March 11, 2009

More of the Same: Report from the Inter-American Dialoge on US Foreign Policy Towards Latin America

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More of the same, the IAD published a report advising the US administration to do more of the same in Latin America. The report reads:
This report does not propose a new vision for the Western Hemisphere
or a dramatic redirection of U.S. relations with Latin America and
the Caribbean. Nor does it suggest that the United States reassert its traditional
role and pervading influence in the hemisphere. Instead, it urges
the new administration in Washington, first, to focus on an agenda of
concrete problems and opportunities; and, second, to respond to them
in continuing consultation and cooperation with the nations of Latin
America and the Caribbean.
It is also a call for pragmatism—for Washington to adjust its policies to
take account of the profound changes that have taken place in the United
States itself, in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in the wider world.
The new administration must recognize that the United States’ ability
to exert authority and determine outcomes has diminished; that Latin
American governments now regularly take the lead in dealing with regional
problems (last year, for example, they addressed Bolivia’s political impasse
and helped settle Colombia’s conflict with Ecuador and Venezuela); and
that extra-hemispheric actors, such as China, Russia, and Spain, have
expanded their profile and influence in the region. Washington should
not view these changes as setbacks or defeats for U.S. interests. Rather,
stronger leadership and more vigorous initiative from Latin America and
the Caribbean should be seen as offering new opportunities for productive
cooperation on issues of importance to both the United States and
the region.
You can find the report here.