Alternet.orgWashington Is Losing Its Grip on Latin America
By Mark Weisbrot, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Posted March 6, 2007.
As President Bush heads south for a seven-day trip to counter the populist political tide in Latin America, he’ll discover that Washington’s influence has collapsed and is not likely to recover.
“State of Denial” is the title of Bob Woodward’s famous book on the Bush team’s road to disaster in Iraq, but it would have served just as well for a description of their Latin America policy. This week President Bush heads South for a seven-day, five country, trip to Latin America to see if he can counter the populist political tide that has brought left governments to about half the population of the region.
Carrying vague promises of a joint effort on ethanol production — but no offer to lower tariffs protecting the U.S. market — President Bush hopes to entice Brazil into taking his side against his nemesis, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. This is a fantasy.