In the post-Cold War world, Latin America and the Caribbean have become more important than ever. The dynamism of the region's cultures, its prodigious agricultural capacity and its vast energy reserves have made the region's place in the world community more significant than at any time since the colonial era. In short, there is no central regulatory body for Latin America like Brussels for the EU, nor are there regional shopping centers in terms of network centrality, such as China in Asia or Germany in Europe. Feldmann is an associate professor in the departments of Latin American and Latin American Studies and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
For a discussion of major cities in Latin America and their histories, see specific articles by name e. If the state of intergovernmental organizations is a barometer of regional cooperation in Latin America, then the picture looks bleak. The Colombian National Police has assisted its counterparts in Mexico and Central America, providing training and sharing good practices and expertise in matters such as surveillance, money laundering and drug union infiltration. Despite the existence of historical rivalries between several countries, Latin America has a long and fruitful tradition of cooperation in various thematic areas.
Despite the fact that the collapse of Venezuela has profoundly affected the continent, Latin American governments have become mere spectators of the crisis. Beyond geography, Latin American economies are not complementary and show similar export patterns (based on livestock, crops and mineral resources) and lack of diversification. Latin American countries have received, on average, less than a tenth of the per capita amount that other countries received due to the Syrian refugee crisis. The international community can play a role in the participation of Latin American countries with the objective of ensuring key democratic processes and institutions through international institutions such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mercosur, the OAS (despite its many shortcomings), WHO and the World Trade Organization.
For a time, particularly until the death of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela had a notable financial and political influence in Latin America, and governments across the Western Hemisphere were very divided in their responses, to the point that it became impossible to hold a regional meeting with all heads of state. Not only did the geography of the United States persist prior to contact, but both newcomers and indigenous inhabitants preserved their respective general characteristics for a long time, and it was the fit between them that determined many aspects of Latin American evolution. Regional governance is a fundamental instrument to help Latin America overcome its many daunting challenges.