There has been a surge of published advice for Obama with regard to Latin America policy. Today's version comes from the San Francisco Chronicle, and mostly follows the main points of the Brookings Institution study.
I am repeating myself, but it is noteworthy how similar they all are. You must make reference to an "opportunity," in this particular case an "enormous" opportunity. Then you list some specific policy choices. Sometimes the policy choices are ridiculous (e.g. the NYT calling to bring the IMF into Latin America more deeply). Sometimes, as in this particular article, the policy choices are OK but the language is revealing for its assumptions about the dominant role the U.S. should play.
- We want "cooperation" but this is our "traditional backyard" and so if China or Russia seeks trading partners, it represents "prowling" regardless of what Latin American leaders think.
- The way to send a regional message of "cooperation" is to sign an FTA with Colombia, because it is critical for Obama to "morph" into a free trade advocate. Whether Latin American leaders believe Colombia to be the test case for cooperation is not explored.
- Overall, we want "cooperation" but policy changes toward Cuba will create a "quiet storm of U.S. influence." How or why this is the case is not explained.