US Policy in Latin America: It Matters at Home   [open pdf - 726KB]

Until recently, US foreign policy in Latin America was overshadowed by the economic and political turbulence of Eastern Europe, the Baltic, Russia, and Southeast Asia. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the war in Bosnia, trade conflicts with Japan, and a multitude of United Nations peacekeeping initiatives throughout the world captured the focus of senior US policy makers. Latin America, with the cast majority of its states forging towards enhanced democratic rule and economic stability, failed to achieve the same level of keen US interest. The transition from authoritarian leadership to democratic rule and more investment-oriented internal economic policies throughout the region suggested that Latin America ".....was poised for a new boom...Five of the six fastest rising stock markets in the world (in 1991) were Latin American". It clearly appeared that success in Latin America had been achieved. But all in Latin America may not be as it appeared at that time. Unequal distribution of wealth, continuing budget deficits, and growing distrust in governmental institutions remain potential threats to the accomplishments of the past few years. Coupled with the recent financial crisis in Mexico, Latin America has recaptured our attention. This essay assesses US interests in the region, recommends US policy objectives in Latin America, and analyzes alternative strategies for accomplishing those objectives.

Public Domain
Media Type:
Help with citations