As the United States struggles to regain its economic footing, Latin America’s leaders have moved on from the largely U.S.-centric view of the world that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some of the most influential have embraced policies that welcome China, India and Iran as economic and political partners.
Obama, too, has focused on other parts of the world.
The Castros are growing old in Cuba, Venezuela’s populist firebrand Hugo Chavez is battling cancer and faces an election this year, and Mexico’s Felipe Calderon also will be departing soon because of his country’s one-term limit. Obama, consumed by domestic issues and his own election prospects, will be challenged to find his own place in a region where the United States casts a smaller shadow than it once did.
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