MADRID – It is a mantra increasingly heard around the world: US power is in decline. And nowhere does this seem truer than in Latin America. No longer is the region regarded as America’s “backyard”; on the contrary, the continent has arguably never been so united and independent. But this view fails to capture the true nature of US influence in Latin America – and elsewhere as well.
It is true that US attention to Latin America has waned in recent years. President George W. Bush was more focused on his “global war on terror.” His successor, Barack Obama, seemed to give the region little thought as well, at least in his first term.