|Photo by The Telegraph/AP|
On Thursday, May 19, President Obama took the bold step of publically proposing a solution to the current Israeli-Palestinian peace deliberations, reverting to the terms of Israel’s pre-1967 borders. In the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden and mounting Arab revolts against authoritarian rule throughout the region, this announcement has become one of the first and one of the most pressing of the international issues he finds himself confronting. This in turn raises the longstanding question: Will Latin America have a shot at becoming a major priority for U.S. foreign policy making in a post-bin Laden era?
Of course, Washington’s lack of attention toward the region is hardly a novelty. The war on terror arguably has become the administration’s main foreign policy focus in the last ten years, as Latin American affairs were systematically overlooked. In 2001, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and former American President George W. Bush finally met to tackle illegal immigration and open their joint borders. But soon after the September 11 attacks in Washington, D.C. and New York City, a 700-mile fence across the U.S.-Mexico border was erected, sparking criticism from Latinos both in the United States and south of the Rio Grande. The fence’s creation was based on the misconception that the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks illegally crossed U.S. borders, when, for the most part, they came as legal residents.
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