In 2007, a determined Democratic caucus put their collective feet down. They refused to consider any more free trade agreements without a new model, with stronger protections for labor, human rights, and the environment. And so in May, the caucus and its supporters cut a deal with the Bush administration for a new and improved FTA with Peru.
When George W. Bush left the White House, the rest of the world breathed a sigh of relief. The National Security Doctrine of unilateral attacks, the invasion of Iraq under the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction, and the abandonment of multilateral forums had opened up a new phase of U.S. aggression. Despite the focus on the Middle East, the increased threat of U.S. military intervention cast a long shadow over many parts of the world.
Without technology and know-how, even the world’s largest oil reserves are worthless.
Alvaro Colom signed an oil deal with Hugo Chavez while trying not to alienate the United States.
The new Republican chair of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs plans to seek sanctions against Venezuela for its purported ties to Middle East terrorist groups and Iran’s nuclear program.
The Costa Rican legislature on December 20 approved another deployment of dozens of U.S. ships to its territory for the next six months, but denied permission for warships to deploy to the country until a full debate occurs after the New Year.
Apparently Washington fears that even a modest change to a 1961 convention could call into the question its drug control regime.
Outgoing Brazilian President Lula isn’t too optimistic about U.S.-Latin America relations.
This past September, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew criticism for comparing the current situation in Mexico to “Colombia 20 years ago.” Most of that criticism questioned whether the analogy was appropriate or whether the statement was an unnecessary affront to a close U.S. ally, the Mexican government of Felipe Calderón. But the more significant part of Clinton’s comments was her enthusiastic praise for Plan Colombia—the massive U.S. military aid package started by her husband in 1999—and her insistence on the need “to figure out what are the equivalents” for other regions, particularly Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
They did it! After pre-announcing that no major decisions would result from Cancun talks and nearly two weeks of debates and discussions, the army of international climate change negotiators reached an agreement fully in line with the low expectations for it. In fact, they even managed to lower the bar on key issues.