DIPLOMACY: The U.S. Knocks On Open Doors by ProQuest


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                The U.S. Knocks
                On Open Doors
                                                               trips in 2008, where we met with
                                                               the presidents of Peru, Ecuador,
                                                               Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, and
                                                                                                   corrupt governments in the region.
                                                                                                   In Argentina, President Cristina
                                                                                                   Fernández de Kirchner continues
                                                               Bolivia. What struck me was how     to battle inflation and interna-
                JOeL e. StArr                                  our conversations differed from     tional creditors, with public and

                       new dawn may be on the                  their public messages—both about    private debt held against Argen-
                       horizon for U.S. relations              Venezuela and the United States.    tina totaling $26.5 billion.
                       in the Hemisphere. Fresh                Paraguayan President Fernando          The new U.S. administration

                from meeting his hemispheric                   Lugo shared with us a message       should move forward to
                counterparts at the Summit of                  for the new U.S. president: “Tell   immediately assist these leaders in
                the Americas, President Barack                 Obama that the President of Para-   accomplishing domestic priorities.
                Obama has a unique opportunity                 guay dreams of a different Latin    The President will be knocking
                to use the political goodwill                  America. Tell him we should have    on an open door: along with Lugo,
                he has generated to revive                     a relationship we dream to have.”   the presidents and their staffs
                existing partnerships or create                   In Ecuador, when the             expressed great enthusiasm for
                new multilateral relationships.                conversation turned to Venezuela,   President Obama.
                More dynamic and harmonious                    President Rafael Correa referred       Perhaps Obama can exploit this
                relationships would not only                   to President Hugo Chávez as         goodwill by bringing sympathetic
                open areas for collaboration                                                       regional leaders together in a
                and provide the conditions for                                                     special summit of democracies.
                greater regional prosperity and           The United States forgave                Call it the Bolivarian Democratic
                growth, but also serve to blunt              $19 billion in foreign                Summit to attract the Venezuelan
                the worrying trend of cash-for-                                                    leader, with a promise that the
                influence politics.
                                                           debt to Lati
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