Tuesday, July 28, 2020

What Biden Policy Toward Latin America Might Look Like

A few days ago I wrote about the Latin America part of the Democratic Party's platform. Now Juan Gonzalez, who as an Deputy Assistant Secretary of State was part of Latin America policy under Obama, writes in Americas Quarterly about what a Biden administration policy could look like.

The main thing I like about it is that he brings Mexico front and center, whereas the platform actually doesn't even mention it. Mexico is our most important Latin American partner by far, and must be part of any discussion of trade, immigration and/or Central America. There is a lot of work to be done, and we need Mexico's help to do it.

I also like that Colombia gets more attention, because the peace process needs support, and as he points out, we need to get beyond narcotization. He mentions helping with the exodus of Venezuelans, but I would also like the U.S. to be more publicly mindful of displaced Colombians as well.

There is more, on Brazil, the Caribbean, climate, multilateral response to Covid-19, and even the simple task of not being a model of corruption. Just that would be nice.
The great visibility of the United States makes us an example all over the world, for better or for worse. When we live up to our ideals as a nation, it bolsters civic-minded leaders elsewhere. But when our leaders deny facts and model corrupt behavior, it encourages actors who are anathema to our hemisphere’s democratic progress and social advancement. The task of building back better requires us to find common cause in our shared prosperity, a renewed partnership on climate change, a resolve to guarantee the security of our citizens, and a sense of urgency toward realizing a shared vision of a hemisphere that is secure, middle class, and democratic.


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