In terms of the Obama administration's policies toward Latin America, everyone is focusing on Venezuela and Cuba. Yet despite all the hand wringing about handshakes, the administration's most substantive work is actually a continuation of Bush administration policies--free trade agreements. The U.S. Trade Representative is meeting with Colombian officials to hammer out a deal that might get sent to Congress this year.
This is almost completely under the popular radar at the moment, which probably will increase its chances at success. The Bush administration was bombastic, soaking the country with op-eds spelling out apocalyptic scenarios if the FTA did not pass. That approach helped doom the entire effort.
Apparently part of the negotiations will be a show of proof that the murderers of labor leaders are being brought to justice:
On Colombia, Kirk will address concerns over the murder of labor leaders by showing that the country is arresting, convicting, and imprisoning those responsible, said Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council.
We'll see how that goes. Can he actually be BFF with both Chávez and Uribe?