According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), of London, the Latin America is re-defining its alliances while realizing its international importance, reducing significantly the North American influence in the region.
In its annual strategic balance, the IISS affirms that this year, “several Latin-American countries realized themselves as emergent powers in the world scenery and expect to be treated as such”.
This Latin-American change of direction would be led by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of Brazil, which imposed a political agenda with global interests and aspirations.
In spite of not having concretely turned in something, the Brazilian decision of practicing influence in the conflict of the Middle East and in the defense of the Iranian nuclear program was surprising.
This process happened at the same time in which the Latin-American countries decided to look for new extra-regional partners, like China, Russia and Iran.
The study shows that the United States lost space in an area considered historically as of its influence.
It preoccupies, especially, the strengthening of the Iranian relations with Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela.
Also contributed to the North American weakening in the Latin America: the political crisis in Honduras and the military agreement secured with Colombia and that will give to the United States the right of operating in seven bases in that country.
In spite of the Constitutional Court of Colombia having decided that the subject must pass in the Congress, President Juan Manuel Santos studies means of enlarging and of deepening the cooperation.
Finally, the Brazilian decision of proposing a regional entity that excludes the United States, Canada, Portugal and Spain also boosted this process.
The future Community of the Latin-American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will dispose of the presence of Cuba, which snubbed its reintegration to the Organization of the American States (OAS).
For the IISS, the United States will have to make an effort to retake the diplomatic bonds with the Latin America starting with friendlier countries, like Colombia and Peru.
Besides, ‘trade’ and ‘energy’ must orientate the new discussions instead of ‘Cuba’ and ‘the struggle against the drug traffic’, for example.
Brazil received an alert of the International Institute for Strategic Studies so that it avoids imperialist impulses and ruptures with the United States.
The IISS also points out the growing influence of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), and of Bolivia and Mexico, regarding the climatic changes and the creation of the Union of the South American Nations (UNASUR).
Analysis of the news
When Barack Obama was elected a president of the United States, the Latin America believed that it would stop being the “North American backyard” and that the relations would reach another level.
Obama honored the Summit of Americas in Trinidad and Tobago and talked with Hugo Chávez, who gave to him the book As veias abertas da América Latina (“The open veins of the Latin America”), of the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.
And it stopped there.
The North American politics regarding Cuba was maintained as well as this aberration that is the Naval Base of Guantánamo.
The increase of the military presence in the region was reached in the agreement secured in October of 2009 with Colombia.
The United States adopted ambiguous posture regarding the political crisis in Honduras, when it wanted the overthrow of Manuel Zelaya.
Before the frustration, the Latin America searched and found new partners.
China, Russia and Iran used the opportunity and “landed” in the region with commercial offers, credit lines, military material and political backrest.
The increase of these presences preoccupies the United States. And, day after day, it decreases its influence among the Latin countries.
The “quagmires” represented by Afghanistan and Iraq and the financial crisis faced by the country contribute to this situation.
Even the conservative Colombia of Juan Manuel Santos wants to diversify the relations, to look for new markets and to reduce the dependence of the United States.
Remains to know until when the falcons will allow a “flight-solo” of the Latin America without sabotaging initiatives like the UNASUR, for example.
Or maybe the radicalism of the Left of some won’t be enough so that the region doesn´t reach a level of integration that makes it really strong politically and economically.