Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden and Latin America

By now everyone knows that Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his running mate. He is known primarily for his foreign policy experience and his really big white teeth.

What would this mean for U.S. policy toward Latin America? We have to start with the obvious point that VPs (usually) don't make policy, and even if they do, they don't care much about Latin America compared to other hotspots around the world.

In general, though, I think we can characterize Biden as Mr. Status Quo, and left to his own devices my hunch is that his policies would be scarcely different from George W's. He likes the Cuba embargo (though, to be fair, he has said tentatively that we should talk to Raul), he likes Plan Colombia, he likes military solutions, and rails against Chávez. He does support immigration reform. (For a quick take, Erwin at The Latin Americanist has links to Biden official policy positions).


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