El Presidente de la Republica Bananera de los Estados Unidos Barack Obama [meaning the President of the Banana Republic of the US] has arrived in Columbia for this weekends Americas Summit in which he will meet with Latin American leaders. One of the big issues is the failed war on drugs as Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina stated earlier this week and his solution is to legalize drugs in order to stop the drug cartels. El Presidente Obama is NOT receptive to that suggestion, however. Another big issue is Cuba and earlier this week Obama told Latin American reporters that Cuba has shown no interest in changing its relationship with the US nor have they shown a willingness to respect human rights or the democratic system. It seems Obama is attending the summit with some hardline positions.
The failed war on drugs and Cuba are expected to dominate most of the discussions at the summit and both issue increasingly reflect the American governments disconnect with more assertive and independent Latin American nations under the leadership of the growing powerhouse Brazil. Other issue to be discussed at the summit are reducing poverty, regional integration, reducing inequality, increasing access to technology, and combating transnational crime.
President Molina and others are planning to push decriminalization of drugs over the weekend at the summit. Obama has responded by saying the issue reflects the frustrations of Latin American governments and people. However, he said, legalizing drugs would have negative consequences in all countries in terms of public health and safety. He added that legalizing drugs would NOT eliminate the dangers posed by the drug cartels and other organized crime groups. In speaking about Cuba, President Obama said, “History shows that the yearning for human freedom and dignity cannot be denied forever. No authoritarian regime lasts forever.”
Something that Obama might get an ear full on is America’s neglect of Latin America in general. Latin American leaders are wanting a more equal partnership with the US. Obama, apparently, feels that more balanced partnership already exists as he told reporters this past week that Latin America and the US have more shared interests and common heritage than any other group of nations in the world. That is true, however, it does nothing for balancing the relationship with Latin American nations who have historically been dictated to by the US.
Brazil is becoming a powerful economic leader in Latin America and it is exerting its influence on all other Latin American nations pushing for calls that the relationship between themselves and the US be transformed into a more equal one. Further, only Canada and the US oppose Cuba being part of the summit. Latin American leaders have no problem with Cuba but they are never invited to the summit of the Americas. Obama is going to hear a lot of protest this weekend from Latin American leaders who want Cuba involved and most likely they will be in the next summit meeting whether Washington and Ottawa like it or not.
Latin American nations have suffered greatly in terms of human lives and economics when it comes to the war on drugs which is going nowhere. Latin America leaders are frustrated and angry and they want other options to be considered on how to best resolve the drug running problems they face. Sadly, America is not providing leadership and President Obama seems content with the status quo even though it’s not working. But, this is an election year for Obama and he doesn’t want any controversy. Legalizing drugs would be a major target for his opponents like Mitt Romney the GOP frontrunner. That being said, one thing is clear. We are going to have to start looking at other options when it comes to the war on drugs because what we are doing right now is not working. Drug production and trafficking are up higher than ever before and so is global drug use. What is at issue with Latin American nations is what it is costing them in terms of money and human lives. The drug cartels are posing major threats to national governments and stability throughout Latin America. I pretty much think things are coming to the point in which Latin American leaders are going to reject being dictated to by the US on this and other important matters. They are already putting forth the message that if the US wants continued influence in Latin America then the relationship is going to have to start working on more equal terms as real partners and not as it is now and has been for decades which is like an autocrat ruling over many vassal states. Latin America is NOT the collective vassal state of the US or Canada!
President Obama has obviously gone to the summit with a hardliner attitude but after hearing what Latin American leaders like Molina and others have to say Obama may be coming home with an entirely different attitude. Latin America and the Hispanic people are NOT going to be dictated to anymore and that is also becoming very clear. Legalizing drugs may or may not be the best answer to the problem but discussion on the issue must begin somewhere because the war on drugs is one huge FAILURE! And when it comes to Cuba, keeping them on the outs is not going over well with Latin American governments or the Hispanic people. Cuba is a part of Latin America like it or not and Cuba should have a place at the summit just as Chavez’s Venezuela does. Mr. Obama or whoever replaces him in November may be in for a big surprise come the next summit when they see Cuba with a place at the Latin American table. Like I said. Hispanics are tired of being dictated to by the Republica Bananeras! A people and a nation have the God-given right to chart their own course even if others do not agree with that course. Self determination is a value and Latin American are catching onto that value.