The Republicans have of course, got sidetracked on the issues of securing oil supplies for the USA over the next ten to fifty years and subsequent terrorist activities. Terrorist groups have been with us forever; such as the Red Brigades and other such groups going back many decades. It could be argued that this particular terrorist campaign is not much different than any other in the past fifty years. It was a foregone conclusion that the administration team of this Bush Jr. administration would give the American Continent less attention than needed, in the goal of uniting the American Continent countries into one economic trading block. The administration's life experiences being mostly in Europe, Russia and the Middle East during the Cold War.
Probably more worrisome is the fact that with the addition of a dozen new countries to the European Union the market and production potential competition from Europe for world resources and markets for industrialized goods is now theoretically equal between the two blocks. The quality of standard of living is, of course, going to be the result of this trade and the economic undeclared war between the countries of the American Continent and an expanded European block.
The Bush Administration has been making slow but steady headway in some facets of American policy. Notably in Colombia and the war on War Lords with bandit armies breaking up the country, encouraged by the backing of Europeans who see economic advantage in the anarchy and chaos that results. That war however, seems to be expanding, with the Colombian, European-backed FARC army now being used covertly by President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to solidify his position and to get rid of his political enemies. This is serious business for the USA. Because it is said by the newspapers, that fifty percent of current imported oil into the USA is coming from Venezuela. There is reported success with an expansion of free trade pacts with some fellow countries in the Americas. But how much of this is new, or just a re-hash of stuff already in the pipeline is open to debate.
Many parts of Latin America are going to hell in a handbasket, very fast. The Bush Administration needs a proactive strong American Continent policy maker more than ever before. And there is none on the horizon! The use of a Cuban in this role may satisfy voting blocks in South Florida, but Cubans are noted for having tunnel vision and mental blocks, and thinking "they are" Latin America. Nothing could be further from the truth. A Cuban in this role is of no use whatsover. You might as well get somebody who is tri-lingual off the local day labor store and get the same results. The same could be said of the traditional political and academic in-crowd of most Latin governments, both past and present. The Bush Administration is going to have to go outside of the box on this one, to get a pro-active policy maker for the Americas.
The Belize Development Issues section of the Belize Development Trust is probably studying and discussing problems and issues of the Americas countries more than any other think tank within, or outside the United States.
There is a lot of intelligence information available to the US State Department and to the Bush Administration. But the problem seems to be sifting through this intelligence and prioritizing what should be done and what can be accomplished. Perhaps the Bush Administration needs to pay attention to the little tiny country of Belize? More than one hands-on, motivated person has come from small, rural places like this, both in the USA and elsewhere.
I think it is time to put political party connections aside in the USA and get somebody who is concerned and active with strong goals and opinions.
Cuba may be a hotbed of political discussion among Cubans, but when it comes to the larger problems of the Americas, the subject is a non-starter. A dead issue until Castro dies! Of more serious consequence are places like the Central American countries and countries like Ecuador and Peru. All of them are important though and a united American Continent is probably going to be the vision that keeps the USA as world leader in this century. The Bush Administration needs to turn its attention back to the Americas and get a policy maker with proven vision and activism.
Opa Locka THINK TANK, Florida, USA.