Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Walk Loud and Don't Bother With The Stick

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Francisco Palmieri, laid out some of the elements in Donald Trump's Latin America policy.  He focused on Cuba and Venezuela.

--The administration will be unveiling "changes" to the Obama administration's Cuba policy, to somehow be more focused on human rights.

--Trump is "concerned" about Venezuela and thinks the solution is "more democracy."

There are no details and little chance Trump is paying all that much attention to Latin America, which is good. The best case scenario is that Trump does very little and then proclaims victory, which has been a common pattern for him. I think it is also the most likely scenario.

Yes, H.R. McMaster met with Julio Borges and Trump talked to Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as well about Venezuela. Absent a Latin American response, however, there is not much Trump can or should do. Actually, a better way of putting this is that I do not think Trump is capable of doing anything more positive. It is better to very little than to do something counterproductive. He can feel free to claim credit if he wants.


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