"Geographic proximity has ensured strong linkages between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean, based on diverse U.S. interests, including economic, political, and security concerns. The United States is a major trading partner and the largest source of foreign investment for many countries in the region, with free-trade agreements enhancing economic linkages with 11 countries. The region is a large source of U.S. immigration, both legal and illegal; geographic proximity and economic and security conditions are major factors driving migration trends. Curbing the flow of illicit drugs has been a key component of U.S. relations with the region for more than three decades and currently involves close security cooperation with Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. U.S. support for democracy and human rights in the region has been long-standing and currently focuses on Cuba and Venezuela."
CRS Report for Congress, R45120