Mar 10, 2011

President Obama Prepares to Travel to Latin America

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3/10/11

Source: Council on Hemispheric Affairs

By COHA Research Associates Robert Cavooris, Christina Sabato, and Mike Reaney

On March 19, President Barack Obama will embark on his first tour of selected Latin American nations since taking office two years ago. Stops on his trip will include Brazil, an emerging world power, Chile, a stable U.S. ally, and El Salvador, a Central American nation mired in an ongoing drug and anti-crime war.

By strengthening ties with these countries, President Obama hopes to maintain a balance of power in the region against members of the Caracas-led Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). This left-leaning intraregional coalition seeks greater independence from Washington and the right to strengthen their relations with foreign nations hostile to U.S. interests. To counter this, President Obama is bolstering moderate allies in Brasília, Santiago, and San Salvador by expanding commercial ties, supporting private-sector infrastructure development, and providing military aid.

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