Having looked at Romney’s proposed Latin American policy myself, I wanted to add some further thoughts to what Greg said. Suffice to say, it’s a bizarre (if unsurprising) mix of extremely-outdated Cold War mentalities toward the region with post-9/11 concern over “terrorism.” from countries that have had nothing to do with terrorist acts in the United States since 1976 (and that terrorist act came from a U.S.-sponsored right-wing dictatorship, not leftists). Venezuela and Cuba are typical boogeymen in his vision of Latin America, and for whatever reason, he even mentions president Manuel Zelaya – the Honduran president removed in a coup in 2009 – twice in an attempt to criticize Obama’s foreign policy. He even mentions Iran twice – in the Latin American section.
All of these issues and characterizations of the region make his portrayal seem completely out of touch with reality. It’s not just that it’s antiquated. It’s not just that the association of Latin America with terrorist threats to the United States is baseless.
It’s that it doesn’t mention Brazil. At all.
If I were running to be president of a country that was facing serious long-term unemployment, troubled markets, and a recession, I don’t think I’d want to ignore a country that is currently the seventh largest economy in the world. And diplomatically, I don’t think I’d want to overlook a country that has taken an increasing role in international politics and economics. In fact, I’d probably want to address that country’s potential, perhaps look at its booming market to see if there are answers for the U.S.’s economic woes, and work towards improving relations with a country that has shown remarkable sustained growth and a growing importance in international politics and diplomacy over the past decade. I definitely wouldn’t want to completely ignore it even while fearing the unsubstantiated specter of Hezbollah in a continent that has fewer Muslims in its entirety than the United States alone has.
Continuing to see Latin America through Cold War-tinted glasses, where all countries are the same and only exist as existential threats to the United States, is not only antiquated; it’s foolish and ignorant. Romney’s failure to consider the potential that strengthening economic and political ties with Latin America would have for the U.S. economy reveals not only how unserious his foreign policy is; it shows that he’s not really ready to seriously deal with the economic woes facing the United States, either.