In the week since the US re-elected Obama, analysts and specialists have stepped back to look at what his re-election might mean for Latin America.
- Eric Farnsworth has a piece up on the top 10 policy matters facing US-Latin American relations in 2013, including China’s relations with the region, a newly-reelected Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, and environmental issues.
- Just the Facts provided the general reactions of presidents and leaders throughout the region, including calls for the US to address the immigration issue (an issue about which both Obama and Romney were remarkably silent during the campaign), albeit alongside a more general expectation that little will change in US-Latin American relations in Obama’s second term. Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Felipe Calderón (Mexico), and others were all quick to offer their congratulations to Obama, while regional newspapers placed front and center the importance of the Hispanic vote in Obama’s re-election.
- Kevin Edmonds breaks down what the re-election might mean for the Caribbean in areas such as investment, efforts to crack down on the drug trade, aid to Haiti (which is still dealing with the ravaging effects of 2010’s powerful earthquake), and development, ultimately suggesting (again) that radical change seems unlikely, for better and for worse.
- In Mexico in particular, citizens were in favor of Obama’s re-election (even if Obama’s first term had not actually provided many substantive improvements with regard to immigration reform), and 1/3 of the population felt the election was very important to Mexico.
- In Venezuela, the response was more muted, with the expectation of a continuing “cold co-existence” between the US and Venezuela.
- The response in Cuba has been positive as well, not so much because of any improvements in US-Cuban relations that it might create, but because the more hard-liner alternatives under a potential Romney administration were more troubling.
- In spite of the enthusiasm for Obama’s reelection, many are also critical of his record on deportation of undocumented migrants; during his first term, he deported immigrants at a rate faster than George W. Bush (though Bush’s absolute total of deportations at the end of 2 terms was higher than Obama’s after one term).
- Meanwhile, a variety of scholars and analysts agree that the general Latin American perspective on the election’s outcome is one of satisfaction and that things shouldn’t shift too radically, though issues like immigration and state initiatives to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington could lead to subtle shifts in diplomacy in the region in both directions.