Friday, March 09, 2007
GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY
This weekend G.W. Bush is off to Latin America, supposedly to better our image there and to promote the use of ethanol. He has signed a deal, sweet as sugar cane, with Brazil (Rain Forest be damned). All the while, his visit raises the old debate: capitalism v. socialism.
On the eve of his visit, Bush invoked the name of Simon Bolivar (photo, left). Pres. Chavez holds Bolivar as a hero, and has claimed his socialism is based on ideals from Bolivar. Who is right? More importantly, which ideology has more to offer the people of Latin America?
Here is where history offers an answer. President Franklin Roosevelt understood how to combine socialist and capitalist principles into a working combination. Europe and Latin America have done so for decades. Roosevelt also changed our policy toward Latin America-- from one of intervention and imperialism to one of respect and cooperation-- the Good Neighbor Policy. Had we a president with the brilliance and insight of Roosevelt, we would be greeted not with protests but with cheers from the people of Latin America. We need leaders who don't name drop Simon Bolivar, but rather understand and believe in his ideals.
See also: Bush in Argentina (click)