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Why the U.S. Must Re-Engage in Latin America

Stephen Johnson (1)
Backgrounder #1694
Heritage Foundation
October 3, 2003

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Although the Administration has revived the Western Hemisphere's free trade agenda and is working with Congress to counter Colombia's drug and terrorist threats, Latin America is less stable and prosperous than it was 10 years ago. Half-implemented reforms do not allow full citizen participation in politics or the economy. According to polls, Latin Americans have become increasingly disillusioned with their experiments in democracy and capitalism. Increasingly, the United States is the haven of choice for those fleeing violence as well as those locked out of economic opportunity in their own country, and the problems of international crime and terrorism are getting worse, not better.

If the Administration wants to help alleviate some of the hemisphere's problems before they demand attention as the Middle East does, it must begin to support deeper political and economic reforms, update its regional security policy, and better articulate America's interests in the region.

Why the U.S. Must Re-Engage in Latin America

[Document PDF]

1. Senior Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation Davis Institute for International Policy Studies

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October 22, 2003

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