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Hope… but verify

6 November 2008

From NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America):

… For those of us concerned with U.S. actions around the world, the election of a liberal African American with international roots represents a possibility that how the United States comports itself overseas will, indeed, change for the better. This is an extraordinary moment.


But the inordinate power of unchecked global capital and the polymorphous “war on terror” remain unchanged. During the campaign, we got little sense that an Obama administration would, or could, attempt to reconfigure these realities. This is not surprising, given the pervasive shift to the neoliberal right that U.S. politics has made in the last few decades. …


We face what could be the most important moment in hemispheric relations in nearly a decade. Obama has made it clear that he will move decisively to re-engage with a Latin America that he sees as having been ignored under eight years of Bush. But the Obama campaign was a constant source of contradictions when it came to the Americas: He indicated a willingness to be more open toward Cuba, but reiterated his support for the embargo; he indicated that he supports a humane policy toward undocumented immigrants, but he wants to further militarize the U.S.-Mexico border; he supports human and labor rights in Colombia, but is unambiguous in his support for Plan Colombia and its counterpart in Mexico, the Mérida Initiative. …

My thoughts exactly. Obama is coming into officer with extraordinary good-will, but most observers are concerned that changes in U.S. – Latin American relations will be more style than substance. As I’ve said before, I am bothered by U.S. Presidents who want to “help” Mexico… which means helping loot the country for the benefit of the United States, and not those things like doing away with agricultural subsidies and dealing with the gun and money laundering problem which are not a matter of charity, but of treating Mexico as a legitimate NAFTA partner and neighboring nation.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. MaryOGrady permalink
    8 November 2008 8:00 am

    Geez Louise, the guy isn’t sworn in yet and the viewing with alarm has already begun.
    Obama is known as a listener. How about presenting concerns to his transition team before writing him off?

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