Mar 21, 2007

Setting the diplomacy bar low

I know this is a lot of political talk for one day, but here's a great article on Bush's recent trip through Latin America. I really like the author's analysis and think he nails a few important points:

- For all the hubbub created whenever Chavez and Bush are in the same vicinity, Chavez doesn't pull the strings of Latin America like the Venezuelan president's right wing opponents want us to believe. Despite the leftist nature of many current South American leaders, it's not a unified bloc.

- Very little was actually accomplished during Bush's trip. When it comes to diplomacy, this president has a habit of setting the bar extremely low. (Actually, I'm not sure there even is a bar.)

- South America is moving away from closer relations with the U.S. and more toward closer relations with China and toward a Latin American common market, a la the EU. And although this will inevitably be seen as a threat to American hegemony by those on the right, many South American countries at this point feel like the moment for cozying up to Washington has passed.

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