domingo, 20 de marzo de 2011

Obama in Chile

Watching America

By Álvaro Cuadra

Obama’s visit will merely be a friendly conversation between businessmen.

Translated By Robin Salomon

18 March 2011

Edited by Alexander Anderson

Argentina - Argenpress - Original Article (Spanish )

The visit of the U.S. president to Chile is, beyond doubt, an important event for our country and the region. After all, Barack Obama is the first African American president of the world's leading power. He is also a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and is a major figure in world politics. His visit brings with it the spectacle of live media cameras and lights.

It is clear that Latin America is not at present a particular focus of American foreign policy. One need only recall the crisis facing so many oil-rich countries from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, or the desperate crisis in Japan, to conclude that our relative importance in Washington’s eyes is secondary at best.

The larger Latin American issues on the White House's agenda relate to illegal immigration and drug trafficking. However, there is a less public agenda connected with large investments in specific aspects of our economy, and on the sale of equipment and weapons to armies in the region. Obama’s visit to Brazil and Chile underscores his administration's interest in a market coveted by other powerful economies.

It is also a valuable opportunity to bring to the forefront the urgent need for Washington to initiate a new dialogue with its southern neighbors. Although brutal military dictatorships are mainly a thing of the past, it is also true that today many Latin American countries suffer the brutal consequences of a neoliberal economy that impoverishes millions without regard for the environment or for ethnic minorities.

The shameful scenes witnessed in Honduras only a few years ago remain fresh in our minds, when the mechanisms to preserve democracy failed miserably. To this day, the reality of Haiti remains an affront to Latin Americans, as does the suppression of indigenous populations in the south of our country. The U.S. president's visit to Chile presents a good opportunity to point out to our distinguished visitor that, as in Arab countries, we also aspire to the welfare and happiness of our people, with peace, justice and dignity.

We are interested, of course, in a respectful, frank and fruitful dialogue with the White House. This dialogue is a pending task that requires a new regional democratic institution that includes all of the governments of Latin American and the Caribbean. Otherwise, Obama’s visit will merely be a friendly conversation between businessmen.

2 comentarios:

Gladys dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Gladys dijo...

It’s kind of funny to keep reading and listening the same against the USA…South America from the time I remember has have a LOVE HATE relationship with the USA. We like to blame them for all our problems, and we expect them to solve them too. I believe it is time to grow up and learn how to take responsibility of our own issues/mistakes. Nobody can do to us more than we allow them to do!