The Pan-American Dream: Do Latin America's Cultural Values Discourage True Partnership with the United States and Canada?

The Pan-American Dream: Do Latin America's Cultural Values Discourage True Partnership with the United States and Canada?

The Pan-American Dream: Do Latin America's Cultural Values Discourage True Partnership with the United States and Canada?

The Pan-American Dream: Do Latin America's Cultural Values Discourage True Partnership with the United States and Canada?

Excerpt

On 11 December 1994, in Miami, the Partnership for Development and Prosperity was signed by thirty-four Western Hemisphere chiefs of state, including President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien of Canada, Presidents Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, Carlos Saúl Menem of Argentina, and Eduardo Frei of Chile, and President-elect Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil. Among the goals of the Miami summit was the negotiation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas within ten years. The rhetoric of the meeting repeatedly evoked the impressive progress of Western European integration since World War II.

Thirty-three years earlier, on 17 August 1961, in Uruguay, President John F. Kennedy and the Latin American chiefs of state had signed the Charter of Punta del Este, which inaugurated the Alliance for Progress, "established on the basic principle that free men working through the institution of representative democracy can best satisfy man's aspirations ... for work, home and land, health and schools." Latin America was to be transformed—and immunized against infection from the Cuban Revolution—within ten years. But ten years later, the Alliance had lost its way in a rash of military takeovers of elected governments.

Is the Partnership for Development and Prosperity—the successor to the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative George Bush announced in 1990—destined to follow the Alliance for Progress, Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy, and a number of less-known hemispheric initiatives, into the cemetery of frustrated good intentions, of Pan-American dreams? Can a coherent, functional, durable community that will transform the dream into reality be constructed with building blocks so different: to the north, the United States and Canada, prosperous First World countries with centuries-old democratic institutions; to the south, Latin America's poor Third World countries, whose . . .

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