Monday, September 15, 2008

Barack Obama’s Latin American Policy Experience

While Senator Obama is reviewing policy plans and preparing potential jabs at Senator McCain, staying of course at the lovely Belleview Biltmore golf and spa resort in Clearwater, Fla, I ponder to think what does the Latin American community think of this junior senator? And what do they really know about his Latin American platform?

South Florida received a bit of Sen. Obama’s flavor when he presented at the Cuban-American Foundation back on the week of Cuban Independence day on May 20. At that time, the mainstream Cuban-American community charged that Obama presents bland open promises of “change” without any substance, making them reminiscent of Castro’s insurgency in the mountains of Cienfuegos. A scary thought even in the post-cold war world of potential Islamic terrorism.

Even worse, this still does not consider that most Latinos are racists. Many Latinos would not consider Sen. Obama, even with his academic accolades and national achievements, simply because of—indicated by touching an index finger to their wrist—his color. The historical tradition of Latin American social hierarchy was through extraction—encouraged people to open their hand to social classes ahead of the ladder while squashing and withdrawing from those below—was, so often enough, predicated by color. But are Latin Americans really racists and do they really fear a new global crisis with Sen Obama?

Besides, without a clear look at Sen. Obama policies will this ignorance continue?

Honestly, the Democrats winning the White House could help Latin America and its current political and economic condition. Although with some gaps, Obama would like to return America’s leadership in the Hemisphere. He wants to employ American immigrants to US public diplomacy, expand the Peace Corps to Kennedy’s desire of 50,000, and re-establish US special envoy of the Americas in the White House.

Sen. Obama shares favorable democratic and social policies with moderate socialists governments of Michele Bachelet, Fernando Lugo and Tabare Vazquez. Which together, they could help sway politically difficult issues in multilateral organizations like the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States to help America fight and promote democracy against the Latin America’s “axis of evil” Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and other supposed foe. Appealing rationality to extremist with more friends could help the region. Engagement can only combat fear.

What's more, it is undisputable that Sen. Obama has superior experience in combating gang warfare and maintain high-quality security, which is a major issue currently effecting Central America and Mexico. A historic obstacle on the South Chicago, where Sen. Obama has experience to promote peace through civic engagement and faith based assistance. Possibly, this real experience might not help him win some votes, but it could provide endless use in the fight against the MARA and the Salvatrucha.

Finally, Sen Obama will promote more foreign assistance, engage the United Nations to eliminate the global education deficit, lead the world in the fight against the HIV aids epidemic, support small and medium enterprises, fight for more fair trade, while obeying human rights and labor standers, just to name a few ideas on the campaign. In conclusion, shouldn’t Latin’s reconsider Mr. Obama’s skin color, since it could help to put them in the oval office one day?

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