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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: February 13, 2003 (Extensions)]
[Page E208-E209]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr13fe03-20]                         



 
                             LATIN AMERICA

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. MARCY KAPTUR

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, February 12, 2003

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I submit the following article to be 
included in the Record:

[[Page E209]]

                [From the New York Times, Jan. 30, 2003]

      What the World Hears When the President Speaks; Remember Us?

                          (By Enrique Krauze)

       Focused on its enemies, the Bush administration has 
     forgotten its friends. Only one world region went entirely 
     unmentioned in the State of the Union speech: Latin America. 
     In another, far distant age--five days before terror struck 
     New York and Washington--President Bush pledged a new 
     alliance with President Vicente Fox of Mexico, on the grounds 
     that a strong Mexico makes for a stronger United States. 
     After 9/11, however, everything changed.
       All of Latin America now seems aware that the United States 
     has returned to an essentially reactive diplomacy that seems 
     to come to life only when there are missiles pointing at its 
     shores, Marxist guerrillas in the jungles, or revolutionary 
     governments in the old banana republics. This is unfortunate 
     because Latin America (with the exception of Cuba) has for a 
     decade been abandoning its old grievances, drawing closer to 
     the United States, opting for democracy and rejecting 
     militarism, statism and Marxism. What is needed to make 
     Washington take this Copernican shift seriously and support 
     it in tangible ways? Maybe what is needed is for the miracle 
     to end. And it may indeed end, if, in the face of American 
     neglect, Latin Americans turn toward the biggest specter of 
     the past: populism, the age-old temptation to put power in 
     the hands of a heaven-sent strongman--yesterday in Alberto 
     Fujimori's Peru, today in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, and 
     tomorrow perhaps in a charismatic Mexican politician.
       Unfortunately, populist sentiment has been reinforced by 
     Washington's mistakes. It lost democratic credibility by not 
     condemning the coup against the populist but democratically 
     elected Mr. Chavez. There was the scolding of Brazil and 
     Argentina by Paul H. O'Neill, the former Treasury secretary, 
     which sent their currencies tumbling. And there is the 
     supreme shortsightedness of the economic blockade of Cuba.
       More worrisome still is the administration's attitude 
     toward its neighbor. The shelving of the 2001 immigration 
     agreement was a mistake that has been compounded by new 
     subsidies for American farmers, which fly in the face of the 
     reforms required of Mexican agriculture under Nafta. Mexico's 
     rural regions are its most sensitive. It was peasants who 
     fought the Mexican Revolution 90 years ago, and it is from 
     rural Mexico that the next explosion would likely come.
       I agree with Mr. Bush that if Saddam Hussein is not evil 
     ``then evil has no meaning.'' But to combat evil, one must 
     find strength in friendship. In dealing with the south, 
     George W. Bush should try a different doctrine: pre-emptive 
     cooperation.

                          ____________________





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