Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Amnesty in Venezuela

The Venezuelan National Assembly passed an amnesty law intended to release people like Leopoldo López.

Amnesties have a long history in Latin American politics. Time and again they've been used to "resolve" political crises. They can be self-protective for dictatorships or mostly authoritarian governments (Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay), defensive against military confrontation (Argentina), or intended to help end civil war (El Salvador). I put "resolve" in quotations because amnesties may help to push forward some sort of short-term political solution but they leave unresolved questions that fester for decades. Those who craft amnesties basically hope that wiping the slate clean can mean setting the past aside and moving ahead. It's never that easy.

For the most part, amnesties are seen negatively because they thwart efforts to hold people accountable. There is a very strong push to get amnesties out of the way so that prosecutions can take place. But typically those being held accountable were part of the state, which was inflicting violence on its own citizens. Venezuela is a different case because the state is claiming it is holding people like López accountable.

So it's an odd case. Amnesties are sledgehammers, which bash aside the facts. In the case of López, however, the government's case is weak and the judicial system corrupt. From Amnesty International:

In September, Leopoldo López, a prisoner of conscience and leader of the opposition Popular Will party, was convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime, incitement, arson and causing damage to public property during the 2014 protests. He was sentenced to 13 years and nine months in prison. There was no credible evidence to support the charges and public statements made before his conviction by the authorities; the President called for his imprisonment, thus seriously undermining his right to a fair trial.

If the state locks people up for political reasons, then perhaps an amnesty is the only real option in this particular context.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

MASH: A Novel About Three Doctors

I read Richard Hooker's MASH: A Novel About Three Doctors (1968) and kept wondering how it was I'd never read it before. I've seen the movie several times and am a huge fan of the show. I did not know that Richard Hooker is in fact a pen name for two people, both of whom had been doctors during the Korean War.

It's a very funny book, and raunchier than either the movie or show. The core of it is that being right in the fighting (not just war per se, but actually in the fighting) flips open the lip of sanity. People act in odd ways (such as dressing up as Jesus Christ, then selling autographed pictures of it) and of course they drink heavily. When Hawkeye and Duke (a character that does not make it to the TV show) go home, it's almost a process of detox. As they get farther from the front, they realize their behavior has to shift. What's normal at a MASH unit is unacceptable elsewhere. Those who are serving in the army but are on the outskirts simply cannot relate.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Fidel's Letter About Obama

Fidel Castro wrote a new column about Barack Obama's visit to Cuba. You can read it as someone who is being left behind and is not particularly happy about it. He wants to remind everyone about the revolution, and the problems of past U.S. policies. We don't need the yanquis!

Advierto además que somos capaces de producir los alimentos y las riquezas materiales que necesitamos con el esfuerzo y la inteligencia de nuestro pueblo. No necesitamos que el imperio nos regale nada. Nuestros esfuerzos serán legales y pacíficos, porque es nuestro compromiso con la paz y la fraternidad de todos los seres humanos que vivimos en este planeta.

But his brother is moving forward anyway. I have to wonder whether Fidel himself would really prefer a Trump or Cruz victory. He's not comfortable with the idea of normalization, and can hardly conceive of talking about Cuba without the U.S. as a foil. If you can no longer connect the current administration in an unbroken line back to Cold War policy, then the past is just...past.


Obama Declassifying Latin American Documents

This article in The Nation criticizes Barack Obama for his political use of declassifying documents. In short, why didn't he declassify the Argentina documents a long time ago? This part struck me in particular:

Declassification diplomacy, as Obama has practiced it, has been an effective but cynical tactic. We’re left to wonder, for instance, how much longer the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo’s declassification request would have languished if Obama’s trip hadn’t happened to fall on such an unfortunate date. “These are political decisions,” said Carlos Osorio, the senior analyst for the National Security Archive’s Argentina Documentation Project and an expert witness who’s been called to testify in human rights trials in Argentina. “They have to do with diplomatic gestures to a particular country.” Administration officials, he said, “are aware of Operation Condor. They’ve been educated about it.” But “what drives them isn’t a research perspective or a historical perspective, it’s looking for an answer to a political situation.”

What occurred to me was that for people, especially politicians, who haven't studied U.S.-Latin American relations in detail, it's a history lesson, an abstraction, rather than a pressing issue. I've blogged more times than I count about the continued relevance of Cold War dictatorships in the psyches of so many Latin Americans. That's not how Obama sees it.

The U.S. is being asked all the time to declassify documents, but are doing so very selectively. There is no reason at all for the Argentina documents to stay classified this long, so why didn't Obama do so earlier? Was he just waiting for the photo op? And if the photo op had never come about, would those documents remain classified?


Friday, March 25, 2016

Losing Cuba is Hard for Maduro


Nicolás Maduro warns that President Obama is reactivating imperialism, based on hate, and calls for the people of Latin America to join together against it.


Raúl Castro does the wave with President Obama.

This is a problem for Maduro, whose rhetorical foundation always included Cuba. The message of U.S. aggression can't penetrate as well when Raúl Castro is having fun with the oppressor-in-chief.

Castro had tried to mollify Maduro by hosting him right before Obama arrived, including a visit with Fidel himself (though that generated some photos that really emphasized Fidel's age). But that must be cold comfort at a time when Maduro is facing serious problems at home. How can his anti-U.S. policy message resonate when the Castro regime is contradicting him with its actions?

A wave is worth a thousand words.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

March 31 Talk on Latino/as in the Presidential Election

Come next Thursday, March 31, for a public event I am helping to organize about Latino/as in the presidential election. We'll have David Leal, Professor of Government at UT Austin, who specializes in Latino politics, as well as Federico Rios, who works here in Charlotte with undocumented students for the NGO Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. I'm very psyched about it. The idea is to generate discussion, and there will be time for the speakers to talk (albeit fairly briefly) and do Q&A, then have more informal discussions at the reception immediately after the talk.

If you're interested, please check out our online flier and RSVP so we know how many people to expect.


Ending the Cuban Adjustment Act

It's interesting to see how both opposition to the Cuban Adjustment Act is now transcending ideology. Arguments range from "Cubans are abusing the system" to "It gives the Castro regime a safety valve" to "Central Americans actually face far more political persecution" to "we need to treat all immigrants the same."

The big question is how you deal with it. President Obama gets criticized for saying he has no plans to repeal it. But this is tricky. If Obama were to say anything that suggested repeal was on the table, we'd see a massive flood of Cubans trying to get in before it ended. So it is a bad idea for him to start talking about it.

There is no great solution, but I've argued that the Band Aid should be pulled off quickly because remaining in a holding pattern of anticipation will simply lead to more people making dangerous journeys. It would not surprise me at all if that will happen. The likely way it would work is similar to how the negotiations that led to December 2014 went. There would be secret negotiations between the two countries, with a public face of remaining committed to the law. That negotiation would obviously have to include what would replace it.

Even that is imperfect because Congress has to get involved. Somehow Obama would need to get key Republicans on board. Given their public criticism of normalization, that will be difficult. But as I mentioned, there are a lot of conservatives unhappy with the immigration status quo. Best case scenario involves lengthy debate, during which the number of migrants will go up.

What we need is an overall immigration policy that treats people humanely, while establishing clear procedures for people who are clearly fleeing persecution. Unfortunately that might be too much to ask for.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ideology in Latin America is Less Important Than You Think

Jorge Castañeda has an op-ed in the New York Times about the Latin American left that I feel is a pretty mangled argument with a kernel of a good argument. Or rather, a good argument with three parts. It is based on the idea that ideology is not quite as important as commonly portrayed.

First, the Latin American left will win elections again, and maybe in the not-too-distant future. There is no widespread rejection of state spending, for example.

Second, governments will suffer if they reap the benefits of commodity revenue without saving up. Venezuela in the 1980s meet Venezuela in the 2010s. Governments of the left and right love spending when they think there are no consequences. They just spend on different things.

Third, corruption covers all ideologies. Augusto Pinochet and Michelle Bachelet both had family corruption scandals. The right and left in Brazil are complicit. Etc. And now Latin American voters are mad about it.

So this isn't really about the pink tide ebbing, or the right rising, or the left losing, or the end of fricking history. It's about the natural rhythm of politics in a region that is far more pragmatic and far less ideological than people realize.


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.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Raúl Castro Doesn't Understand Press Conferences

Politico notes President Obama's adeptness (and clear enjoyment) at forcing dictators to face difficult questions, and Chris Sabatini comments further. Press conference are uncomfortable for dictators, who are unaccustomed Raúl Castro fumbled and looked foolish, forced to talk about political prisoners when he didn't want to. But this sort of stage means he can't hide. That's really part of what normalization is intended to foster.

Castro tried to get his mojo back by raising Obama's arm in triumph, but he got a limp wrist instead.

The greatest part about all this is how much Obama is enjoying messing with Raúl. He got the upper hand, so to speak.

Under our decades-long punitive policy, there was no way to force this sort of situation. Fidel and Raúl could easily ignore everything U.S. presidents said, and never got tough questions. Now they no longer have that luxury.


Monday, March 21, 2016

What Obama Can Learn From Coolidge in Cuba

Historian Max Paul Friedman has a tremendous op-ed about the lessons Barack Obama could learn from Calvin Collidge's visit to Cuba in 1928 (the last time a U.S. president went to Cuba). He discusses the politics of the time and the symbolism involved. In particular, he notes the timing.

But when Coolidge’s diplomats returned to Washington, they began to mull the extent of Latin American resentment of heavy-handed U.S. policies, and proposed a new approach that would end unilateral military intervention in the region. Five years later, that proposal flowered into Franklin Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy, which brought the most harmonious era of inter-American relations in history. Machado was overthrown.
 To sum it up, the U.S. President visited Cuba when it was ruled by a dictator and gave a speech that exaggerated the degree of freedom on the island. But he was received warmly by the Cuban people, and his visit was a significant step on the path to improved relations with Cuba and the rest of the hemisphere.
 As the saying goes, history doesn’t repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.

This is a great observation. It also underlines the fact that change isn't instant. Obama gets a lot of criticism because things aren't happening fast. Back in 2014, Alan McPherson published an article about how Herbert Hoover deserved more credit than he receives for the genesis of the Good Neighbor Policy. Coolidge in fact went to Cuba in the last year of his presidency, then handed things over to Hoover. The shift in policy was slow, but it stuck. At least until the Cold War started, but that's another story.


Obama's Cuba Policy and the Latin American Right

Fernando Mires lays into the Latin American right for its attacks on President Obama's visit to Cuba. It's entertaining and accurate. His point is that Obama's policy is not aimed simply at Cuba, but rather reflects a broader recognition that the U.S. faces new types of challenges and should not continue a policy rooted in the Cold War.

Further, he emphasizes that Cuba policy is also Latin America policy:

Las derrotas electorales de los populistas en Argentina, Venezuela y Bolivia no son por cierto un producto directo de la nueva política de los EE UU hacia Cuba. Pero difícil será negar que los gobernantes pro-castristas han sido descolocados con el acercamiento de Obama al “bastión del anti-imperialismo”. Tanto Ortega como Morales, tanto Correa como Maduro, han perdido parte de la legitimidad simbólica de su poder frente a Obama. Gracias, entre otras cosas, al acercamiento de los EE UU a Cuba. 
Porque por más vueltas que den al tema los idiotas de la derecha, en la historia quedará constatado el hecho de que la derrota del populismo de izquierda latinoamericano comenzó bajo, y en cierto punto, gracias, a la política del gobierno de Barack Obama con respecto a Cuba.
Cuba policy, in other words, is not just about Cuba. It is about Cuba, of course, but it means a lot more.

And he concludes:

El presente artículo no postula en consecuencia la sustitución de los idiotas de la izquierda por los idiotas de la derecha. Los idiotas de la derecha, los mismos que no han ahorrado tinta para injuriar a Obama por su visita a Cuba, no son sustitutivos, pero sí son sumativos con respecto a los de la izquierda. 
Razones suficientes para pensar que el idiotismo político es un fenómeno definitivamente universal.
Sadly, that's probably correct.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

The CDR and Obama's Visit

In Granma the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, which is the backbone of the spying network in Cuba, issued a statement about Barack Obama's visit.

The statement consists primarily of reminding Cubans how wide-ranging and far-reaching the committees are. In other words, Obama's visit is not a time to start acting in counter-revolutionary ways. Everyone needs to remember that they are united and are being watched. Normalization with the United States carries major risks for the regime, and so it's mobilizing it's machinery.

Cuba is a dictatorship, and we should never forget that, but years of punitive U.S. policies had no impact on that. Handshakes and visits don't make for immediate change, but they do provide the first real opportunity in many years.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Jess Bravin's The Terror Courts

I read Jess Bravin's The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay (2013). It tells the story of how The Bush administration envisioned military courts being a way of dispensing loose justice, but then also how highly ethical military lawyers worked to reject evidence based on torture. It's a great read, though disappointing how its common sense lessons don't penetrate more into the public consciousness.

Bravin is a Wall Street Journal reporter. His narrative keeps coming back to Lt. Col. Stu Couch, who was one of those lawyers. He was dedicated to holding people accountable for 9/11 but then discovered that for the most part these were low level Al Qaeda operatives and that they had been tortured. Meanwhile, the military justice system itself was ill-equipped to deal with the prisoners. The obvious point was that anger about 9/11 should not mean throwing our constitutional values out the window.

For me, perhaps the most important lesson of the book is that federal courts are much more effective than military courts for effective prosecution. This is critical in the current debate over Guantamano. There remains a perception that holding people there somehow is "safer" or more effective. Federal prosecutors wanted to get their hands on some of the suspects, but instead they were tried in a chaotic and sometimes even bungling military commission system. All to our detriment.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Talk on U.S.-Cuba Relations

I gave a talk today at Georgia College on U.S.-Cuba relations. Many thanks to Stephanie Opperman for inviting me. After the talk I had coffee with her and several of her students, who were really sharp and all were doing interesting work for their own papers. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

What I've been finding is that there is avid interest in Cuba, and I got some really good questions. A question that came up is how normalization will affect Cuba itself. My talk was really policy oriented but the point about Cuba deserves more attention. In the U.S. we tend to see it as either positive or possibly neutral, but an onslaught of American tourists and money will quickly change Cuba in ways that are both unpredictable and not necessarily positive.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hillary and Cuba

The day before the Florida primary, Hillary Clinton published this op-ed in Spanish (I couldn't find an English, though maybe there is one as well). She first praises President Obama for his trip to Cuba and how it can address human rights:

El viaje del presidente Obama a Cuba este mes marca el último paso dentro del ya debatido proceso sobre cómo llegar a ese objetivo común. Estoy convencida de que esta visita será un paso importante dentro de los esfuerzos de la administración del Presidente. Esta visita será una oportunidad única para hablar sobre derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales en Cuba –ya sea hablando con el gobierno cubano o con miembros de la sociedad civil– y así poder fomentar los lazos que producirán el progreso.

Read more here:

Very smartly, she acknowledges the difficult history as well:

Entiendo por qué este debate ha sido tan difícil de sostener, especialmente en el Sur de la Florida. Para los cubanoamericanos es algo personal. Y todos hemos visto las tragedias de los niños del éxodo Peter Pan, las familias del Mariel y los hijos que no han podido decirles adiós a sus padres. Todos hemos sido testigos de la represión antidemocrática del gobierno cubano, la encarcelación de los disidentes y la represión a la libertad de expresión. Debemos mantener una especial atención al régimen de los Castro.

Read more here:

Now the president has announced further easing of restrictions. Going to a baseball game is a cultural event and therefore justification for a visit to Cuba! That's a winning policy too.

In all, this is just a reminder that Cuban American voters in Florida have changed. It's a gradual shift that has become increasingly apparent in the last two presidential elections. The Elián González days are long over.


Monday, March 14, 2016


If you did not attend the recently concluded annual conference of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies, you missed out. It was in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

The setting was excellent and the conference as well, including a keynote address on Gabriel García Márquez (by Professor Gene Bill-Villada from Williams College) and a ton of panels. I believe it was the biggest SECOLAS ever.

And remember:

SECOLAS 2017 will be on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill next March. It's a great conference and you should come.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Contras Aren't Much of a Story

I read this New York Times story on the supposed return of the Contras in Nicaragua. It's weird because in fact the thrust of the story is that the Contras aren't actually returning much, but that Nicaraguans are not happy with the corruption of the Ortega government. Boz actually wrote a post very much along the lines of what I was thinking:

Looking at President Ortega’s armed opponents makes for an interesting media story, but it’s a very, very minor piece of the political situation in Nicaragua. Ortega’s peaceful and democratic political opponents deserve more coverage than a few dozen guys running around in rural areas with rusty weapons.

Very true. In addition, the article makes the point that these self-proclaimed Contras admit they're nothing unless the U.S. funds them a la Ronald Reagan.

The contras of today, often nicknamed “the rearmed,” are a shadow of what they once were. They complain they are broke and say the reason they are not more successful is that they do not have international aid, as they did during the Reagan administration.

In other words, corruption is a real story but the Contras not so much.


Monday, March 07, 2016

The End of the Cuban Baseball Leagues?

There is increasing attention to Major League Baseball's efforts to normalize its relationship with Cuba, a process that is blocked by the embargo. As this Washington Post article notes, the sticking point is that any money that would flow into Cuba would go to the government.

MLB has filed a series of proposals over the past year with OFAC, seeking a way to clear both the regulatory hurdles and political opposition from those who would view a deal as a new revenue source for the Castro regime. 
To assuage those concerns, MLB recently asked OFAC to approve a U.S.-Cuban nonprofit-like entity that would take a percentage of the salaries paid to Cuban players and spend it on new baseball facilities, youth sports programs and other sports-focused efforts, Halem said.

This will happen, and probably sooner rather than later. The average fan in the United States likely won't notice a big difference because so many Cuban stars have already come to the United States. But Cubans will feel a big difference.

Peter Bjarkman, who recently completed a book on Cuban player defections, believes a decision about a baseball deal has the full attention of the Cuban vice president, a sign of its importance. 
“The Cuban government is watching its baseball league disintegrate before its eyes, and it knows it has to change, but it still wants an arrangement on its own terms,” Bjarkman said, adding that if and when a deal is reached, the biggest question may be how many players Cuba allows to go to the United States. 
“They haven’t figured out how they can do it without losing their baseball entirely, and that’s the issue,” he said.

Opening up Cuba to MLB will change Cuban baseball forever, and not necessarily for the better. When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in MLB, that was an historic milestone but it also marked the beginning of the end of the Negro Leagues. There is no way Cuba can match MLB salaries, so the best players will always leave. Of course, that is already happening now but it will accelerate, and it will be easier for lesser stars to do the same without risk.


Sunday, March 06, 2016

Anti-Politics in Chile

Adimark shows Michelle Bachelet with an approval rating of 27% (67% disapprove) and the Nueva Mayoría at 22% approve/68% disapprove.

One could try to lump Bachelet in with other left or center-left leaders experiencing problems across Latin America (a theme often gleefully used by those who support the other side) but it doesn't work too well in Chile. The country already had a more conservative government, then voted it out.

Instead, we're seeing the continuation of a long-standing trend in Chile that mirrors the United States. Chileans disapprove of just about everything political. The opposition Chile Vamos has 20% approval/67% disapproval, and 32% of Chileans identify with neither coalition.

Years ago while working on my edited book on the first Bachelet government, I spent a lot of time thinking about the lack of a populist surge. The party system is mocked, but no anti-system (Marco Enríquez-Ominami does not count) candidate has emerged. The same had been true for a long time in the United States, where the parties and government were quite unpopular.

Currently, political scientists are asking themselves (all over social media, for example) why they didn't foresee the staying power of Donald Trump. This makes me wonder whether Chilean politics will keep limping along, with everyone unpopular and a large swath of the population feeling excluded. It is not a propitious time for a leftist populist, but right-wing populism is suddenly the rage in the United States.


Thursday, March 03, 2016

Guantánamo and Republicans

Congressman Matt Salmon tweeted that he is introducing legislation to require congressional participation in any negotiations to close Guantánamo Naval Station. This points to two things:

First, Republicans are deeply concerned that President Obama will make a deal with the Cuban government during his visit. This is stoked by Obama's desire to close the prison (which is not the same as closing the base). This doesn't seem particularly likely to me, especially in a very dicey presidential election year. Opening up to Cuba is not controversial among the general public, but returning Guantánamo entirely could well be.

Second, Republicans learned from the 1990s that an effective way to block Cuba policy is to pull it away from the executive branch. That's what Helms-Burton did. The president cannot end the embargo without congressional approval.


Obama's Argentina Trip Coincides with 1976 Coup Anniversary

There is growing criticism for the timing of President Obama's visit to Argentina, which falls on the 40th anniversary of the coup that launched the Dirty War. The United States was highly supportive of the coup, and there are plenty of declassified documents showing how Henry Kissinger in particular gave the junta his green light for attacking "subversives."

The Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo have demanded more declassification of U.S. documents related to the Dirty War, and this would be a very good way of showing how the U.S. rejects its past policy.

Apologizing would also be a good idea. In 2010 Obama apologized for horrible medical experiments conducted in Guatemala in the 1940s. On the other hand, he would not apologize for the U.S. support of the Pinochet coup and dictatorship. That is more analogous because relevant policy makers (including Kissinger) are still alive.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Argentina says the date is not coincidence, while the U.S. Ambassador says it is. Either way, he should deal head on with the fact that he's there on such a massively symbolic date that involves the United States in a very important way.


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Make Latin American Leftists Great Again

Rafael Correa says he thinks a Donald Trump victory would give a boost to Latin American leftists seeking office.

In an interview with the Ecuadorian Broadcasting Association, the left-wing Correa said a Trump government would be beneficial for Latin America as his divisive politics would prompt a leftist reaction in the region, similar to the backlash to right-wing excess that boosted progressive social movements in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. 
Correa said a Trump presidency would be like the tenure of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who with his "primitive" politics alienated much of the world. 
"I think it would be very bad for the U.S.," Correa said of a possible President Trump. "However, since Latin America is quite independent from the U.S., I think we may even see an increase in the progressive trend here. That would be a major positive of a Trump victory."

In an interview with the Ecuadorian Broadcasting Association, the left-wing Correa said a Trump government would be beneficial for Latin America as his divisive politics would prompt a leftist reaction in the region, similar to the backlash to right-wing excess that boosted progressive social movements in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Correa said a Trump presidency would be like the tenure of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who with his "primitive" politics alienated much of the world.

"I think it would be very bad for the U.S.," Correa said of a possible President Trump. "However, since Latin America is quite independent from the U.S., I think we may even see an increase in the progressive trend here. That would be a major positive of a Trump victory."

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: 
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Interesting point, but oddly enough for a leftist president it doesn't take Latin American agency enough into account. In the 2000s, Latin Americans reacted against what they saw as the incompetence of conservative governments. They voted because of that, not because of George W. Bush. Currently, Latin American are reacting against leftist governments in a similar way, and that won't change because of who sits in the White House.

Bush didn't change voters, but he did unite Latin America against him, with Hugo Chávez leading the way. So even close U.S. allies like Colombia embraced UNASUR. I would argue that a Trump victory would give a major boost to those regional organizations that exclude the United States. Even someone like Mauricio Macri, who actually knows Trump, would find it politically advantageous to embrace Latin American solidarity in the face of insults.


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