Roett argues that Washington should take a more grassroots approach to development support, bolster its diplomatic corps, and invest more in cultural engagement to strengthen ties with the region.

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