Lowenthal, Abraham F.
October 1976
Foreign Affairs;Oct76, Vol. 55 Issue 1, p199
This article discusses several approaches for the U.S. to improve its foreign policy and its relations with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Surely the U.S. should base its approach on a thoughtful assessment of its interests and how these relate to those of the other countries in the hemisphere, rather than simply on inherited doctrines or on unexamined habits of thought. The first step toward an improved Latin American policy would be to realize that for most purposes it probably should not have a distinct Latin American policy at all. The main problems the U.S. will face in the Western Hemisphere over the next decade are not regional but global questions, including making more fair and secure the terms of exchange between producers and consumers of primary products, expanding food and energy production and improving their distribution, using and conserving world resources efficiently and equitably, curbing the diversion of funds for military purposes, limiting pollution and dealing with its consequences, improving the welfare of individuals and communities, protecting fundamental human rights, trying to end state and antistate terrorism in all its forms, assisting the victims of natural disasters and avoiding man-made catastrophes and building more effective structures of global decision-making. The U.S. could better its relations with Latin America most by focusing seriously, and in a sustained way, on these critical issues. The primary aim of U.S. policy toward the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean should be to secure their active cooperation in dealing with this broad global agenda.


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