América latina después de Bush

Una vez más, el presidente de Estados Unidos no cumplió con las expectativas en Amérca latina. Como era de esperarse, el presidente George W. Bush fue bien recibido por todos sus anfitriones en los cinco países que visitó, con la tradicional hospitalidad y cordialidad latinoamericana. No hubo mayores incidentes desafortunados; las constantes protestas fueron estridentes pero no especialmente violentas o masivas; no se produjo ningún desaire o contratiempo importante; y el presidente Bush logró lo que probablemente más le interesaba: enviar un mensaje a Estados Unidos de que, en efecto, está interesado en otras cosas además de Irak.

También alcanzó, de una manera un tanto indirecta, otro objetivo: representó bien a su país, por así decirlo, frente al creciente desafío del presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez, quien, gracias a cantidades prácticamente ilimitadas de petrodólares y médicos y soldados cubanos, es muy popular en toda América latina.

Chávez molestó sin cesar a Bush en casi todas las paradas en el camino, pero el líder norteamericano evitó las provocaciones e, inclusive, probablemente haya superado a Chávez en el sentido de que un presidente norteamericano antipopular logró dominar la agenda y llevar la batalla de las ideas directamente a los públicos latinoamericanos, con quienes los venezolanos y los cubanos están en contacto todos los días. Bush también pudo cambiar en parte el tono del mensaje de Estados Unidos en el hemisferio: desde el libre comercio y la lucha contra el terrorismo, hasta el combate de la pobreza y el fortalecimiento de la democracia y los derechos humanos. Si Bush hubiera hecho este viaje hace varios años, las cosas hoy serían diferentes.

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