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Move Beyond the One-Policy-Fits-All-Model

"The next administration should be bold and establish an important aid package for infrastructure and institution building to help countries demographically linked to the United States."

The next president must abandon the current one-policy-fits-all approach to U.S. neighbors and recognize the region’s vast economic, political, cultural, and ideological diversity. His foreign policy toward Latin America, no less than toward the rest of the world, should focus on revamping the U.S. image as a country that respects the rule of law, promotes peace through multilateral institutions and champions international governance as the best way to solve global problems.

There are currently two trends in the region that cannot be ignored. As trade and migration draw Mexican, Central American and Caribbean societies ever closer to their powerful neighbor to the north, South America is developing an unprecedented level of regional integration that is shifting it away from U.S. influence. The Union of South American countries has brought together two existing free trade areas, Mercosur and the Andean Community. At the same time, the community is discussing the possibility of establishing a South American Defense Council, which would exclude the United States.

The governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador are turning away from the U.S.

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Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
Tags: U.S. President-elect, Cristina Eguizabal, Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University, Mercosur, Andean Community, South American Defense Council



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