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Is Obama snubbing another foreign leader?

After the Gordon Brown debacle, you would think the White House would put a little more thought into planning for visits by visiting heads of state. But Brazil is already grumbling about the treatment of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will sit down with Obama this weekend and is the first Latin American ...

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a ceremony to launch a rubella vaccination campaign at Plananto Palace in Brasilia on March 3, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Evaristo SA (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)

After the Gordon Brown debacle, you would think the White House would put a little more thought into planning for visits by visiting heads of state. But Brazil is already grumbling about the treatment of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will sit down with Obama this weekend and is the first Latin American leader to visit the White House under the new administration.

Silva aides said the trip was pushed forward from Tuesday because of the St. Patrick's Day holiday - making Latin America once again look like an afterthought. Then, the White House announcement misspelled his name as "Luis Ignacio" and put "Lula" - a nickname that decades ago became a legal part of the Brazilian leader's name - in quotes.

I'm sure he'll feel better when he gets his DVDs.

After the Gordon Brown debacle, you would think the White House would put a little more thought into planning for visits by visiting heads of state. But Brazil is already grumbling about the treatment of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will sit down with Obama this weekend and is the first Latin American leader to visit the White House under the new administration.

Silva aides said the trip was pushed forward from Tuesday because of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday – making Latin America once again look like an afterthought. Then, the White House announcement misspelled his name as “Luis Ignacio” and put “Lula” – a nickname that decades ago became a legal part of the Brazilian leader’s name – in quotes.

I’m sure he’ll feel better when he gets his DVDs.

I know Obama’s got bigger things to worry about, but there is a whole office of protocol that’s supposed to take care of these things. If they can put together a Stevie Wonder concert, they should be able to arrange White House visits from the world’s most important leaders with a little more class than this.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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