[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Americans Cool Towards Latin America

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Americans Cool Towards Latin America

I usually copy Herald letters to the editor that I feel are wrong, short-sighted, or just plain ridiculous. Today, however, I read a very good one from Robert Genovese of Miramar regarding a recent Andres Oppenheimer column about Americans not caring that much about Latin America. It pretty much mirrors the thoughts that entered my head when I first read the column.

Re Andrés Oppenheimer's Feb. 3 column, Do Americans care about Latin America? Not really: If Latin America is to be of any interest to the average American, Latin America and its leaders have to make themselves relevant and take responsibility for their role in world affairs. Although the international trade numbers are interesting, we all know that Latin America will continue to buy what the United States has to sell regardless of how much Americans care about Latin America.

To think that the sizable Hispanic population in the United States is a reason for the average American to take notice of Latin America is silly. What most non-Hispanic Americans, Hispanic Americans and recent immigrants from Latin American have in common is that they are all part of U.S. society and share common struggles and goals in the United States.

Once Latin America decides that it can do better than Hugo Chávez, Rafael Correa and Evo Morales; embraces transparency, accountability and education; and gives Americans reason to care, the survey numbers will change.



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