L’Amérique latine après la visite de Bush

Une fois de plus, un président américain a obtenu un résultat mitigé en Amérique latine. Nul doute que George W. Bush a été bien accueilli par ses hôtes dans les cinq pays visités, avec l’hospitalité et la cordialité latines coutumières. Il n’y a pas eu d’incidents malheureux, ni d’offenses ou d’anicroches notables ; les manifestations, incontournables, n’ont été ni particulièrement violentes, ni fournies ; et le président Bush a probablement accompli ce qui l’intéressait au premier chef : faire comprendre à l’opinion publique américaine qu’il n’était pas exclusivement préoccupé par l’Irak.

Il a aussi réalisé un autre objectif, il est vrai de manière détournée : réaffirmer la présence américaine face au défi croissant posé par le président vénézuélien Hugo Chavez, qui grâce à la manne pétrolière et aux médecins et coopérants cubains, connaît une popularité énorme en Amérique latine.

Chavez a nargué Bush à presque toutes les étapes du président américain, qui s’est bien gardé de répondre à ces provocations. Il l’a peut-être mêm emporté sur Chavez dans la mesure où un dirigeant américain impopulaire est parvenu à imposer son ordre du jour et à échanger des idées directement avec les publics latino-américains en contact quotidien avec les Vénézuéliens et les Cubains. Bush est également parvenu à modifier l’orientation du message américain dans l’hémisphère sud : du libre-échange et la lutte contre le terrorisme, il est passé à la lutte contre la pauvreté et au renforcement des droits humains et de la démocratie. Si Bush avait accompli ce voyage quelques années plus tôt, la situation serait tout autre aujourd’hui.

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