What a paradox! Never has the Hispanic vote been more influential in a U.S. election than in 2008—and never has the U.S. had less regional influence than today. That said, 200 years of history and a rising regional power (Brazil) present you, Mr. President-elect, with a unique opportunity to build a new relationship of solidarity with the region on everything from energy, aid and commerce, to security and migration.
Until five years ago, the U.S. president was the most important person on the planet for Latin America—the leader of our region’s most important investor, market and lender. Remember the IMF-World Bank-IDB packages arranged by your Treasury to rescue Brazil in 1999 and 2003 and Argentina so many times? Remember the $50 billion package for Mexico in 1994? Remember the smaller countries in need of support and debt relief that required the White House’s green light? Remember all the nations queuing up to follow Mexico into the North American market? The requests for bilateral investment treaties and OPIC guarantees?
Well, those days are long gone…
Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
, U.S. President-elect