President Barack Obama has attempted to move forward in regards to Latin America during the last couple months but now has to translate into concrete support and targeted goals and go beyond visits and rhetoric.
This week Obama received Peruvian President Ollanta Humala at the White House, and. last week’s guest was the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, and early May was in Mexico and Costa Rica.
Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, visited Colombia, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago in late May, and the Secretary of State, John Kerry, participated in the OAS General Assembly held last week in Antigua (Guatemala).
Since beginning his second term in January Obama has said repeatedly that he sees Latin America, one of the regions with higher economic growth, as an “area of opportunity” with the U.S. wants to work as equals.
In addition, there has been a rapprochement with Venezuela after the meeting in Antigua between Kerry and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua.
The head of Venezuela’s diplomatic mission in Washington, Calixto Ortega said Tuesday that he will meet next week with the secretary of state of the U.S. to Latin America, Roberta Jacobson.
According to Carl Meacham, program director for independent American Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), it takes “specific initiatives” to help the region, which has “many players who want to play a role on the world stage.”
Meacham gave the example of Colombia’s aspiration to join the talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and that of Mexico to be taken into account in the negotiations for a trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union (EU).
According to the analyst, “Latin America is not going to wait for U.S. to be encouraged to do things big, “because it is a region that already ready” for that and for greater global participation.
Meacham warned further that “the Asian world is becoming super attractive” for the region and an example of this was the recent visit to Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico and Costa Rica Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Together we can achieve more.” That was the main message of Obama’s Latin America on his first visit to the region of his second term, but the truth is that both his tour of Mexico and Costa Rica as Biden by Colombia, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago ended with no major commitments, while the president of China’s visit resulted in over 200 sign go forward agreements and initiatives.
In Costa Rica, where he met with all the Central American presidents and the Dominican Republic, Obama promised to focus “regional” to fight drugs.
There is a general consensus that that there must be more and greater efforts made by Washington in regards to its commitments ongoing efforts in Latin America, much more in line with what China is actually already doing.
Category: Latin America News
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