Thursday, June 30, 2011

British view of US and Latin America

Refreshing to see a British citizen testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.  Michael Reid is the Americas editor for The Economist.  It is good for members of Congress to hear things like the following:

This problem is in part externally generated, by the failure of prohibition to reduce substantially demand for illegal drugs in the United States and Europe, and by the failure of the United States to prevent the export of small arms or take more effective action against money-laundering. The committee should not underestimate the extent to which the United States is seen as part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, of violent crime in Latin America.

It is also good for them to hear a reminder that even if you do not like Hugo Chávez, employing provocative measures backfires.


Tambopaxi 6:45 AM  

Thanks, Greg. Don't know who invited Reid, but his statements are exactly the sort of thing that American leaders - and Americans, for that matter - should be hearing. It's America and its wrong-headed, bull-headed policies that are at the heart of these problems, these tragedies (I refer to the drug wars). Perhaps our political leadership will wake up and admit to all of this one of these days, but I'm not holding my breath...

Tim Høiland 9:12 AM  

Thanks for sharing this. Have you read Reid's "Forgotten Continent"?

Greg Weeks 11:00 AM  

I haven't, though I must say I am always dubious about books that claim there is some sort of Latin American "soul."

Tim Høiland 11:41 AM  

It's an odd choice for the subtitle. Didn't seem to have much to do with the book itself. Maybe a publisher scheme... does "soul" sell?

Justin Delacour 5:14 PM  

does "soul" sell?

That's a sensitive question in the social sciences. It's generally more convenient to avoid the question altogether.

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