President Obama is already getting some pokes for traveling to Latin America despite the crises in the Middle East and Japan, not to mention a budget debate at home. From the Wall Street Journal:
With the Middle East in turmoil, Japan’s nuclear reactors at least partly melting down and Congress in the midst of a budget battle, President Barack Obama is going to … Latin America.
Of course, he would also be criticized if he chose to postpone the trip. In general, it reflects well on Latin America that it is not crisis-ridden enough to get the global spotlight. In fact, Obama will likely talk about successful political transitions in Latin America in a comparative context. It's downright comparative politics!
But during his trip to Latin America next week, Obama is likely to use his visit to a region that has undergone a long process of transitioning from authoritarian regimes to democratization to finally address the future of the Middle East.
I have a feeling these will be superficial comparisons, but I will be interested to hear how he frames them.