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Here are excerpts from our interview. Marczak: My top priority is to ensure that our work helps set the agenda for a fast-changing world.
It is critical to continue to engage with policy makers, business leaders, civil society, and media, but also increasingly important to put forward a strategy where we are more broadly communicating our messages and listening to the views of people in the United States and Latin America. But we need to do this with a new sense of urgency and in a way that is not business as usual. The major governments in Latin America are increasingly opening to the rest of the world. One of the roles of our Center is to work with partners in the region to make this engagement a win-win.
How do we ensure that greater trade, commerce, and investment with Asia, Europe, and the United States is beneficial to the long-term prosperity of the peoples of the Americas?
In the end, global interests are served well by a prospering Latin America. Marczak: The top concern today in Latin America is the implosion of Venezuela. One of the top priorities of our Center is to raise global awareness of the deteriorating situation, [and] the role of international actors, but also to try and find solutions to improve the situation for the Venezuelan people.
A strong United States is propelled by a strong neighborhood.
This is an important moment to do that. We will be working to shed light on what is working well in NAFTA, what can be improved, and how to better relate the importance of the agreement to the broader American public.
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Marczak: Latin America is important to the United States first due to geography. Prosperity in our own hemisphere is critical to US stability.
The postwar world, 1945–80
Throughout history we have oftentimes taken Latin America for granted, except when things reached a boiling point. Also, Latin America is, in broader economic terms, a region poised for incredible growth in the years to come. It is a huge opportunity for US trade and, specifically, US exports. The US has more free trade partners in Latin America than in any other region of the world. As Latin America continues to rise in global prominence many Latin American nations, like Colombia and Brazil, are increasingly valuable participants in UN on-the-ground efforts.
And global powers continue to see Latin America as a rising player in setting the commercial and trade agenda.
Milestones: – - Office of the Historian
From a security perspective, stability and prosperity in Central America will pay dividends in rooting out lawlessness and clamping down on traffickers who use the region as a gateway to the United States. In the case of Venezuela, it is of interest not only because of the erosion of a democracy and creation of a narco state in our hemisphere, but as the situation continues to deteriorate we should expect to see a migration crisis that will eventually end up on the shores of the United States and our friends across the region.
This could have a major destabilizing effect. How can the United States best address this crisis? Marczak: The United States can best address the crisis in Venezuela through a carrot-and-stick approach, working collaboratively with friends and allies across the hemisphere as well as getting the European Union more involved. So far, the Trump administration has, despite the off-the-cuff comments from the president, taken a very smart and balanced approach to its policy on Venezuela.
On numerous occasions President Kennedy indicated the priority he placed on Latin America in the total spectrum of foreign-policy considerations by describing it as "the most critical area in the world. Although the United States must continue to be concerned with developments in many parts of the world, it is no longer either necessary or possible for the United States to become deeply involved in every area of the world and to undertake the massive political, military and economic commitments that such involvement entails.
The break-up of the bipolar world of the postwar era and the emergence of independent centers of power in the non-Communist world should in the decade ahead allow the United States greater freedom to concentrate its resources in areas of primary concern to our national interest. Europe remains of crucial importance in our foreign policy considerations and will retain this status for the foreseeable future.
But while the internal political, social and economic patterns of Europe are well determined by now, this is not the case with Latin America. The future structure of society and the external policy of Latin nations remain unanswered questions. Marxism as a guide to social development is a spent force in most European countries, but it remains a lively alternative in Latin America today. The example of Cuba suggests both.
U.S. Policy in Latin America
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