Obama's Real Plan in Latin America By Shamus Cooke

20 April, 2009 – Global Research

At first glance Obama seems to have softened U.S. policy toward Latin America, especially when compared to his predecessor. There has been no shortage of editorials praising Obama’s conciliatory approach while comparing it to FDR’s ”Good Neighbor” Latin American policy.

It’s important to remember, however, that FDR’s vision of being neighborly meant that the U.S. would merely stop direct military interventions in Latin America, while reserving the right to create and prop up dictators, arm and train unpopular regional militaries, promote economic dominance through free trade and bank loans, conspire with right-wing groups, etc

And although Obama’s policy towards Latin America has a similar subversive feeling to it, many of FDR’s methods of dominance are closed to him. Decades of U.S. “good neighbor” policy in Latin America resulted in a continuous string of U.S. backed military coups, broken-debtor economies, and consequently, a hemisphere-wide revolt.

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Bolivia Rising: Document of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) countries for the 5th Summit of the Americas

17 April, 2009 – Cumaná, Bolivia Rising

The heads of state and governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, member countries of ALBA, consider that the proposed Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:

– It offers no answers to the issue of the Global Economic Crisis, despite the fact that this constitutes the largest challenge faced by humanity in decades and the most serious threat in the current epoch to the wellbeing of our peoples.

– Unjustifiably excludes Cuba in a criminal manner, without mentioning the general consensus that exists in the region in favour of condemning the blockade and the isolation attempts, which its people and government have incessantly objected to.

For these reasons, the member countries of ALBA consider that consensus does not exist in favour of adopting this proposed declaration and in light of the above; we propose to have a thoroughgoing debate over the following issues:

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COHA: Summit of the Americas: Obama Goes to Trinidad

  • President Obama travels to Trinidad on April 17 with a unique opportunity to redefine U.S.-Latin American relations
  • The time for taking stock is over, and the U.S. must present a coherent plan composed of inclusiveness, constructive engagement and a definitive end to a Cold War mentality to its southern neighbors
  • In the absence of a seasoned Latin Americanist in the White House, Washington may well struggle to meet even minimal expectations
  • The reconstruction of a meaningful inter-American relationship must involve the dismantling of the Cuban embargo and Washington’s singling out Cuba for special treatment
  • The world knows that there are scores of worse human rights violators than Cuba, over which the White House loses no sleep

President Barack Obama will travel to Trinidad and Tobago on April 17 with the opportunity to define the approach his administration will take towards Latin America. The region’s presidents, many of whom enthusiastically welcomed Obama’s election in November, now must hope that the new leader in the White House makes more use of this unique forum than was the case with his predecessor. George Bush’s approach to the 2005 Summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina, was to render it more an occasion for exchanging mutual insults than for carrying on meaningful dialogue on a regional policy that would pay off for all concerned. Obama now has the chance to resurrect the Summit of the Americas as an effective forum, and with it promote the prospects for much needed hemisphere-wide cooperation.

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