Thursday, January 30, 2014

Not a word about Latin America in the SOTU

(My new American Thinker post)

It took President Obama 40-something minutes to get to ObamaCare in his State of the Union speech. Unfortunately, he did not say a word about Latin America, our neighbors and strategic economic partners.

Down in Argentina, the "peso" has collapsed and it will have an impact on other countries in South America, especially Brazil. It is also having an impact on the people, as reported in The NY Times:    
"Cities across Argentina are still unnerved by all the looting that broke out last month after police officers went on strike, protesting salaries eroded by rampant inflation.

Residents fumed over blackouts that left them sweltering during a recent heat wave. Then the currency plunged this week, the steepest decline since the nation's economic collapse in 2002, stirring fears that another major financial crisis could be around the corner. "In 80 years, there've been tough times, but it's never been as bad as this," Irma Herrera, 80, a retired psychologist, said Friday after the government announced that it would make it easier for Argentines to buy dollars amid the financial upheaval.
"I'm not going to buy dollars when my monthly pension doesn't even stretch to buy food," Ms. Herrera said."
Over in Brazil, the country is getting ready for The World Cup but the locals are not happy about it. Young people are burning cars and expressing their dissatisfaction.  They love soccer but not that is happening at the expense of education and health care, as reported by The Telegraph:
"Demonstrators and police have clashed in Sao Paulo during the first in a planned series of anti-World Cup protests called by radical activist group Anonymous across Brazil.

With less than five months before the June 12 kick-off - when the five-time champions and hosts take on Croatia - Brazil is facing the same kind of social rumblings that marred last year's Confederations Cup dress rehearsal.     Anonymous called for protests against the event via its Facebook page under the slogan, "The Cup will not take place.""
Mexico is a mixed record. There are energy reforms that will benefit US companies.  There is also a war in Michoacan between the cartels and armed citizens

We understand that Americans have other concerns on their plate, such as jobs.  However, Latin America matters to our national security and economy.

Again, it's sad that President Obama did not say a word in the SOTU.  For example, he could have praised President Pena-Nieto for bringing together the parties and governing.  On the other hand, why would President Obama want to praise another leader governing rather than giving meaningless "class warfare" speeches?

Speaking of national security, Fausta Wertz reminded us of the Iranian influence in the region.   

A 60-minute plus speech and not a minute about Latin America. 

P. S. You can hear my chat with Fausta Wertz of Fausta's Blog PLUS Comandante Cazorla directly from Venezuela & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr

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Venezuela and other US Latin America issues of the week

We spoke about crime and inflation in Venezuela plus other issues from Mexico to Brazil to Argentina.      

Guests:   Comandante Cazorla from Venezuela PLUS Fausta Wertz of Fausta's Blog.

Check out the show here:

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