Presidential Debate Winner: Latin America Is the Big Winner of Foreign Policy Debate

Going into tonight’s debate, I had very little hope that either candidate would demonstrate any real interest in our own Western Hemisphere. Thank the Lord, I was proven wrong.

In my previous article I noted the importance of the next administration’s re-engagement of Latin America, especially noting the recent Venezuelan election and Mercosur’s suspension of Paraguay to become “an ideological club of friends,” both dangerous indicators of the path that the region is on.

I was not alone, however, with regards to my concern for Russian and Iranian presences in the region. While President Obama attempted to discredit Governor Romney for viewing Russia as a major threat, Romney confidently explained that the threat was a geopolitical one- a distinction that President Obama could not seem to make. He went on to explain the importance of the Latin American economy, comparing it to the Chinese one, hinting at the importance of regional engagement. President Obama did not.

Regardless, at the end of the day, President Obama refused to address our hemisphere, even briefly.

While President Obama advocated for protectionist measures against China, Governor Romney called for fair trade and cooperation. I can’t help but agree that we must work together with China as they are not a threat, but rather a natural ally, unlike Iran and Russia. Chinese involvement in the region has never been with the intention of destabilization, but rather, mutually beneficial growth with the region.

To me, its no wonder that Latin America could go unnoticed while being home to some of the least-free economies when an American president is advocating for less economic freedom.  

Tonight’s debate should have offered the Western Hemisphere a touch of confidence in the fact that there is a clear chance of a Romney victory this next month.

While President Obama plans of staying on his current track of regional disengagement, Governor Romney hinted at a clear alternative.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Johannes K. Schmidt

South American, Classical Liberal, GWU

MORE FROM

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.