Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Obama in Latin America Five Years Ago

Five years ago today I blogged about how President Obama was in El Salvador, after first going to Chile. He has a better team setting these trips up these days, I suppose, as back then multiple media outlets were asking why he was going, and the White House seemed unable to answer clearly. One similarity to his Argentina trip was an effort to bolster centrist governments (whether they be center-right or center-left).

Beside the announcement of declassifying documents, the trip to Argentina now may well be very similar to the El Salvador trip exactly five years ago. There will be some announcements, which will prompt further positive low-level connections between the two countries. The specifics of those announcements will be less important than the highly symbolic image of getting along. Argentines have the lowest opinion of the United States, so this matters.

This doesn't mean there will be any major breakthrough, and this visit will fade into memory. But as I've argued before, the continued low-level connections do matter, and foster better relations.


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