Why Latin America Is Important

In today's economic order the U.S. needs strong allies. Cultivating relationships in Latin America is essential if Washington wants to continue to exercise leadership in the region.

Is it necessary for Obama to tour Latin America while bombs explode over Tripoli? Yes, says Mauricio Cardenas. "Obama's trip south is important for long-term U.S. interests, and long overdue. In today's economic order, where the G-20 is essentially a board of directors with only minority shareholders, the United States needs strong allies. Brazil is the ideal partner: large among the emerging countries, democratic, free of internal tensions, and without enemies. Cultivating that relationship is essential if Washington wants to continue to exercise leadership in the region."

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