Saca on the US role in Latin America
El Salvador's President Tony Saca, a close U.S. ally, can scarcely contain his frustration.The rest of the article goes on to reflect that:
He calls U.S. politicians ''shortsighted'' for failing to reform U.S. immigration laws. He says Latin American populism is ''a pendulum swing towards disaster'' that deserves more U.S. attention.
''The United States, in my judgment, should invest enormous resources in Latin America, along the lines of a Marshall Plan,'' he said in a recent interview. ``Generally speaking, when you want to have a neighborhood that gives you peace of mind, you have to invest in that neighborhood.''
There may be little the United States can do for Saca. President Bush has increased aid to Latin America by record amounts and visited Latin America more than any of his predecessors, but he remains unpopular and unable to pass initiatives that Latin Americans want, like immigration reforms and free-trade pacts. His legacy may be the biggest loss of U.S. influence in the Western Hemisphere in recent memory.
''The United States is not as important as it used to be. A lot of countries -- I'm talking about Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela -- have much more complicated international relations,'' he added. ``There are much more options than there were before.''