Reuters reports: President Barack Obama will face an unprecedented revolt by Latin American countries against the U.S.-led drug war during his second term and he also may struggle to pass new trade deals as the region once known as “America’s backyard” flexes its muscles like never before.
Washington’s ability to influence events in Latin America has arguably never been lower. The new reality is as much a product of the United States’ economic struggles as a wave of democracy and greater prosperity that has swept much of the region of 580 million people in the past decade or so.
It’s not that the United States is reviled now – far from it. Although a few vocally anti-U.S. leaders like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez tend to grab the media spotlight, Obama has warm or cordial relations with Brazil, Mexico and other big countries in the region.
Most Latin American leaders were rooting, either privately or publicly, for his re-election on Tuesday.
That said, even close allies are increasingly emboldened to act without worrying about what “Tio Sam” will say or do. Nowhere is that more evident than on anti-narcotics policy. [Continue reading…]