Obama Continues US Latin American Policies – The Region Reacts

Posted on March 1, 2010


Not much “change we can believe in” with regard to our Latin American neighbors. Obama has seemingly continued the controversial Bush Administration policies in the region.  His own actions –  backing of the Honduran coup and continued sanctions against Cuba – have exacerbated tensions with the Central, South American and Caribbean countries.

Against this backdrop, The Group of Rio held their annual Summit of Unity in Cancun, Mexico last February. These summits date back to 1987. [Wikipedia]

The February Summit was dedicated to strengthening Latin American and Caribbean integration.[Venezuelananalysis] The desired outcome was reached when members of the Caribbean organization known as CARICON  signed on. [CARICOM]

It is noteworthy that the US and Canada have been excluded.  However, US officials have put a positive spin on this in saying that they don’t foresee this group replacing the Organization of American States (OAS) [Philly Burbs] They also point to the fact that there are many issues that separate the member states.

Undeniably,  the new organization is clearly a move away from US dominance in the region. During the first day of the Summit, the newly formed Unity group came out in strong support of Argentina in its fight for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Maldives).Obama has followed traditional US policy of neutrality  in the regarding the ongoing dispute between Argentina and Britain over the islands – a dispute that provoked a war in 1982 between the two claimants.

With their new-found strength in unity, the 32 nation states at the conference issued a strong resolution in support of Argentina in its claim and in its recent complaint to the UN over Brittish oil drilling in the waters near the islands.

Without a US policy change we can expect further “continental drift.”

NOTE: The CARICOM role in the new organization brought to our attention by barbadosunderground.wordpress.com.  This blog is a brave reaction to local suppression of free speech.

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