AQ Feature

Recognize and Build on Our Progress

"You should immediately urge the approval of the free trade agreements pending in Congress with Colombia and Panama."

Mr. President-elect, your inauguration in January 2009 brings hope to Latin America and the Caribbean for a closer and improved relationship within the hemisphere. Unfortunately, many citizens of our region, including leaders and analysts, share the view that the prosperity of the Americas is not a high priority for the U.S. It’s a perception that the presidential election campaign did little to change.

The few references to Latin America and the Caribbean have left us with the uncomfortable impression that U.S. political leaders still view hemispheric relations as part of a negative global vision and that policies of cooperation toward this region are still considered under the usual and outmoded model of a “democracy agenda.” What is needed instead is a more nuanced understanding of the actual needs of the citizens and a disposition to engage in dialogue with partners in the region on pragmatic issues, rather than ideology.

In the little that has been said on the region…

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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, Jose Miguel Insulza, Organization of American States, Free Trade Agreement, Colombia, Panama



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