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Lost in the Americas: President Bush’s Strategy-Free Trip to Latin America

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Publication Date: March 2007

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress

Author(s): Dan Restrepo

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)

Type: Report

Coverage: Brazil Colombia Colombia Mexico Mexico


President Bush is set to depart this week on a five-country tour of the Americas that will underscore how miserably he has failed to deliver on his promise six years ago to revolutionize relations in the Americas. No doubt the cooperative tone the president will strike on the trip will mask the stagnant policy approaches that have guided U.S. relations with the Americas for most of President Bush’s administration. But rhetoric is not enough.

President Bush travels to Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico at a time of profound political, social, and economic change throughout the Americas. As a result of six years of neglect and mismanagement, the United States lacks a coherent strategy for maximizing the opportunities and managing the challenges those changes present. Neither six days of presidential photo opportunities nor one year (out of seven) of engagement with the region can fill those voids.