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Latin America Against U.S. Over Castro

U.S. sanctions against Cuba are causing problems with other latin countries.

April 16, 2012- The Summit of the Americas was held over the past weekend in Cartagena, Colombia. The countries of Latin America unprecedentedly showed their opposition towards the sanctions the U.S. has on Cuba. Their displeasure left President Barack Obama isolated and illustrated the decrease in influence Washington has in the region that is being courted aggressively by the world’s second largest economy, China.

April 16, 2012- In the last Summit in 2009, Obama enjoyed the status of a rock star after just taking office. However, this time around, his stay in Colombia was anything but a pleasure; Brazil and some of the other countries hit Washington hard over its monetary policy; Guatemala’s new president wants to legalize drugs and has supporters on his side; and the backlash over the U.S. sanctions against Cuba put Obama on the defensive.

U.S. allies like Colombia and Mexico, for the first time, threw their support behind the demands of some of the leftist governments in the region to allow Cuba to participate in four years at the next Summit. Cuba was booted out of the OAS, just a few years following the 1959 revolution led by Castro. The Caribbean nation has been left out of the Summits because of U.S. opposition. However, leaders in Latin America are becoming more militant in their opposition to the trade embargo of 50 years the U.S. has imposed on Cuba.

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia said, “The embargo, isolation, indifference and turning away have become ineffective. I hope Cuba attends the next Summit.”

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