Strategic Insights: Thinking Strategically About Latin America and the Caribbean

  • December 09, 2016
  • Dr R Evan Ellis

In the 2016 U.S. presidential debates, as on other occasions, the theme of Latin America and the Caribbean was remarkably absent. Important events in the region occasionally insert themselves into the U.S. consciousness through the mainstream media, including: the arrival of thousands of Central American child refugees at the U.S. border; the U.S. re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba; the impending collapse of Venezuela; and the Colombian public’s rejection, on October 2, 2016, of the agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Yet even with its geographic connectedness to the United States, and although Latin America eclipses even China and Asia as the U.S. principal foreign trading partner, and despite the fact that more U.S. residents have family in the region than any other part of the world, Latin America, and the Caribbean continue to be remarkably absent from the U.S. strategic and foreign policy discourse.