by Luis Vega

The United States of America has a very distinct plan for the way foreign affairs are handled. Even though the Middle East, terrorism and fighting it is the main forum for the United States much has to be said for Latin America/Caribbean and what is going to occur in the future. The future will rest upon a couple of men in Latin America and the policy of the United States in Latin America. A couple of leaders and situations that will no doubt have an impact on where the United States stands, and what will be done in order to create and/or maintain some type of power in the region.

The Cuban Dilemma
The most important situation to take a look at is the Cuban dilemma. The question on everyone’s mind is where will the United States situate itself once the legendary leader has passed away? The revolution, will it die with Castro or will the Cuban people take up arms and fight against imperialism, and capitalism. Is the United States really that interested anymore or will egos still play an important role as they played over forty years ago. United States has a plan to spread democracy all over the world, and what better place to start. Now with a war still going on in the Middle East and the revolution reoccurring once Fidel has died, history will repeat itself once again.

If Castro dies anytime soon the United States will be faced with the same predicament it was faced with during the Vietnam War, and whether or not to invade Cuba. Although times a bit different, there is no longer the red scare, and there is no doubt the United States will enter Cuba half heartedly like it did forty years ago. Even though an invasion of Cuba will give America an even smaller approval rating, a victory in Cuba will say a lot for Americans. It will also say a lot for who ever is president during this time.

A defeat of communism in Cuba will only leave North Korea for the Americans to defeat. For the past forty-five years Cuba has been free from the United States rule and have managed to maintain some type of nationalism that other Latin American nations have not such as Puerto Rico, and Panama. Much of the dilemma depends on the influence the Cubans will have in the United States, especially in Florida where over half of the Cuban population in America lives. Is the Cuban revolution really the Cuban revolution or is it just really Castro’s revolution?

An Answer?
Democracy maybe is the answer in Cuba, but then again in small countries democracy hardly works when there is a puppet regime installed by the “superpower” there is no room for checks and balances to occur, and since such a small percent of the peoples are elite they can control everything, and the rest of the people who are usually in the upper ninety percentile will suffer. It’s not like the United States where there are 280 million people and the upper class only consists of one percent and the majority is middle class workers who have a say. Democracy will not work everywhere, but only time will tell in Cuba.

Another important figure in Latin American politics is President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. President Chavez feeds off of Castro and idolizes him. When Castro dies Chavez is likely to help the Cubans and the revolution for Chavez tried to emulate Castro when he made an attempt on the Venezuelan government. If the Cubans are willing to fight for the cause and the Cuban revolution there is no doubt that Chavez will help in any way possible. He himself has denounced imperialism and capitalism, and refers to his government as a social democracy where people have the right to elect an official by popular vote or overthrow a leader who they see as not doing there job, but no right to speak out against the government, with the newly introduced censorship laws. There are several reasons why Chavez has not made the complete socialist turn that Castro did, the first reason is that the United States will never allow being as it is so dependent on its oil reserves. The future in Latin America depends on what happens now.

Big Capital
The United States of America have recently tightened their relationship with Brazil and the thriving economy in South America’s largest country. The relationship between the two countries will benefit both alike. United States investment into the economy will bring jobs, and hopefully an improved GDP for the Brazilian working class. Capital from big business owners in the United States will help Brazil in another way it will help reduce the massive amounts of debt that Brazil and its governments of the past have incurred borrowing money from both the IMF and the World Bank. The future of Latin America and the United States may rely on big business and strengthening forces between the two groups.

On the other hand left wing leaders may determine the future of Latin America and how things function. With left wing leaders already in Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and most recently Uruguay the prospects of Latin America may lay in the left wing faction. The Latin American community and its political, social and economic prospects rest upon the newly founded left wing leaders, as well as the right wing leaders who are in good with the United States.

The next ten years will give us the whole story. Whether it be democracy or socialism the future of Latin America will have a lot to do with the Cuban situation, the way Chavez reacts to the Cuban situation, and if all left wing leaders will unite and fight right wing opposition. Will more Latin American nations join the left wing, maybe but too much left wing will not sit well with the United States and its plan for the spread of democracy. Democracy and the free market economy are not the way that Latin America is moving toward. Latin American leaders will do anything to help lift their countries out of economic and political stagnation and that’s where the future lay.