Sunday, February 12, 2006

Elections in Latin America

From the Christian Science Monitor:

As the hemisphere embarks on this election year, US policy must be designed to keep open avenues of discussion with emerging candidates and newly elected leaders, some of whom, at first blush, may not reflect every aspect of the US policy agenda. Part of this process, for policymakers and observers alike, is not to exaggerate this leftward drift. Rather than focus on the region in the aggregate or through an ideological lens, the US should examine the complex political, economic, and even personal relations and interests in each country.

In the end, elections in the hemisphere will produce governments with which the US will share more in common than not. The trick will be to remain engaged with those governments as they tackle the difficult problems of addressing structural poverty, exclusion, and inequality with respect for democratic institutions and rights. Ultimately, it is a practical - not ideological - decision each country will have to make; one which, if done democratically, deserves US support.


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