Why is latin america important to the united states?

Latin America is the largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States and its fastest-growing trading partner, as well as the largest source of illegal drugs and immigration, both documented and otherwise, all of which underscore the ever-evolving relationship between the region and the country. Economic and strategic interests provoked confrontation with Chile, a war scare with Great Britain in 1895 during the border dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana (during which Secretary of State Richard Olney boasted that the United States was practically sovereign in the Western Hemisphere), and culminated in the Spanish-American War (189). The intervention was humanitarian, but in reality it stemmed from economic and strategic concerns, to prevent the collapse of the Cuban sugar economy and fulfill a historic situation in the United States. UU.

Quest to Absorb Cuba as U.S. From a cultural and social perspective, the war also served to illustrate the differences between the America defined by Theodore Roosevelt and the continental vision of America articulated by the Cuban revolutionary José Martí. The victory over Spain in 1898 ushered in a tremendous expansion of the U.S. Power and Influence in Latin America, Especially in the Caribbean.

The forces departed from Cuba but left in their wake an independent republic in debt to the United States and, under the terms of the Platt Amendment, subject to the United States,. Interest Increases in a Canal Across the Isthmus of Panama. When Nicaraguan leader José Santos Zelaya refused to give up sovereign rights to a passage through Nicaragua, President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-190), who was in favor of the route through Panama, focused his attention on negotiating a canal treaty with Colombia. The terms conflicted with Colombian nationalist sentiment, and the United States,.

The government launched its support for a successful revolutionary movement of Panamanian dissidents and signed a canal treaty with Panama. President Woodrow Wilson (1913-192) condemned gunboat diplomacy and dollar diplomacy as imperialism, but his determination to move the United States forward,. Security interests in the face of German operations in the region, and especially in teaching Latinos to choose good men, transformed him into the largest interventionist in the entire United States. Although he pledged not to seek territorial concessions from Latin American republics, Wilson tried to influence the course of the Mexican Revolution (1910-191), sent an occupying force to Veracruz in April 1914 and, after the incursion of revolutionary Pancho Villa in Columbus, New Mexico, in 1916, sent the Pershing Expedition deep in northern Mexico.

In 1915, the Wilson administration launched a de facto military occupation of Haiti for 19 years and in 1916 established an eight-year military government of the Dominican Republic. In the post-war era, the United States shifted its political and economic concerns to Europe and Asia and sought to break down hemispheric economic barriers to the U.S. Latin American Leaders Push to Increase U.S. Public support and protection of their domestic markets, following the model of the U.S.

After the outbreak of the Korean War, the United States emphasized regional and bilateral security agreements and became increasingly concerned about communist influence in Latin America. In 1954, the Central Intelligence Agency overthrew a non-communist left-wing government in Guatemala; in 1959, after several years of civil strife and a prolonged guerrilla struggle, Fidel Castro overthrew the government of dictator Fulgencio Batista in Cuba. Castro promised to restructure Cuba along Marxist lines and de-Americanize the island's political culture. The severity of revolutionary reforms led to a conflict with the United States (where anti-Castro Cubans had fled) that culminated in the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, according to President John F.

Kennedy's First Hemispheric Crisis (1961-196). Opposition to the Cuban Revolution inevitably delayed the purpose of the Alliance for Progress, a vast and ambitious program of social and economic reform that began at the beginning of the decade. At the time of Kennedy's death in November 1963, U, S. Security concerns were already nullifying their commitments to peaceful revolution through democratic means in Latin America.

When President Lyndon Johnson (1963-196) sent 20,000 soldiers to the Dominican Republic in the spring of 1965, under the pretext that the rebellion there would create another Cuba, Latin Americans became convinced that Washington's commitment to social justice had been dissolved. But the Alliance for Progress promoted economic modernization in Latin America at the expense of democratic government and social justice for the poor, thus perpetuating the dual society of rich and poor. This was most evident in countries such as Mexico and Brazil, which enjoyed impressive economic growth since the 1950s, but where social inequalities were severe. For the 1970s, with the U.S.

Distracted by Vietnam, Latin America seemed to be returning to authoritarian governments, in Brazil, Argentina and (with the United States,. Latin American leaders increasingly supported a hemispheric economic agenda that diverged from that of the United States, and also supported Panama's call for a new canal treaty. President Jimmy Carter (1977-198) identified with the North-South as opposed to the East-West vision of Latin America's place in the United States. He signed a canal treaty with Panama, criticized human rights violations in Latin America and initially supported the Sandinista revolution that brought down Anastasio Somoza Debayle in Nicaragua.

At the end of his administration, many Americans believed that such reformist approaches to Latin America distracted attention from the real security risks that the United States faced in the region. After his resounding victory in the 1980 elections, President Ronald Reagan (1981—1998) pledged the United States,. Efforts to overthrow the left-wing Sandinista government of Nicaragua and support the right-wing government of El Salvador in its war against communist guerrillas. After initially following a neutral line, Reagan sided with the British against Argentina in the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict, and in 1983 sent the military to overthrow the left-wing government in Grenada.

These hardline policies were accompanied by modest amounts of non-military aid (the most publicized was the 1998 Caribbean Basin Initiative) and expressions of support for democracy and social justice in conflict-ravaged Central America. The 1984 Kissinger Report on the Condition of the Isthmus mixed reformist and strategic arguments. The approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by the United States Congress in 1993, following a debate plagued by warnings about the loss of jobs to Mexico and the loss of control in the United States. In the 1990s, the coincidence of several changes in the U.S.

Optimism reminded some observers of the promise identified with the Alliance for Progress in the 1960s. Interests in Latin America are greater than ever, while traditional instruments of U.S. government power in the area are much less effective than in previous decades. In addition, the domestic component of U.S.

Politics towards Latin America is becoming very explosive, while at the same time new centers of foreign policy power are emerging in Latin America. With the end of the bipolar simplicity of a generation ago, and the decline in the international financial, technological, and military power of the United States, the relationship between the United States and Latin America has changed profoundly. The great diversification of global power relations is not only reflected in the emergence of the European Community, OPEC, the Non-Aligned Nations Movement and the conflict and competition among communist countries, but also in the growing participation in world trade of newly industrialized nations, such as South Korea, India, Mexico and Brazil. In this less orderly world of assertive nation-states and the transnational forces and organizations they face, there are special problems for the U.S.

Global economic and political changes have increased U.S. What is at stake in Latin America in several ways. Dependence on oil imports from the politically volatile Middle East has obviously increased the strategic and economic importance of Mexican oil to the United States. As a major oil importer, as well as for other reasons, the United States will continue to be forced to abandon its relatively autonomous economy to compete in world trade.

To the extent that the United States has a comparative advantage in Latin America, much of this trade could take place within the hemisphere; already 80 percent of North American exports to developing countries go to Latin America. By the mid-1980s, Mexico could well be the United States' biggest trading partner. Banks are drastically increasing their exposure in Latin America: 20 percent of Citibank's profits recently came from Brazil alone. In fact, Latin America's growing role in international capital markets is indicated by the fact that, in the first eight months of 1979, the world's three main borrowers in Eurocurrency bank loans were Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil, 1 Our security interests in Latin America are also growing.

The proliferation of global political powers - and the greater affirmation of small countries - has meant the end of the United States, the de facto United States. Thus, the Nicaraguan revolution of 1979, with its possible implications for El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, the explosive situation in the newly independent mini-states of the Eastern Caribbean, such as Grenada, the uneasy relations between the United States and Jamaica and Guyana, have increased in the United States,. Safety Concerns in What Was Formerly Considered Mare Nostrum. Traditionally, military intervention has been the ultimate political instrument from state to state within Washington's sphere of influence in Central America and the Caribbean.

Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Cuba have been invaded by the United States,. In 1979, both the convincing refusal of the Organization of American States (OAS) to consider a U. The suggestion to form a peacekeeping force in Nicaragua, and the decision of the Carter Administration not to use force there and, therefore, to destroy the measure of credibility it has gained in relation to our commitment to human rights and democratization, may indicate that military intervention can finally become obsolete as a weapon. in the U.S.

Finally, new centers of foreign policy power are emerging in Latin America that will give a strong shape to the United States. The Special Conditions That Contributed to the U.S. Economic, political and military dominance in Latin America after World War II is gone forever. England, once the preeminent foreign power in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, had been declining as a foreign presence since World War I, while the Depression and World War II inhibited the entry of other European powers.

Wartime hostilities allowed Nelson Rockefeller, as Coordinator of the FDR Office of Inter-American Affairs, to help dismantle the key structures of German and Italian power in Latin America, as well as block Japan's growth. But in the post-war years, Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Italy and Spain, have become competitors of the United States in Latin America, either in the sale of cars or in the fixing of long-term contracts for scarce materials. The Soviet Union, which already in 1963 had embassies in only three Latin American countries, also has a growing presence, as do the OPEC countries. A cursory examination of U, S.

But there are two caveats in order. First, powerful trends within Brazil, such as the demand for political liberalization, criticism of Brazil's nuclear plans, and the use of tariff reductions as a means to fight inflation and increase trade, worked in the same direction as the U.S. Secondly, in all of the areas just mentioned, bilateral diplomacy helped adjust global policies to the finer grades of the U.S. These first two warnings are also relevant when comparing the relative effectiveness of U, S.

Human rights policy and democratization in Bolivia or the Dominican Republic with the stagnation of democratization in Chile. In Chile, given the absence of comparatively effective domestic opposition and relatively broad international private sector support for junta policies (including support from the United States private sector), the picture is much more complicated. There has been some progress on human rights in Chile over the past three years, but the junta has resisted all pressures toward democratization and bitterly refused to extradite three secret police officers indicted by a U.S. government.

Federal Grand Jury for the Assassination, in Washington, of President Allende's Former Foreign Minister, Orlando Letelier. The biggest crises of 1979 in the United States. In this region, shifts in interests, instruments, national constraints and new centers of power offer the United States its greatest challenges, opportunities for diplomatic creativity, or even simple old-fashioned interventionism. The fact is that, due to the trends we have discussed towards greater global interdependence and diversity of power, the large and most industrialized countries of South America are no longer in the U.S.

The United States, of course, retains power and influence in the area; however, as the case of Chile demonstrates, it is largely the power of the private sector, banks and corporations. But in Central America and the Caribbean, U.S. Government power remains significant and the current turmoil in the area is related to the decline of the U.S. Hegemony and the search for a new regional, economic and political relationship.

For the United States, political, security and domestic issues are so important in a region so close to our borders that bilateral diplomacy must necessarily play an important role. These four situations also highlight the issues of changing interests, the instruments and national dimensions of foreign policy, as well as the roles of the new centers of power in the hemisphere. Interests at new heights and, in fact, makes Mexico a new mid-level power. The Mass Migration of Mexicans to the United States and the Rise of the Mexican-American Population Amid the Growing Dumping Burden of Mexican Exports in the U.S.

Markets, accentuates the national dimension of our foreign policy. Finally, it is in Mexico that the need arises to design appropriate bilateral policies that do not violate the broader principles of the United States. Global trade and energy policies are more evident. Mexico stresses the continuing need to recognize that globalism, despite its usefulness in developing broad guidelines for some major global problems, should not be used to rationalize political immobility or bilateral insensitivity.

Debate Over Puerto Rico's Future Status Could Similarly Deepen U.S. National Political Ties Activate the Participation of New Latin American Political Groups and Increases U.S. Finally, Nicaragua and Cuba suggest the need to evaluate our interests and political instruments towards revolutionary regimes under current national and international restrictions. In the formative stages of the López Portillo Administration, some influential advisors urged Mexico to treat trade, migration and oil as part of an overall package with the United States.

The Carter Administration, on the other hand, was reluctant to discuss a general policy package, partly because it was not prepared to do so, partly because of a desire to treat the objective of guaranteeing access to Mexico's oil as a separate issue, and partly because of a desire to manage trade with Mexico alone. in the context of its overall GATT policy. In government circles, there was - and is - an implicit bias against linking issues and against granting any special relationship to Mexico. The debate on whether or not to grant a special relationship to Mexico is, of course, largely academic.

The 2,000-mile border between Mexico and the United States, the world's largest border between a rich and a poor market economy, is the very essence of a special relationship. In addition, this border means that trade and even migration are as important as oil for Mexicans, and explains why they don't want to talk about oil for themselves. Trade volume is an area of sharp asymmetry between Mexico and the United States. In 1977, approximately two-thirds of all Mexican foreign trade was with the United States.

But Mexico in that year accounted for less than four percent of the total U.S. Protectionism, when Mexico begins to have a large trade surplus with the United States in the mid-1980s, could have a very negative impact on Mexico's agricultural and industrial exporters. Because Mexico is vulnerable in areas of migration and trade, it is understandable that advisers close to President López Portillo, such as the current Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Castañeda, felt that Mexico was interested in talking about oil only in the context of the general set of issues between the United States. The United States and Mexico, 7 It also highlights why the United States cannot develop an effective oil policy towards Mexico if it refuses to consider migration and trade.

What then happens to a package? Although such an agreement is much discussed on both sides of the border, further analysis would indicate that a mutually binding package is probably not viable in either country. In Mexico, opposition to a package of agreements comes from those who worry that this implies deeper integration with and dependence on the United States. There is a strong desire to seize the opportunity that oil has presented to diversify Mexico's financial and trade relations with other countries. There is also a desire in post-Echeverría Mexico to use the country's oil leverage to play a less theatrical but more powerful role in the international debate on a new international economic order.

A binding package with the United States is seen to decrease, rather than increase, Mexico's degree of freedom and influence in world politics. Another important reason for the López Portillo government's growing skepticism about a package is its increasingly sophisticated political understanding than any U.S. The administration may or may not confront Mexico. Experience has shown that there are many places in the American political system, such as Congress, the courts or the Treasury Department, that have the capacity to unravel any package.

For example, the 1979 lawsuit filed by Florida growers accusing Mexico of throwing winter tomatoes went to the Treasury for a technical decision. Despite the implications for the U.S. The legal and administrative system removes such a decision from the control of the White House or the State Department. Fortunately for the 200,000 Mexican workers employed in harvesting Mexican winter vegetables, and for the U.S.

Foreign Policy, Treasury Department Made Provisional Finding Oct. 30 That Mexican Tomatoes Were Not Being Dumped. Another example shows how a federal court ruling jeopardizes the careful construction of the U.S. Two years ago, in November 1977, the two countries agreed that Americans arrested and tried in Mexico and Mexicans arrested and tried in the United States could serve their prison sentences in their home countries.

In the first two years of the treaty, 437 Americans and 183 Mexicans opted for the exchange. However, in July 1979, a federal judge unilaterally released three recently exchanged prisoners because he questioned the validity of their Mexican sentences. Mexicans have said that unless the decision is revoked and the treaty is deemed binding, the entire prison exchange could expire at the end of their three-year probationary period. Congressional Action to Protect Non-Competitive America.

Industries that oppose imports from Mexico could also jeopardize the trade component of a package. Strong lobbying by unions, especially in election years or during recessions, will make it inherently difficult to include a migrant labor component in any complex package. One of the most controversial areas of interpretation concerns the question of social burden and displacement. Currently, Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall is a well-known spokesman for a restrictionist approach, based on the assumption that Mexican labor is a burden of welfare for the United States and that it displaces the United States.

At the very least, one would like a reasonable audience to find evidence that migrant labor contributes more to Social Security and payroll deductions from income tax than they receive in social services. 10 What would also be useful would be a serious long-term analysis of the growing amount of literature. arguing that much of Mexico's labor force goes to jobs needed by the U.S. Economy but despised by citizens born in the United States.

In fact, some economists, such as Clark Reynolds of Stanford, argue that, given the demographic profile and labor preferences of U.S. citizens, the United States will need to import 15 to 20 million migrants by the year 2000 to provide the labor force needed for an annual growth rate of 3.5%. percent. There may be increasing complementarity between the profiles of the Mexican and United States workforce, 11 This line of reasoning may or may not be sound, but it deserves more systematic and comprehensive research in government than it has received to date.

Even if there are fewer permanent migrants than alarmists would say, and even if there is some degree of truth in the complementarity thesis, there is still a higher level of migration than many Americans would want. What if something can be done? Rather than relying solely on politically costly and ultimately ineffective border boundaries, the United States could address the structural foundations of migration. Research has established which pockets of rural poverty in Mexico are the main sources of migration to the United States. Eight of Mexico's 32 states account for 80 percent of all migration to the United States, 12 In addition, until the mid-1980s, Mexican investments will go mainly to capital-intensive oil and petrochemical areas.

However, if the Mexican government were willing to open and support a World Bank fund for pockets of poverty and emigration, the United States should consider it an important aid priority.13 The fund could support projects such as dams and irrigation works that would benefit small and medium-sized enterprises, large farms in areas of greatest emigration. Ideally, projects should be labor-intensive in the construction phase and, when completed, should increase the number of rural jobs. Responsiveness refers to legalization of migrant workers. Amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act by Congress in 1965 and 1976 grant each country in the hemisphere a quota of 20,000 immigrant visas.

Due to the border and other foreign policy issues, it does not seem reasonable to impose the same ceiling for Mexico as for Paraguay, and it is time to reevaluate these amendments. In addition, if serious studies of the workforce confirm the complementarity thesis, small-scale guest worker pilot programs could be developed with employers and unions. Guest worker programs, if properly designed, have the advantage of protecting workers' rights and ensuring that guest workers go to those areas, such as the garment industry, where employers and unions recognize a labor shortage and where, without a foreign labor force, plants move out of the country and union membership continues to decline. Here, a comparison between oil and gas is instructive.

The natural gas agreement finally reached between Mexico and the United States in September 1979 did not excessively bind either party. Mexico agreed to sell surplus gas to the United States, while the United States gained access to that gas when it needed it. Since gas is expensive and difficult to liquefy and ship (it would cost Mexico at least five billion dollars in infrastructure to become a foreign exporter), the United States' proximity to Mexico makes it the natural buyer, and logically monopsonism, of Mexican gas exports. It was the 30-second shot that killed two U, S.

The military and ten wounded in a suburb of San Juan in December 1979, an isolated event or a harbinger of a new conflict over the status of Puerto Rico? The ambush put the silent theme of 1979, Puerto Rico, on the front page for a day. However, little-noticed trends began to take shape in that year, the implications of which deserve serious and sustained attention. Change in Puerto Rico is Inevitable. All political groups on the island are actively dissatisfied with the island's status.

The current commonwealth agreement is rejected as colonial not only by the independence movement, but also by the leaders of the statehood movement, some of whom argue that if Congress refuses to accept a plebiscitatory vote for statehood, they will also work for independence. Even the leader of the party most associated with the commonwealth, the Popular Democratic Party, has presented a new thesis that advocates a major restructuring of existing legislation to allow the commonwealth to achieve maximum autonomy. Surely thinking about 1983 is not futurology. But Puerto Rico's next credible sequence, plagued by national and international implications of the highest order, is generally not perceived or weighted by the U.S.

public or foreign policy makers. Virtually every major presidential candidate visits Puerto Rico and affirms President Carter's statement that he will accept statehood if that's what Puerto Ricans want, 14 Most candidates will be implicitly - some explicitly - in favor of statehood. Both the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions adopt boards that commit them to accepting the results of the plebiscite. Step Six Winter and Spring 1982 United States.

Congress Begins Great Debate on Admission of Puerto Rico as the 51st State of the Union. Statehood strategists hope that it will be the 98th Congress, which meets on January 20, 1983, that will decide. Therefore, they and their opponents will try to make statehood an important issue in the 1982 congressional elections. Statehood requires a simple majority in both chambers.

The denial by Congress will appear as a racial insult to one of the nation's largest minorities, a gross betrayal of electoral promises and the unanimous resolution of Concurrent Senate No. 35 of August 2, 1979, to respect and support the right of the people of Puerto Rico to determine their own political future through of peaceful, open and democratic processes. However, admission by Congress may pose the threat of an American Quebec; in addition, as I will discuss later, a Quebec with broad international support and perhaps with the high levels of violence of an Ulster before, during and long after admission to statehood. What forces are working in Puerto Rico? What can be done, if anything at all, to improve the quality of the legal and political processes involved in the fight for their future status? The constituency of statehood and presidential candidates are organizationally and ideologically brought together by Puerto Rican politicians who play an important role in mainland Chinese party politics, especially Democratic party politics.

One of the most important of these runners has been Franklin Delano López. López founded the Puerto Rican section of Americans for Democratic Action, until recently he was the president of the Democratic Party for Statehood in Puerto Rico, and is currently president of the Carter-Mondale Campaign Committee in Puerto Rico. It has deep roots in continental democratic and minority politics. He argues that for him statehood is simply an extension of all civil rights to a minority group that obtained U.S.

citizenship in 1917, but cannot yet send senators or congressmen to Washington. All of these are powerful and underappreciated economic, electoral and ideological forces working for statehood. However, there are serious problems that arise in any serious analysis of the statehood option. Secondly, plebiscites are notoriously sensitive issues.

Since current governments almost never lose them, national and international acceptance of a plebiscite will depend to a large extent on how the question of statehood is framed and how the plebiscitatory process is carried out. With or without reason, some groups in Puerto Rico have expressed doubts about how commonwealth and independence options will be framed. In the 1967 statute plebiscite, the commonwealth option was in fact explained in much more detail than the other two options. Some key advocates of statehood are also concerned that every reasonable effort will be made to include all parties in the very political process of preparing for the plebiscite, as well as obtaining high voter turnout.

Since the Carter Administration, Congress and presidential candidates have agreed to accept the results of the plebiscite, it seems that Washington's best interest is to participate actively in the procedural aspects of the plebiscite process. In addition, the United States, rather than clinging to the view that the plebiscite is a purely domestic matter, should recognize well-established precedents, as well as political realities, and encourage international observation of the plebiscite so that all possible suggestions and objections to the plebiscite process are taken into account before and not after the vote. A third point to consider in greater detail is opinion in Latin America. It is often heard that the question of Puerto Rico's statehood or independence is not a hot topic in Latin America.

Whatever the truth may have been in the past, it is no longer clear that this is the case now. In the 1950s and early 1960s, key figures among Latin American Social Democrats—Betancourt in Venezuela, Figueres in Costa Rica, Bosch in the Dominican Republic, Haya de la Torre in Peru—were close associates of Governor Muñoz Marín of Puerto Rico, and by extension they accepted his pro-ELA party. But a new generation has come to power in Latin America. The countries they represent are now less isolated in world politics and are more assertive toward the United States.

Many in this new generation will see statehood not as an act of self-determination consistent with the logic of democratic electoral politics, but as the culmination of more than 80 years of military, political, cultural and economic power, consistent with the logic of imperial domination and dependence. In October 1979, representatives of 21 Latin American social democratic parties from 14 countries held a meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico. These representatives, including the President of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the ruling party in Mexico, voted unanimously to give the struggle for Puerto Rico's independence the highest hemispheric priority. 17 December saw the Second World Solidarity Conference for Puerto Rico's Independence held in Mexico, and conferences of non-aligned countries have repeatedly adopted resolutions supporting Puerto Rico's independence.

This international support for independence must be taken into account when assessing the size, intensity and strategic location of violent forces against statehood. The 1950 Blair House assassination attempt, the 1954 shooting that injured five congressmen, and the December 1979 shooting of the U.S. Puerto Rico Military Testifies Supporters of Puerto Rican Independence Use Violence. This constituency for violence is not limited to the revolutionary left, but has sometimes included right-wing Catholics and Spanish cultural militants.

It is highly unlikely that it will diminish with statehood, and it is certain that it will not lack international allies in the hemisphere. As demonstrated by the violence of Quebec, Basque, Ulster and Croatian, some of the most difficult problems to solve in politics are nationality problems. Congress Denies Statehood to Puerto Rico, So It Must Start Systematically Considering Independence. Governor Romero Barceló, for example, says he will try to personally lead his party to independence if a Puerto Rican request for statehood is rejected.

Certainly, he will lose many of his party members if he follows this strategy, but his statement underlines the new anti-colonial psychology of the statehood party and indicates that the main beneficiary of a blocked statehood movement will be the independence movement. At this point, new energy centers in Latin America, especially Mexico and the Andean Pact countries, could once again play an important role. Legislators have so far not paid much attention to how these nations could help improve the big problems of any transition to an independent Puerto Rico because they claim that it evokes Haiti's economy and, especially, Cuba's politics. However, if Governor Romero Barceló himself has raised independence as a possible political option, and since President Carter and the United States,.

Congress is on the record of accepting independence if that were the island's electoral election, it would not be for the United States,. The government will not analyze the importance of independence. Such an analysis would begin with a clear differentiation between the Marxist and Procuban Puerto Rican Socialist Party and the larger Puerto Rican Independence Party. The study of the latter's new October 1979 platform (and also its national social base and international allies) will reveal that it is increasingly a social democratic party, and has very carefully considered a ten-year precautionary transition period from commonwealth to independence.

In any case, if there is ever to be a pro-independence electoral majority in the next 10 to 20 years, it will undoubtedly be comprised of a coalition in which former supporters of statehood and commonwealth voters occupy a prominent place. If such a strong independence majority were to materialize, Mexicans, Venezuelans and Costa Ricans, who may limit the prospects of Puerto Rico's integration into the American Union, could very well play an important role in maintaining a viable, independent and social-democratic Puerto Rico towards the end of the century. On July 17, 1979, President Anastasio Somoza Debayle fled Nicaragua, thus ending more than 40 years of family rule and one of the most personalist and arbitrary dictatorial regimes in modern Latin American history. By July 19, the Sandinistas had taken power, and the United States was facing its first revolutionary guerrilla triumph in the hemisphere since Castro's victory more than 20 years earlier.

In 1965, the United States unilaterally sent troops to the Dominican Republic. The next day, the United States requested and received the OAS sanction. The hemispheric balance of forces and initiative in 1979 is very different. In May 1979, Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the Somoza regime.

On June 17, the Andean Pact countries declared Nicaragua in a state of war and described the Sandinistas as legitimate combatants seeking to establish true representative democracy, freedom and justice in Nicaragua. At the OAS conference in June, it was the social democratic countries of Latin America - Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and the countries of the Andean Pact - not just the countries with socialist inclinations such as Jamaica or Grenada that blocked the United States,. Initiative to consider sending a peacekeeping force to Nicaragua that, among other things, would have denied the Sandinistas all military power. The point is that several Latin American Social Democrats (and others) have their own national interest in maintaining a viable, independent and progressive Nicaragua, just as in a different context, European Social Democrats and Christians had an intense interest in helping to shore up political democracy in Portugal.

To the extent that such actions are consistent with long-range U. Interests we can say that, despite the desire and capacity of such political groups to prevent the United States from exercising the crudest instruments of hegemony, they may well play a sustaining role in the hemisphere. How, then, is Nicaragua evolving and what should the United States do?. Will it be politics? If the presidential campaign is not involved in a debate about who lost Nicaragua, but rather explores what is really happening in Nicaragua, the American people and the United States,.

Congress will likely recognize that both equity and self-interest indicate that the United States should help in the reconstruction of Nicaragua. What legislators need to keep in mind about Nicaragua is that the situation there continues to evolve and that there are a plurality of forces at work. Given the participation of many classes in the fight against Somoza and the magnitude of the task of reconstruction, a wide variety of groups are considered to have the legitimacy to participate in the construction of a new Nicaragua. In addition, these groups have economic and social resources that the Sandinista vanguard has decided to conserve if possible.

The most important of these groups are the controllers of private capital and the Catholic Church. There is no doubt that there are groups within the Sandinista movement that would like to promote a rapid political, institutional and economic transition to socialism. Another important source of de facto pluralism within Nicaragua is the Catholic Church. In a pastoral message, signed by the seven Bishops of Nicaragua on June 2, 1979, they underlined the legitimacy of the insurrection.

On November 17, in an even more authoritative pastoral letter, signed once again by all the bishops, Church leaders recognized the principal role of the Sandinistas. After a pioneering theological discussion on inequality, justice and class conflict, they explicitly supported socialism in Nicaragua, but hope that socialism will not be imitative, pluralistic and participatory 20. The position of the Church in the revolutionary struggle has given it a basis from which to participate, and if it feels necessary, to criticize. Some skeptics have been arguing for a policy of waiting and seeing what happens to Nicaragua.

Aid is provided, the sooner it becomes more effective, both from the perspective of disaster relief and to maintain pluralism in a still fluid situation. In formative and critical situations, waiting and seeing is dangerous madness. The Ford Administration took some steps to improve relations with Cuba, but these stopped with the introduction of Cuban troops into Angola. The Carter administration in 1977 made the most serious attempt since the Cuban Revolution to reach a modus vivendi with Cuba by allowing the U.S.

Tourists will visit Cuba, cancel intelligence flights, reach a fishing agreement and, finally, in October 1977, exchange sections of diplomatic interest with Cuba. However, the sending of Cuban troops to Ethiopia, in an area where the Carter Administration considered the Soviet Union to play the key role of initiation and coordination, practically stopped this process. Since then, the Carter administration, for the most part, has chosen to treat Cuba as a puppet of the Soviet Union. From this perspective, the absence of any U.

Leverage inside Cuba doesn't seem harmful. There is no independent policy towards a puppet. You try to influence the puppeteer. Cuba has been absorbed into the global functional category of the cold war.

After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, most Americans, as well as most legislators, will see fewer reasons than ever to normalize the U.S. Relations with a close ally of the Soviet Union. Cuba's withdrawal from its candidacy for a seat on the Security Council after losing a dozen votes from Third World countries following the arrival of Afghanistan shows that other countries also react negatively to the Soviet-Cuban alliance. However, at the risk of seeming quixotic, two points are worth keeping in mind.

The first is that, despite Cuba's alliance with the Soviet Union — more closely coordinated in the case of Ethiopia — and Cuba's tough stage management of the Non-Aligned Nations Conference in Havana in September, Castro and Cuba have an appeal to some countries that is very different from the call of the Soviet Union. Given the problems posed by the new Caribbean mini-states, what type of U.S. Is the policy towards Cuba the most appropriate? Are we interested in continuing an embargo that diminishes the chances of the United States having influence within Cuba, which many of Cuba's neighbors consider punitive and which may make them less willing, rather than more, to have a good relationship with the United States? A second point to examine with regard to Cuba is its status as a puppet. Certainly, Cuba is an ally of the Soviet Union and one could certainly argue that it followed the Soviet example in Ethiopia.

However, this should not completely hide Cuba's independent role, seen in the fact that in 1960 Cuba sent weapons to the Algerian National Liberation Front, which established a permanent military mission in Ghana in 1961, which in 1973, when Soviet aid was described as insufficient by a rebel leader from South Yemen, Los Cubans responded with broader aid than the Soviets. Close students of Cuban military activities abroad have repeatedly documented elements of distinctive Cuban international behavior 22.The point worth highlighting is that the objectives of Cuban foreign policy and ideological preferences in Angola have been a significant component in determining its actions. As Edward González concludes, Cuba does not seem to have been serving as a substitute for the Soviet Union in Angola, despite the latter's enormous logistical support for the operation. Cubans seem to have been promoting their own Third World interests, which undoubtedly coincided with and supported Soviet political and strategic objectives in southern Africa.

In fact, several scholars go further and argue that it may well be that the Cuban militia in Angola attracted the United States, S, R. More deeply immersed in civil war than Soviet politicians would have preferred. If, then, it can be reasonably argued that some countries are attracted to Cuba for reasons that would not necessarily attract them to the Soviet Union; or in some cases in the past, and possibly in some cases in the future, Cuba has had a distinctive military policy, then it can be argued strongly. for reexamining our policies by specifically asking if they increase or decrease our ability to move the U.S.

National Interest in the Specific Context of the U.S. Assuming that Cuban decisions are important in their own right, what policies could, within the limits imposed by the fundamentally different natures of Cubans and the United States?. Influence on the taking of This leads us to the basic principles of diplomacy. Diplomatic recognition between countries is not a recognition of ideological affinity.

The United States recognizes and deals with many types of governments around the world. Nor is recognition a reward for the policies we approve. Diplomatic recognition is simply an institutionalized recognition that real interests and real conflicts between two countries are at stake, and such recognition will increase the range of mechanisms by which countries can pursue these interests. Citizens and legislators have expressed concern about what they see as the heavy weight of the Soviet Union's presence in Cuba.

Rather than simply deploring this presence, U, S. Policies need to be evaluated coldly to see how they relate to this situation. Perpetuate an EE. The presence in a wide range of areas of potential interest to Cuba, such as nickel technology, agricultural machinery and tropical citrus cultivation techniques, undoubtedly continues to maintain the relative weight of the Soviet Union's presence rather than reduce it.

On the contrary, one must ask if a complex and diversified range of U, S. Trade, technological, cultural and diplomatic relations would seriously increase or decrease the weight of the United States in Cuba. The current weightlessness of the United States in Cuba deprives the U.S. Foreign policy makers of most of the influences and instruments of international diplomacy through which diplomats normally seek to promote the national interest.

Normalized relations could also diminish the Soviet Union's sense of obligation to back Cuba against the United States in cases where the political initiative is clearly Cuban. By ceasing to deal with a single partner in the Soviet-Cuban alliance, the United States will complicate, rather than simplify, the task of the Soviets and Cubans to maintain their alliance. No new policy towards Cuba will be free of difficulties and risks. But precisely because of Cuba's new weight and assertiveness in international affairs, the most unacceptable status quo is the U.S.

Persistence in policies that have been so ineffective for so long. What does the 1980s hold for the peoples of the Americas? The movement towards authoritarian solutions in the hemisphere, which seemed to have gained constant momentum between 1964 and 1977, especially in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, seems to have diminished significantly. In 1979, an elected government was installed in Ecuador, attempts to reverse democratization in the Dominican Republic and Bolivia were thwarted, compliance with a timetable for the delivery of the government to the civil government in Peru, the announcement of a final date for the military government in Argentina, uneven but real progress towards revitalization of civil society and democratic values in Brazil, and the end of 40 years of despotism in Nicaragua. For us, S.

The interests in the hemisphere, the diminishing effectiveness of traditional instruments of power from state to state, the deepening of the internal dimensions of our foreign policy and the emergence of new centers of power in the hemisphere will almost certainly continue. Inevitably, there will be rapid political changes in the hemisphere that seem hostile to our interests and alien to our assumptions. The basic principles of geopolitics will require more systematic bilateral attention to the countries closest to our borders. However, with a clear sense of long-term interests and a commitment to shared human values, the United States can coexist and even thrive on the trends I have discussed.

The expansion of power in the hemisphere must be clearly recognized rather than lamented. Both the restrictive and sustained dimensions of these new realities of power can encourage the development, as in the countries of the Andean Pact, of innovative and responsible policies to shape the future of the Hemisphere. Human rights activists in general, in Congress and in the Carter Administration have contributed to the democratization process in Latin America. Undoubtedly, it is consistent with our stated values and our most enduring interests to demonstrate that pluralistic societies can be viable in the hemisphere.

However, for democratization to take hold in the 1980s, the United States must help create a new economic order that facilitates comprehensive, sustainable and equitable development in the newly industrialized countries of the South. In the next decade, the Western Hemisphere is likely to become an area of the U.S. And by observing the changing nature of Latin American realities, we can sensibly conclude that there is a clear need to modify our traditional or current definitions of U, S. Vital interests, as well as our ability to implement them.

How the bursting housing bubble threatens China's economy How AI distorts decision-making and makes dictators more dangerous The Kremlin will eventually tire of depending on China How distortions about the past fuel illusions about the future From the editors of Foreign Affairs Published by Council on Foreign Relations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken presented an ambitious set of objectives in a May 3 speech to the Council of the Americas focused on “growing with equity.”. The Undersecretary for the Region, Brian Nichols, mentioned reaching agreements on “transition to clean energy, a green future and digital transformation. First Lady Jill Biden visited Ecuador on May 19 and spoke about “achieving an equitable and sustainable future, promoting health and resilience to pandemics, and strengthening democratic government in the region.

The importance of like-minded nations working with Washington should not be ruled out. The summit could still be saved. Wilson Center's prestigious Latin American Program provides nonpartisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical political issues facing the hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for legislators, private sector leaders, journalists and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America.

To close the gap between scholarships and political action, it encourages new research, sponsors high-level public and private multi-stakeholder meetings, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens of the Americas. Building on the strength of the Wilson Center as the nation's key nonpartisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action. Read More One Woodrow Wilson Plaza1300 Pennsylvania Ave. Caribbean and Central American countries have suffered the effects of extreme weather more than most.

Some analysts argue that as long as Mexico contributes to increasing the total amount of oil available to the world market, the question of whether Mexico supplies oil directly to the United States is not of crucial importance. If Mexico did so, as seems likely, the range of protection would be reduced, especially through licenses, which Mexico could extend to its industries, and it would be more difficult for the United States and Mexico to draw up special trade agreements. Therefore, it is not a fact that tens of millions of Latin Americans are returning to poverty in the long term after the pandemic. Most governments in Latin America and the Caribbean are instead focusing on post-COVID measures to restart their economies and address the problems created by slow growth, inequality and political fragmentation.

The United States is not in a position to be a monopolistic buyer of Mexican oil, and an oil contract with Mexico similar to the gas contract is unlikely to materialize. Economic growth is the most pressing issue for Latin American countries because it is most likely to provide resources to improve social conditions and the inclusion of their populations. The confrontation ended with a formula to save face: Carter accepted Soviet claims that the brigade was essentially a training unit that would not be used in offensive actions. As detentions along the U.S.-Mexico border once again reach record highs, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security has indicated that he is prepared to work with countries in the region, as well as within the United States.

They play on fears in the United States of a fragile and threatening region on its border that must be managed and contained. . .

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