Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The vision thing in Latin America

Andres Oppenheimer argues that the way to reduce China's share of trade in Latin America is for the United States to create "an ambitious plan" for Latin American universities.  You are correct: that makes very little sense.  But it emphasizes a problem for those who argue the Obama administration needs a new grand policy vision.

“There is a perceived lack of strategic vision on the part of the United States vis-à-vis the region,” ECLAC’s recent report says. “The Alliance for Progress, the Initiative for the Americas and the Free Trade Area of the Americas were all ambitious U.S. initiatives for regional cooperation. Today, no equivalent to those initiatives exists.”

The FTAA?  It was a failure and is generally seen as an example of the tone deaf nature of the Bush administration as it tried to force the negotiations.  That is not a model to be followed.

China is gobbling up Latin American economies, and would be doing so even if Obama had announced a grandiose vision.  Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Arab Spring (all distractions) would still be happening too.  Fear of being supplanted by China should not lead us toward vague grandiosity.

4 comments:

Vicente Duque 12:21 PM  

Good article of Oppenheimer ( as always ! ) and good opinions of Greg Weeks.

The gravest problems for the USA are in the Eastern Hemisphere, not in the Western one.

Latin Americans have to fight for Great Ideas of Democracy, Freedom, Civil Liberties, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech, Separation of Powers, Access to Justice.

Nobody can do the task for Latin Americans, much less the USA involved in so many problems in the Middle East, Asia and Tough Elections at home with rough issues like Medicare, Social Security, spending in Education for Minorities and the Poor ( the Dream Act ) and Immigration.

I add this to Latin Americans and their duty : Fight against corruption in Governments ( very grave ). Fight against corrupt, lazy and useless bureaucrats, specially in the Judicial System : Useless Fiscalías ( District Attorneys ) and Procuradurías ( overseers of Civil Servants )

In Latin America "civil servants" are "civil dictators" ..

The USA can not replace the "Hope that always springs in the Human Heart", in this case Latin American Hearts.

Vicente Duque

Slave Revolt,  10:45 PM  

Vincente, Latin America also has to increase democratic participation, oligarchic contol of media, ecological rape and pillage, as well as US and other countries supporting repression of workers and the corrupt political regimes that perpetuate these so rid dynamics.

In your view, which is curious given the history of the US in the regions, the US is the good guy that is too hamstrung to direct the region toward more democratic and healthy dynamics.

For the US and other nations, it is about getting raw materials on the cheap--screw the people, democracy, or the ecological devastation.

Your narrative and the underlying assumptions are weak given the well recorded dynamics of hyper-exploitation and general pillage.

Slave Revolt,  10:55 PM  

Of course, I meant to say that Latin American countiries need to resist the well know pathological forces that are Rooted in hyper-exploitation.

This is a no-brainer, really.

But the imperialist narrative still prevails, despite the obvious hypocrisy.

Blame it all on government inefficiencies....weird, given the forces that impact government policies.

You can always blametheproblems on Hugo, Fidel, and Evo--and will have a chorus of English-speaking, educated folk that will bolster this idea with positive feedback.

Slave Revolt,  10:55 PM  

Of course, I meant to say that Latin American countiries need to resist the well know pathological forces that are Rooted in hyper-exploitation.

This is a no-brainer, really.

But the imperialist narrative still prevails, despite the obvious hypocrisy.

Blame it all on government inefficiencies....weird, given the forces that impact government policies.

You can always blametheproblems on Hugo, Fidel, and Evo--and will have a chorus of English-speaking, educated folk that will bolster this idea with positive feedback.

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