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Latin America’s new regional groups claim to share lofty goals, from resolving conflicts to coordinating political and economic policies. But there is little reason to believe that they are capable of achieving them.
As the Summit of the Americas approaches, Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose talks to Christopher Sabatini about how U.S. policymakers and academics view, and should view, the region; the history of hemispheric and inter-state relations; and, in particular, Brazil's remarkable rise and new position and influence in global affairs.
U.S. regionalists need a reminder that development doesn’t end politics and that contemporary Latin America has its own power dynamics. As the region enters a new era marked by increasing geopolitical autonomy and intraregional rivalries, it should be addressed with the mindset of international relations, not just comparative politics.
Some observers believed that opposition gains in last September's elections would weaken the Venezuelan president. Instead, he has consolidated control.
The Obama administration has pursued a Latin America policy based on the idea of partnership. But a number of recent crises in the region have shown that what the hemisphere needs from the United States is, in fact, more forceful leadership.
These three compilations of recommendations for the incoming Obama administration suggest broad, although not unanimous, agreement among policy elites in the United States and Latin America on specific steps to repair inter-American relations and to help Latin America better manage and safeguard its democracies.