President George W. Bush has been traveling around Latin America all last week in what seems as an attempt to tighten the ties between the region and the US, in what has become a rather stale relationship.
Well, it seems not to be working in the slightest as he is met by thousands of protestors in each country, some burning effigies of him and shouting profanities.
On the other side of the spectrum, US rival Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has been met with a grand amount of enthusiasm and cheers when he arrives in neighboring countries.
There is a large and evident reason as to why the reactions are polar opposites. It is simply that Latin Americans feel as if they are forgotten by the US and that the US doesn’t care for them. That is relatively true as the US is preoccupied by its current position in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Venezuela is not stuck in a hole like the US and is able to care for its neighbors.
That statement raises the question: Is Venezuela’s sphere of influence a detriment to the US?
The answer to that is no, and why should it be if it means that other nations are receiving the aide they need?
On March 12, 2007 Chavez trekked to the poorest country in the Americas, Haiti. In the recent visit he welcomed the country into a program to provide preferential financing terms for oil, called Petrocaribe and agreed to donate 150 million dollars to them. Chavez has also donated 30 million dollars to Bolivia to help with their poor social services among donations to other nations.
Why is the US trying to cut Venezuela’s ties to other nations when it is doing the deeds that need to be done in order to help the further success of Latin America?
On another level, the US should not be in the faintest sense worried about an armed struggle between itself and Venezuela aligned with its allies. Even the most ignorant of leaders would not want to have a full scale war with the US.
The last thing the US needs to do is push away Venezuela. While the two nations may differentiate on numerous matters, it is in the best interest of both states and the Americas as a whole, if the two countries could work together to better the current situation.Overall, the US should not dwell on the Venezuelan opposition as they pose no direct significant threat towards the US’s security. Though, if the US must deal with Venezuela it would be better to embrace than instigate.