Saturday, April 20, 2019

Obama Strengthens Relations With Latin America

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The United States is working to rebuild past relations with Latin America in the recent weeks. This was shown largely in part by President Obama’s visits to Cuba and Argentina this week. However, since it is the President’s last term and the choice for the next presidential candidate is unpredictable, Latin America is greeting this progress with hesitation.

The upcoming presidential campaign has clouded over most of the other current issues happening in the U.S. government right now, especially with the media’s continuous focus on Donald Trump’s campaign. We still have yet to see if Obama will be able to leave his mark and be able to pass through his nomination for the next Supreme Justice, Merrick Garland.

Obama’s trip to Cuba, marks the most significant presidential visit to Latin American since 1959, when conflicts in Cuba led Washington’s decision to back authoritarian regimes in the country. With the placing of a trade embargo on Cuba after the Cold War, there has been resentment from Latin Americans in Washington due to the idea that The United States seemed to be tougher on Cuba as opposed to other non-democratic governments in the region. The President’s visit backs the idea of much needed change and progress in the relationship between the two countries.

Argentina will also be paid a visit by President Obama. For the past twelve years, Washington and Buenos Aires have had detached and often challenging relations. Argentina’s current president, Mauricio Macri, has a much softer position towards the United States than his past predecessors. The two presidents will discuss trade and commerce between the two countries.

President Obama’s visits to Cuba and Argentina are very significant but the current leading presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both have more protectionist views on trade than those of Obama. The upcoming presidential elections could mean Obama’s efforts might be short lived, especially with Trump’s anti Hispanic rhetoric. While Obama’s trip to Cuba was extremely welcomed, the upcoming change in power means Argentina could receive the visit with much more hesitancy as we see the future of the presidential race unfold.

Buenos Aires Herald