Front-running Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva says that if elected she'll work to repair ties with the U.S. damaged by American espionage in Brazil.

She also wants Brazil to be a global leader in human rights and the environment. Silva says she'll underscore her personal commitment to human rights with regimes like Cuba, where she says a transformation to a democratic regime is possible.

Silva spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday in an exclusive, hour-long interview in Rio de Janeiro.

It's the first time she's granted an interview to a foreign media outlet since being thrust into Brazil's presidential campaign after the death of her Socialist Party's original candidate in a plane crash last month.

Heading into next month's vote, Silva is tied in polls with incumbent Dilma Rousseff.