Return to Common Sense
October 20, 2012
Section: Foreign – Latin America
“Our southern neighbors are evolving politically and sharing in our economic prosperity with Free Trade Agreements can help tip them toward a free market economy and democracy.”
“The U.S. would welcome any initiative to control this leftist leadership. If you look out over South America, the only country that is a staunch supporter is Colombia. The rest are lukewarm to say the least." David Fleischer.
Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):
Latin America is divided into 20 independent countries and several dependent territories.
- Latin America is the region of the Americas where Romance languages are officially or primarily spoken.
- Most Latin American countries predominately use Spanish as their official language.
- Brazil is by far the largest country of Latin America, both in area and population, but speaks Portugese.
- The primary religion throughout Latin America is Roman Catholicism.
- The rich mosaic of culture is derived from combination of Native, European, and African cultures.
Organization of American States (OAS) is composed of 35 independent states of the Americas.
· Charter of the Organization of the American States is a Pan-American treaty signed in 1948.
· OAS goal is "to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence."
· OAS has eight essential purposes:
o To strengthen the peace and security of the continent.
o To promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention.
o To prevent possible causes of difficulties and to ensure the pacific settlement of disputes that may arise among the member states.
o To provide for common action on the part of those states in the event of aggression.
o To seek the solution of political, judicial, and economic problems that may arise among them
o To promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and cultural development.
o To eradicate extreme poverty, which constitutes an obstacle to the full democratic development of the peoples of the hemisphere.
o To achieve an effective limitation of conventional weapons that will make it possible to devote the largest amount of resources to the economic and social development of the member states.
Latin America is important to the U.S. economically and politically.
- In 2001, the region’s governments adopted the Inter-American Democratic Charter, committing themselves to the promotion and defense of representative democracy.
- In 2004 total merchandise trade between U.S. and Latin America was $409 billion, about 17% of total.
- Free Trade Agreements lower the cost of commerce and open door to opportunity.
- Free Trade Agreements have been made with Canada, Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic, and four Central American states.
- Free Trade talks are underway with Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
- Since 2004 U.S. Chile Free Trade Agreement total U.S. exports increased by 24%.
- 57% of people expressed confidence in the private sector in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Venuzuela.
Brazil has become am emerging world power in the last few decades.
· Brazil has demonstrated how a multiethnic democracy and free market economy can help millions pull themselves out of poverty.
· President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, labor leader turned statesman, has been defined largely by steady pragmatism.
· Lula has demonstrated that antipoverty programs are good business and that economic growth is objectively better when the opportunity that comes with it is shared more equitably.
Chile is the best performing country in the Andes.
· Exceptional openness to international trade and investment contributes to high trade freedom
· Prudent governance translates into a high score on government spending.
· Two institutional essentials enable economic development and prosperity:
o Regard for the rule of law.
o Protection of property rights.
With a combined population of only 10 million, Uruguay and Paraguay have quietly been growing at very fast rates, improving their economic stability, and boosting their credit ratings.
· In 2010, Uruguay’s economy expanded by 8.5%, and it received 29% more foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2010 than in 2009.
- In 2010, Paraguay posted the second-fastest economic growth rate (15%) in the entire world, thanks to a record soybean crop and exports increased by 43%, with soybean exports jumping by a remarkable 102% and meat exports growing by 59%.
The threat of corruption sown systematically by transnational organized crime is serious, and it requires the region's urgent attention.
- In Mexico the criminality surrounding the illicit drug trade is a "serious national security threat" that undermines the nation's quality of life, development, and citizen safety.
- Eighteen nations in Central and South America have agreed to a Colombian-led effort to produce a "transit zone" strategy to "confront all the links" in the drug chain.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) emerged in 1962 from a federation of former British colonies.
- The foundation was first set in 1968 with the Caribbean Free Trade Association, whose first members included Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.
- Since then, 11 additional members have joined the group.
- The objective is to form a political and economic union as well as a common market that would play an integral role in their future development.
- CARICOM moved to form a regional “Single Market and economy” (CSME) in 2001.
The communist regime in Cuba remains isolated economically and politically and has turned into ruins in just five decades.
· Cuba’s inflation-adjusted GDP is 5% of what it was in 1958, the year before Castro.
· Cuba is unable to meet its own food production needs and now imports 84% of its food.
· Cuba produced 7 million tons of sugar in 1952, but is down to 1.5 million tons in 2008.
· Economic policies of collectivization, killing of individual incentive, inefficiency, constant changes of policy destroyed the economy.
Venezuela’s Hugo Chaves is taking his country into fascism, funded by oil revenues.
- “Voted” to hand over absolute power over to Chavez for next 18 months.
- Plans to nationalize country’s major infrastructure-related industries.
- Promoting a homegrown socialism inspired by the Cuban experience, with Venezuela face.
- Funding FARC, a narco-terrorist organization, that is the ruling power in several countries.
Bolivia’s Evo Morales suspended civil liberties and asks for a counterweight to U.S. trade.
- Constitution enshrines state ownership of natural resources and communal property principal.
Politicians falling into an authoritarian populist model have also emerged in Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
- While these leaders have leftist economic agendas in common, what is far more disturbing is that in most cases they advocate the dismantling of the political and constitutional orders of their countries and the concentration of power in their hands.
Support our allies economically and politically.
- Provide an economic free trade alternative to hard line regimes.
Reaffirm the central principles of democratic governance and rule of law.
- Support Freedom of Expression, Association, and Assembly.
- Support Representative Democracy.
- Strive for Hemispheric Security (Criminal, Drug, and Terrorist Threats).
Promote Americas Free Trade Agreements to include as many Latin America countries as possible.
- Approve FTAs with Peru, Columbia, and Panama.
- Extend trade preferences to Bolivia and Ecuador.
- Pursue additional bilateral FTAs with other Latin American countries.
- Cut funding for all Summit of the Americas activities, because they lost focus on key goal of free trade.
Promote regional collaboration against transnational crime and terrorism.
“How Chile Successfully Transformed Its Economy” by Hernan Buchi Buc dated September 18, 2006 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/WorldwideFreedom/bg1958.cfm .
“Assembly to rewrite constitution” by Martin Arostegui dated October 4, 2006 published by Washington Times at http://www.washtimes.com/world/20061003-094140-9693r.htm .
“Latin America’s Leftist Menace” by Frank J. Gaffney Jr. dated October 16, 2006 published by Front Page Magazine at http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=24980 .
“Promote Andean Free Trade But Limit Preferences” by Ana Isable Eiras and Stephen Johnson dated October 20, 2006 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/TradeandForeignAid/em1014.cfm .
“A Long Goodbye to Democracy” by Mario Loyola dated January 4, 2007 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzY0OTczYjJmYTA0NmJiOTY1Njg4NmRjOTc3YTllMzk .
“Collapsing Venezuela” by Richard W. Rahn dated January 24, 2007 published by Washington Times at http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20070121-102603-4793r.htm .
“Nuance in Chavez’s Rhetoric Tells of Future Plans for Region” by Helle C. Dale dated February 15, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/wm1360.cfm .
“Carbon Copying the Cuban Model” by Eric Driggs dated July 19, 2007 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=29200 .
“Working Capitalism” dated July 30, 2007 published by Investors Business Daily at http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=270688290917753 .
“Hectored by Hugo” by William Ratliff dated August 7, 2007 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=3323854F-8CAD-481D-B4B0-D93ED9AA6B78 .
“Brazil’s Economic Growth Shouldn’t Be Overlooked” by Ian Bremmer dated October 20, 2007 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/10/brazils_economic_growth_should.html .
“Chavez Moves Toward War” by Martin Sieff dated March 7, 2008 published by Human Events Online at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25376 .
“Legacy or Complacency?” by Roger F. Noriega dated August 6, 2008 published by American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.28435,filter.all/pub_detail.asp .
“Rethinking the Summit of the Americas and Advancing Free Trade in Latin America” by James M. Roberts dated August 8, 2008 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/bg2170.cfm .
“Communist Cuba: 50 years of Failure” dated December 30, 2008 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=315532982181405 .
“10 Points for President-Elect Obama’s Latin America Strategy” by James M. Robert and Ray Waiser dated January 9, 2009 at http://www.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/wm2198.cfm .
“Heading Off Another ‘Lost decade’ in Latin America” by Roger F. Noriega dated March 17, 2009 published by American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.29556/pub_detail.asp .
“Obama and Lies About Castro’s Cuba” by Christopher Ruddy dated April 20, 2009 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/ruddy/ruddy_castro_cuba/2009/04/20/205214.html .
“El Insulza Conspiracy” dated June 1, 2009 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=328747339570574 .
“Economic Freedom in the ‘Bolivian Andes’ Is Melting Away” by James M. Roberts dated June 29, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lecture/Economic-Freedom-in-the-Bolivarian-Andes-Is-Melting-Away .
“U.S. – Central American Security Cooperation” by Ray Walser dated May 31, 2011 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Testimony/2011/05/US-Central-American-Security-Cooperation .
“Time for U.S. Leadership at the Organization of American States” by Ray Walser published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/06/Time-for-US-Leadership-at-the-Organization-of-American-States .
“Quiet Success in South America” by Jaime Daremblum dated November 11, 2011 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/blog/quiet-success-in-south-america/ .
“CARICOM: U.S. Should Push Back Against Chavez in the Caribbean” by Ryan Olson and James M. Roberts dated October 19, 2012 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/10/caricom-us-should-push-back-against-chavez-in-the-caribbean .