Monday, September 17, 2018

The US Left and Latin America Policy

Daniel Bessner at the University of Washington has a thought provoking op-ed in The New York Times about the U.S. left and foreign policy. He points out correctly that there is no real foreign policy emphasis at all, but there should be. He suggests pillars such a foreign policy could rest on, which coalesce around the idea that interventionism has tended to create more problems than it solves. It needs to focus on internationalism rather than interventionism.

He does not mention Latin America but it would be front and center of such a new orientation. It would mean making CICIG and any other UN-sponsored efforts to combat corruption a priority. It would mean collaborative and regional efforts to fight drug (and human) trafficking. It would mean backing off blind insistence on FTAs and instead working with countries like Brazil more closely about mutual trade benefits. It would mean working in a sane manner with Cuba. It would obviously mean no more talk of invading Venezuela. There are many more areas.

He talks about the lack of billionaire-funded left-leaning foreign policy think tanks. The work we're talking about would be perfect for the Washington Office on Latin America. Get them a ton of funding and have more politicians asking for their advice. Relations would improve quickly and US security would be the winner.


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