Jobim is currently analyzing the details of the three warplane bids, which include Gripen fighter jets made by the Swedish firm SAAB in addition to Boeing’s F-18s and Dassault’s Rafales, and he said that he will make his recommendation to Lula within twenty days. The United States has promised to transfer the military technology associated with F-18 fighter jets to Brazil if Boeing wins the contract for thirty-six airplanes that the South American country is seeking to buy, Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said today. Jobim, who left for Cuba to join President Lula, who will arrive in Havana today, said that one of the sources of tension is the U.S. embargo on the Caribbean island and urged a change in the U.S. policy of isolation. He asserted, in addition, that U.S. cooperation in rebuilding Haiti is helping to lessen the distrust present in the region. Jobim admitted that in the first days following the earthquake there was tension over the respective competencies of the U.S. troops and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), led militarily by Brazil, but he said that the issue was quickly resolved. The administration in Washington “affirms that it supports the project; they’re talking about around 98 percent (technology transfer),” Jobim told the press after a meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Robert Gates. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the bid submitted by the French firm Dassault is ahead in the public competition. “The president (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva) has expressed his political predisposition with regard to France, but it’s evident that there has to be a technical foundation for that, and that is precisely what I’m in the middle of working on,” he affirmed. After that, the Brazilian president will submit the matter to the National Defense Council, an advisory body, and after receiving its opinion, will make the final decision. Jobim affirmed that the winning bid should plan for training Brazilian personnel on the new equipment, in addition to technology transfer. In this regard, the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has communicated to the Brazilian government that the administration will authorize the handover of “relevant information and the transfer of needed technologies” by Boeing. By Dialogo February 25, 2010 Brazilian President Luiz da Silva is leaning towards France because they promise a full transfer of technology, whatever that means. Why doesn’t the US do the same, since it’s a multi-billion contract and Brazil is the most important player in the region? Gates requested today’s meeting with Jobim, who had initially planned only a visit to New York, and in the meeting the two agreed on a trip by the U.S. secretary to Brazil in April, according to the minister. Jobim also confirmed an upcoming visit by Clinton to Brazil, although he did not give dates. In his meeting with Gates, the Brazilian minister raised the subject of the “deep distrust South America has with regard to the United States,” he explained. Gates admitted this lack of trust, since “there are simply countries that speak ill” of the United States, Jobim said. The Pentagon did not make any statement on the subject. The important thing now is to facilitate financing for rebuilding projects, he said. Brazil has proposed building a small hydroelectric plant with the capacity to generate thirty-two megawatts of energy for Port-au-Prince, with an estimated cost of 200 million dollars. “We need help for this, and the United States is ready to help,” said Jobim, who discussed the subject with Gates and with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, with whom he also met in Washington. Jobim said that he is now analyzing what “those adjectives” mean, having received the U.S. proposal. The other two bids also include technology transfer, even in the case of SAAB, which builds fighters that incorporate parts and systems from various countries, such as the United States, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.