Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama and Latin America

As I've been traveling through Latin America, people frequently ask me about the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and whom I am voting for. Since I'm not a mad revanchist/imperialist/know-nothing, I of course respond that I'm supporting Obama. Yet I always qualify my support of Obama with a line or two about how U.S. foreign policy is only slightly influenced by our president, and how the two-party system has effectively limited government philosophy (i.e., we are and will be ruled by the corporations, not by people). I do sincerely believe that Obama is a far better choice than McCain, but I do not have much hope for an enlightened rule by the next president.


Today, VenCentral.com has a post that squares with my belief. Obama will be at the helm of a ship that can't too easily change course. In direct opposition to that ship will be the iceberg South America, with a new power dynamic led by none other than Hugo Chavez, whom Obama has in the past demonstrated his opposition to.

Obama at the head of a sinking empire will not call off the millions of U.S. tax dollars that find their way into anti-Chavez organisations annually. Nor will Chavez budge on his grand ambition to inspire regional –and eventually world– socialism. What could a meeting between the two ultimately produce? It seems that the only beneficiary would be Chavez as the rising star, playing Obama in a showcase of how the Empire’s spots cannot change. Cooperation, even on a simple economic and mutually-beneficial level, cannot occur between nation-states with distinctly opposing and overriding ideological goals.


For all the Republican label throwing of "socialist," "terrorist," and even "crypto-Muslim"--although the right wing hasn't demonstrated that it even understands these terms--onto the Democratic candidate, Obama is a traditional politician in a very conservative and capitalist country. I don't see relationships between the States and Latin America getting any worse under his presidency, but I do not see a sea change of any sort. I do, however, hope I am wrong.

Oh, I guess I am wrong!

1 comment:

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