Thumbing their nose at Uncle Sam

Fascinating, especially since I've heard nothing about it from the U.S. press, and I'm a pretty heavy 'binge' reader of major media. But realistically, I'd expect more of the same for the future. The U.S. is seen as a sort of toothless bully at the moment, economy in tatters, military over-extended and bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not to mention, a President who thinks he's a metaphorical cousin to Christ, and whose every pronouncement, whether in mangled grammar, or reading like a Ralph Reed press release, is the equivalent to a Sermon on the Mountain ( of cash). In other words, a prime target for politicians of other nations to thumb their noses at.

And let us not forget Cuba, and our policy towards that country, nor let us forget the U.S. tried to instigate a coup in Venezuela recently, albeit unsuccessfully.
flag of Venezuela

The London Line : Thumbing their nose at Uncle Sam:

The United States is nursing a bruised ego. After decades of funding malleable regimes, fomenting right-wing coups and building economic hegemony in the Americas, Washington just found itself locked out of its own backyard.

This week saw leaders of the Latin American and Arab worlds meet in a historic summit in Brazil - and the US was denied even the courtesy of observer status. Washington is outraged, fearing that this was more than just a diplomatic slight: it sees it as the latest gesture of defiance from the two regions that bear the deepest grudge over recent US foreign policy.

The Summit of South American-Arab Countries, which concluded on Wednesday and was attended by Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, furthered Latin America's drive to strengthen relationships away from the United States. Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva led moves by South American states to cement alliances outside the US, which has traditionally held the South on a short leash economically.

Across Latin America, a new left has swept to power. In Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Chile and, most recently, Uruguay, charismatic leaders vociferously opposed to the US' free-trade agenda have won elections over the past six years. Ill feeling towards their northern neighbours is running high: in a recent poll, 85% of Latin Americans said they opposed Bush's re-election.
The State Department dismissed suggestions that the US' continental dominance is under threat. “We hope our friends in the hemisphere do not fall back on the failed policies of the past,” said a State Department official, who declined to be named. “We will work with any country, provided its leader is democratically elected,” he said. “ We urge them to crack down on corruption and promote free trade.”
That exhortation seems to fall on deaf ears. Washington's grand plans for a Free Trade Area of the Americas have stalled after Latin American leaders objected to proposals restricting access to US markets and continued subsidies for US industry. The rhetoric of the Brazilian summit will do nothing to quell fears that the FTAA is dead in the water.
Washington's most throbbing Latin American headache takes the form of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Birns believes Chavez, a man who has publicly called President Bush a “dickhead”, was “instrumental in orchestrating the summit”.
Venezuela, which controls 40% of the US' oil imports, has moved closer to Cuba, the bête noire of US-Latin American relations, since Chavez was elected president in 1998. He survived a US-backed coup in 2002 and, with the example of his radically socialist “Bolivarian revolution”, is giving the rest of the continent a lesson in bucking the north's neo-liberal agenda.
The snub completes a bad month for the US in Latin America. Both their preferred candidates for the presidency of the Organisation of American States were defeated two weeks ago in a bruising race eventually won by Chilean socialist Jose Miguel Insulza.

Sounds like a good reason to start impeachment proceedings against Resident Bush, doesn't it?


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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 13, 2005 3:16 PM.

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