Fletcher in the News

Professor Henrikson Comments on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s Canceled State Visit

Christian Science Monitor

Alan Henrikson

When the White House invited Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for an October state visit, it was going to put the strengthening US-Brazil relationship on stage for the world to see. Instead, President Rousseff will stand before the United Nations General Assembly this week and let the world watch as she snubs the US, not only by declining the high honor of a state visit but also as she speaks on Internet privacy and sovereignty...

…The postponement of the state visit may be the first of its kind, according to Alan Henrikson, a professor of diplomatic history at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

“I can't think … of any state visit that was cancelled in this way,” Mr. Henrikson says. However, he notes that it's "very possible" that state visits have been postponed for reasons of elections or natural disasters.

The closest analogies to Rousseff’s postponement, Henrikson says, are the 1960 cancellation of President Eisenhower's visit to Japan due to anti-American riots there. Another example, he says, the animosity at the Paris Summit with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in the same year when the US U2 spy plane crashed over Soviet territory shortly before what was expected to be a productive meeting.

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