One of the unavoidable realities in any U.S. administration is that the president himself can only focus on 10 or so pressing foreign policy issues at any given time. Immediate crises and pressing national security threats tend to dominate that list, which has the unfortunate effect of making the top echelons of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus reactive rather than proactive. Thus, most of the attention of the Obama administration’s national security team over the past several weeks has been focused on the crisis in Syria, to the detriment of matters that may be less immediately urgent right now but [...]
Venezuela was historically a reliable U.S. ally in Latin America, if always aspiring to more autonomy and a larger role in the region. This relationship was based on oil commerce and the fact that Venezuela was democratic during a period in which most other Latin American democracies broke down. During the 14 years of the Hugo Chavez government, of course, this changed. After assuming the presidency in 1999, Chavez developed an antagonistic relationship with Washington and sought to develop alternative regional relationships and leadership, all while maintaining robust commercial exchange with the U.S. During the government of Chavez’s successor, Nicolas [...]
“Colombia and the United States agree on so many different parts of our agenda today,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during an Aug. 12 visit to Bogota. “And we have built a very, very strong relationship on shared values and on common interests.” Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah have expressed similar thoughts during recent visits to Colombia. Beyond the rhetoric, though, and at a time when Colombia could be on the verge of transitioning from civil war to peace, the diplomatic relationship is on autopilot. High-level diplomatic dialogues between [...]
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