Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

What Do the Budget Battles Mean for Latin America?

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on February 23, 2011

by Lisa Haugaars for The Huffington Post, February 22nd, 2011.

Is the United States really more secure if its neighbors view it as narrowly interested only in its own security? Do we want our nation’s reputation to be more about guns and less about helping to fight diseases and recover from natural disasters? Do we win good will and allies by being perceived as selfish?

We must ask these questions as the Congress debates radical budget cuts. Adam Isacson at the Washington Office on Latin America and I took a look at how the House Republican leadership’s proposal for this year’s budget (never finalized last year) will affect Latin America and U.S. relations with the region. What we found is alarming.

The House budget proposal slashes the kinds of foreign aid that show the generous face of our nation abroad, as well as those that most effectively address the impact of U.S. citizens’ demand for illegal drugs trafficked from Latin America. And since these categories are a tiny percentage of overall spending, it does so with minuscule impact on the deficit. (continue reading… )



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