Thursday, April 09, 2015

Noriega: Blame Obama!

I mentioned in February that Jeb Bush had chosen Roger Noriega as one of his Latin America advisors. Noriega's current take is that President Obama is to blame for virtually everything in Latin America, and that we need to look to the model of Augusto Pinochet for inspiration. Why he consciously chose to mention Pinochet by name is beyond me, though he may well want to convey that the general is unfairly maligned.

Beyond that, he offers a tirade that at times is literally difficult to understand. For example:

Central American governments, whose promising economies were integrated into a free trade agreement with the United States just nine years ago, now are struggling to stem the tide of migrants fleeing poverty and drug-fueled violence.

He might be surprised to know that Central American governments are still integrated into the same free trade agreement; I don't know where he thinks it went. It actually makes more sense to ask what the correlation might exist between the two, but he chooses to blame Obama for...I'm not sure what.

Aside from that, he blames Obama in whole or in part for President Santos' negotiations with the FARC, Brazil and Mexico's economic problems, and of course Cuba and Venezuela.

Noriega and those who agree with him are usually referred to in terms of having a permanent Cold War mentality. Perhaps even more importantly, they reflect the firm belief that the U.S. must "fix" Latin America whether the region wants it or not. The U.S. knows best how to run your economy, deal with your internal conflicts, and run your government. If you disagree and certainly if you resist, you're an adversary.


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