"This report, which will be updated periodically, examines issues in U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing especially on the role of Congress and congressional concerns. For more details and discussion, see the listed CRS [Congressional Research Service] products after each section [...]Congressional attention to Latin America in the 108th Congress will likely focus on counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism efforts in the Andean region, trade issues, and potential threats to democracy and stability. U.S. counter-narcotics efforts will focus on continuation of the Andean Regional Initiative supporting Colombia and its neighbors in their struggle against drug trafficking and drug-financed terrorist groups. With regard to trade, now that negotiations with Chile for a bilateral free trade agreement are completed, Congress will likely consider implementing legislation for the agreement under fast track procedures. Congressional oversight also may focus on negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement, scheduled for completion in January 2005, and on negotiations for a free trade agreement with Central America. Congress may also pay increased attention to economic, social, and political tensions in South America that could threaten democratic order, particularly in Venezuela and Argentina. In the Caribbean, Congress will likely continue to debate the appropriate U.S. policy approach to Cuba, the region's only holdout to democracy, as it has for the past several years, while Haiti's persistent poverty and political instability may also remain a congressional concern. Finally, Congress will likely maintain an active interest in neighboring Mexico, with a myriad of trade, migration, border and drug trafficking issues dominating U.S.-Mexico bilateral relations."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31726
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/