Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Obama’s Latin American Trip

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 15, 2011

by Patricio Navia for The Buenos Aires Herald, March 15th, 2011.

When President Obama arrives in Latin America on March 19, the world attention will lay elsewhere. News of the visit will find it difficult to compete with the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan and the ongoing developments of the nuclear crisis. If the potentially destabilizing crisis in Libya, with its worldwide impact, is already struggling to remain atop the world news section, it will be difficult for the expectedly uneventful Obama visit to capture media attention beyond the region.

Even within the United States, the ongoing debate on budget cuts will divert attention. The American reporters travelling with the President will be more concerned with the negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress to avert a government shutdown than with the progress El Salvador, Chile and Brazil have made in consolidating their democracies and achieving sustained economic growth. The problems within the region, like the Nicaraguan-Costa Rican border dispute, the Kirchner government feuds with Washington, and the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela, seem unimportant and almost irrelevant when compared with the potential ramifications of the Libya and Japan crises

If the world will not be paying much attention to the U.S. President’s visit to Latin America, many in Latin American will also be more concerned with the impact the earthquake in Japan will have over economic development in Asia and over the demand for Latin American export commodities. After all, increasing exports to Asia is the main force behind the rapid economic growth in most of Latin America in the last few years. (continue reading… )



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