Friday, October 16, 2015

Still Not Losing Latin America

Take someone who doesn't know much about Latin America, who wrote a book trying to rehabilitate Richard Nixon, and who refers to murders and torture in Chile as "infelicities," and then have him publish an article in National Review on U.S. policy toward Latin America. You'll get a mishmash of facts concluding that the U.S. is losing Latin America.

But Latin America, a region of vast potential right under America’s nose since James Monroe’s time, gets little apparent attention beyond the vagaries of immigration. It is a very important strategic area awaiting unconscionably delayed recognition from post–​Cold War America.

I am not sure why people cling to this myth, since it is so easy to debunk. The U.S. pays an enormous amount of attention to Latin America. Doing so does not require grand strategies, soaring speeches (though we've seen those too) or an effort to impose trade agreements many countries don't want. The U.S. can, in fact, engage much more successfully without those things. And currently it is doing so.


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