U.S. policy toward the Western Hemisphere has suffered a series of setbacks over the past month. The first, the Washington summit earlier this month between Presidents Barack Obama and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, was simply lackluster. The second, last weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, was an outright fiasco. Instead of laying out a common agenda for the hemisphere and rebuilding America’s leadership role in the region, the U.S. found itself isolated in a diplomatic corner over Cuba, to say nothing of the Secret Service prostitution scandal that soon overshadowed the proceedings.
More generally, Obama’s Latin America policy is suffering from a lack of what George H.W. Bush famously called “the vision thing,” compounded by how the administration organizes the U.S. foreign policy apparatus. The president had an initial opening at his first Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, in 2009, to reset what had become a very problematic relationship between the United States and most of the rest of the hemisphere during the George W. Bush administration. Most regional leaders also made it clear they understood that, given the global financial crisis and the challenges of winding down America’s involvement in two Middle Eastern wars, Obama could not immediately pivot U.S. foreign policy to the region. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $11.99 monthly or $94.99/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Strategic Horizons: U.S. Support for Syrian Rebels Serves Political, not Military, Purposes
- As Climate Changes, Central America Lags on Improving Food Security
- Diplomatic Fallout: Frustrations Mount for Both the U.S. and Its Foes at the U.N.
- Global Insights: For U.S. and South Korea, Missile Defense Looms as Next Big Challenge
- Mexico’s Unfinished Education Reform Key to Pena Nieto’s Economic Agenda