¿Es el libre comercio con EE.UU. lo correcto para América Central?

La muerte de Ronald Reagan obligó a mucha gente a confrontar una vez más la herencia de las brutales guerras de EE.UU. en Guatemala, El Salvador y Nicaragua, hace ya dos décadas. Que sangrienta historia de la región realmente está tras ella parece haber sido confirmado por la reciente firma del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América Central (CAFTA) con los Estados Unidos.

El simbolismo de ese tratado promete mucho, no en menor lugar la idea de que las guerras civiles y las intervenciones estadounidenses pueden ser cosas del pasado. Pero los detalles del tratado ofrecen poco consuelo a una región que todavía se está recuperando de la devastación económica producida por aquellas guerras.

De principal importancia para el CAFTA es la preocupación acerca del grado en que los países centroamericanos liberalizarán sus economías. Pero más importante es la pregunta de si el acuerdo ayudará o no a crear economías más sanas . Aunque el CAFTA representa una importante oportunidad para el objetivo de la región de ampliar su acceso al mercado de EE.UU., no está claro si las nuevas reglas fortalecerán o debilitarán a los productores centroamericanos.

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