Last spring, President Obama attended a meeting of Latin American leaders. We remember that meeting because of the Secret Service scandal. It was also the meeting when Latin American leaders complained that the Obama administration does not have a policy toward the region.
I was very happy to see that Mary Anastasia O'Grady of The Wall Street Journal posted an article about the nomination of Sen Kerry to be Secretary of State. She pointed out that Sen Kerry has been on the "left" side of every major event in the last 40 years:
"Mr. Kerry's record of promoting American values abroad is dismal. It isn't that he opposes U.S. intervention-far from it. The trouble is that he has a habit of intervening on behalf of bad guys. A left-wing world view and an earnest conviction that it is his destiny to impose it on others may make him a perfect fit in the Obama cabinet. But it won't be good for poor countries or for U.S. interests."* Mr Kerry supported "the Sandinistas" over "the Contras".
* In Honduras '09, Mr Kerry supported Sr. Zelaya, an ally of Chavez, trying to violate the country's constitution.
* Add to this Mr Kerry's opposition to free trade agreements, from the very successful NAFTA to Colombia, Chile, etc.
Mr Kerry will be our next Secretary of State. They will probably cheer in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela and scratch their heads in Mexico, Colombia and Chile.
Like the president, Sen Kerry has a "Peace Corps" view of Latin America. They are still living in the 1950s and thinking that we need another version of "The Good Neighbor Policy".
However, most of Latin America is living in the 21st century signing free trade agreements and developing a middle class. They want to do business with the US and anybody else (like Canada) who will buy their resources. The countries of Latin America are not afraid of Marines landing on their shores but rather a continuation of the president's indifference toward the region. They don't want "Yankee go home" but instead "Yankee do business with us!"
Yes, it is now confirmed: the president does not understand Latin America. He has just nominated Sen Kerry to be our next Secretary of State. We will probably spend the next four years hearing about climate change rather more than trade with Latin America.
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