US praise Brazilian support to Venezuelans in anniversary message

US praise Brazilian support to Venezuelans in anniversary message

The US government praised Brazil's support for the people of Venezuela and described the country as a "major non-NATO ally" in a message issued today, on the occasion of the country's 197th Independence Day.

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I am honored to congratulate the people of Brazil on the 197th anniversary of your independence on September 7. The United States and Brazil enjoy strong ties based on a foundation of shared democratic values and mutual respect between our peoples," wrote US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

"We also renewed our steadfast commitment to promoting human rights and democracy throughout the hemisphere. Brazil"s continued support for the people of Venezuela - especially the more than 178.000 who have sought refuge in Brazil - is a testament to Brazil"s commitment to regional security and our shared values," Pompeo added.

In early May, US President Donald Trump began the process of designating Brazil as a Major Non-NATO Ally.

"I am making this designation in recognition of the Government of Brazil's recent commitments to increase defense cooperation with the United States, and in recognition of our own national interest in deepening our defense coordination with Brazil," Trump said in a brief message issued on that occasion.

Such commitment was also evoked in Pompeo's message, which was issued on the occasion of Brazil's Independence Day (Saturday).

"President Bolsonaro"s subsequent visit to Washington in March further elevated our bilateral partnership, including the designation of Brazil as a Major Non-NATO Ally and the signing of a Technology Safeguards Agreement. The ties between our countries are stronger than ever," Pompeo said.

Brazil will thus become the second Latin American country - after Argentina - and the 18th in the world to gain the status of a Major Non-NATO Ally.

This designation opens the door for the delivery of surplus defense material and joint military operations with the US.

Pompeo also said that Brazil and the US are "the two largest democracies and economies in the Americas," adding that "this year we greatly expanded our cooperation across a wide range of areas, including security and defense, science and technology, and educational exchange."

Also in May, the US expressed its support for Brazil initiating the accession procedure to become a full member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

"The United States reiterates its support for Brazil initiating the OECD accession procedure, as announced on March 19, in Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro's joint statement," the US embassy in Brasilia tweeted.

Donald Trump has declared his support for Brazil's OECD campaign since Jair Bolsonaro's official visit to the US in March.

Brazil became an OECD partner in 2007, but has not attained full membership yet. The country formally requested to join the OECD in 2017, and is still waiting for a response.