Last week a few American officials passed through town, and conversations with them got me thinking about American foreign policy in Latin America and beyond. Here is a column published today on the subject in El Mostrador.
To sum up, however, I think that Obama has held an excessive belief in his own powers of persuasion. I think he thought his soaring rhetoric would be enough to convince the world that the United States was now kinder and gentler, and that centuries of history no longer mattered because he, personally, was so much like them. In fact, the subliminal message for most of last year was, "I am more like you than those rednecks back home".
But he only ended up alienating the rednecks without really winning over the rest of the world. Latin America has not forgotten American history. The Arabs are suspicious, the Israelis pissed off. The Europeans are in a mess that Obama cannot solve. And the rednecks are having a Tea Party.