Friday, March 1, 2013

SECSTATE Kerry - Latin America Relations (and Drugs)

What about John Kerry, the new SECSTATE? Here's one piece of advice for Secretary Kerry, but it's advice that Kerry's master, President Obama isn't likely to agree with:

En su nuevo cargo de secretario de estado norteamericano, John Kerry tiene una gran oportunidad para compensar el desinterés con el que Obama trató a América Latina durante su primera presidencia. Como veterano observador de los asuntos de América Latina, creo que las principales prioridades de Kerry en la región deberían ser: (1) revivir un enérgico programa de libre comercio, (2) aumentar el apoyo que presta Estados Unidos a las instituciones que hacen cumplir la ley en países plagados por la violencia como Honduras y Guatemala, y (3) hacer de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) un vehículo más efectivo para promover y defender la democracia. Esas iniciativas enviarían señales positivas a los aliados y asociados democráticos de Washington. (Jaime Daremblum -- fue embajador de Costa Rica en los Estados Unidos) 
A friend of mine who works for USGOV explained the US ambivalence toward Mexico this way: It's difficult to get people to notice trouble in their own backyard. It's just tough - sort of like not cutting your own lawn because the neighbor across the street is shooting porno movies with the windows open.
President Otto Perez Molina
Secretary Kerry will continue to hand-hold with the authoritarian governments in Latin America because President Obama is more comfortable with them than he is with those governments who trend on the democratic side of politics. At the moment, George Soros (think what you will of him) is spending a lot of time in Guatemala, sleazing around with President Otto Perez Molina. Soros' official position is that he wants to combat illegal narcotics trafficking. If that's his intent, perhaps Perez Molina isn't the best of people to do it with because the esteemed president has been strongly alleged to be a major precursor dealer with Mexican drug cartels, Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion being the foremost. Maybe that's only in his past? Perhaps he has reformed and reinvented himself.

Even though Secretary Kerry doesn't seem to know it (yet), there are tense times coming for the Republic of Mexico as President Enrique Pena Nieto stands at the helm of the Mexican ship of state. That ship will be running over a lot of rocks and shoals this summer as they fight established drug cartels, all the time managing the drug business themselves more and more outside of traditional narco circles (with the intent of avoiding violence). It's like dancing on quicksand with a pogo stick. If Kerry and the Obama Administration link themselves too closely with the Mexican regime, they could very easily be accused of drug dealing themselves as the US closes on the 2014 mid-term elections.

The US is unlikely to give any serious attention to Latin America under an Obama Regime  (see the porno movie analogy above) because the President and the NSC is focused on Africa and the Middle East.

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