I remember in 1999, at the Republican convention, Condoleeza Rice made a rousing foreign policy speech about America returning to her backyard, and staying away from anything outside our hemisphere to the standing ovation of the kool-aid drinking neo-cons.
Well, lets just say that she never received the memo about the Middle East then.
Finally, the Americans' have realized that Latin America is just south of Texas and Florida, and full of progressive politics, and progressive technology. To the dismay of the Ne0-cons, the region is full of independent left-leaning leaders who no longer bow at the feet of the IMF and World bank. The 20th century left Latin America at the mercy of these institutions, and forced dramatic and destructive economic policy on the region as a whole.
So now, the Americans see Latin America as an asset once more. The Bush administration is paying attention to a region it long neglected, as Chinese interests have moved into countries like Mexico and Brasil. The amount of Oil coming out of Latin America is also an issue to be explored.
But with the American follies in the middle east, comes contempt and lack of respect for what formally used to be a visit of Cesar to the provinces. It's bad politics anywhere (except Israel) to play up the relationship with the Bush Administration. So, lets see if the FTAA ideas get anywhere, more like nowhere.
Lets hope Bush and co. enjoy the frosty reception and realize taxing ethanol imports from Brazil to the tune of 40 cents a gallon will get them nowhere fast in terms of finding a non-Arab source of oil. Western hemisphere relations are very important, and I think the current Canadian government has no real strategy in dealing with anything south of Mexico.
That's just a few of my musings on that part of the world.