Obama, Latin America, and the Summit of the Americas

Barack Obama is making history this week with his visit to Mexico and to the Western Hemisphere Summit of the Americas in Trinidad-Tobago.

The President has been attempting to deal with the Drug Cartel issue with Mexico’s President, promoted the open visits and financial backing of Cuban Americans for their families on the Communist island, and is now attending the Summit of the Americas and receiving a warm reception from the leaders of 44 nations, including a surprising greeting from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a close friend of the Castro brothers and a bitter critic of former President George W. Bush. 

Obama has also in a speech welcomed the willingness of Cuban President Raul Castro to discuss at a high level all of the many issues that have divided the US from its nearest non land boundary neighbor for the past fifty years.  Imagine even in rhetoric that the Castro regime states its willingness to discuss human rights and political prisoners!  While certainly one cannot realistically expect great changes anytime soon, it is promising that there seems to be an ability to have progress of any kind, and the American people in a new poll overwhelmingly favor re-establishment of diplomatic relations, as well as trade, with Cuba.

So again, as in so many other areas, the American people continue to have faith in Obama, and seem to be supportive of his many initiatives in foreign policy.  We seem  to be on the road to a warm relationship with Latin America, similar to the times of FDR’s "Good Neighbor Policy" in the 1930s and JFK’s "Alliance for Progress" in the early 1960s.

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