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Brazilian President Lula Critical Of US Policy In Latin America

12/27/2010 7:35 PM ET

Brazil's outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has yet again lashed out at the US for persisting with its policies towards South America, reports said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast meeting in the capital Brasilia, Lula lamented that the election of President Barack Obama had brought little change to the "empire's" approach on Latin America.

"Nothing has changed in the US vision of Latin America, which makes me sad," he said.

According to the Brazilian leader, the United States ought to realize the importance of its relations with Latin America. "The United States needs to realize the importance of its relations with Latin America, because of the proximity (to the region), because of the number of Latinos in the United States and because it is a peaceful continent," Lula said.

Following Obama's election, bilateral ties have cooled off somewhat in contrast to the tenure of former US President George W Bush who enjoyed a personal rapport with Lula.

On Sunday,Lula will step down from office to make way for his chosen successor, Dilma Rousseff, who was elected in October.

Rousseff, meanwhile has already named Brazil's former ambassador to the United States, Antonio Patriota, as foreign minister, which could signal a thaw in relations with Washington.

by RTT Staff Writer

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