All News & Blogs
Stability and prosperity could result from an energy alliance among nations of the Western Hemisphere.
Visit the Photo Place
WASHINGTON--The United States cannot afford to keep putting Latin America on the back burner as it focuses the bulk of its attention on Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The Western Hemisphere holds significant strategic interest for the United States--as well as enormous promise.
Efforts should be focused in four key areas: building a democratic movement; enhancing trade and economic ties; cooperating on energy issues; and building and strengthening security alliances.
It's no coincidence that increased prosperity has followed in the wake of stronger democratic institutions in Latin America. Nor is it surprising that Cuba, which is still not a democracy, is struggling. Looking toward a post-Castro era, Cubans are taking increasingly bold actions to secure for themselves the political and economic freedoms enjoyed by the majority of their fellow Latin Americans. The United States should support them by finding new ways to increase connectivity among Cubans and expand access to 21st-century technologies on the island.
We also need to assist Latin America's many fledgling democracies. Free elections are crucial, but they aren't enough to secure
A new challenge could face us soon, as Venezuela holds its presidential election in October. If Hugo Chávez loses his election or is unable to continue to govern, other nations in the hemisphere should be proactive and resolute in making clear that they won't tolerate any attempt to suspend the constitutional order in Venezuela.