The Caribbean, which has long complained about the U.S. immigration policy for Caribbean people, also would like to see U.S. deportation reform, Bryan said.
Votes in Colorado and Washington state approving the recreational use of marijuana also caused a ripple in Latin America where some countries are considering marijuana legalization to undercut the influence of Mexican criminal gangs. Analysts said the votes could lead to demands for more debate on how to combat illegal drugs.
Another area where Latin American would like to see some positive momentum from the White House is trade.
During his first term the president pledged to double U.S. exports by the end of the end of 2014 as a way to increase U.S. jobs. While the U.S. was on target in the first years of the five-year initiative, progress has slowed in recent months.
Chile’s Finance Minister Felipe Larraín said he’d like to see Obama push for greater free trade in the Americas “because there are so many potential customers for U.S. products, because Latin America is doing well, because the countries are growing and becoming a more powerful economic base.’’
When it comes to Cuba, charter flights to the island and the remittances that Cuba-Americans send to their families will continue. Romney had said he intended to roll back Cuba travel policy to the much more restrictive levels allowed under President George W. Bush.
“That’s good for both peoples and it helps capitalize the new private sector in Cuba,’’ said Philip Peters, a Cuba analyst at the Lexington Institute.
The president also picked up a South Florida ally for his policy of liberalized travel to Cuba in Joe Garcia. The Democrat defeated incumbent David Rivera, an ardent foe of any opening to Cuba, in the redrawn 26th Congressional District.
“Now there is a Cuban-American in Congress who is anti-embargo but who also strongly supports President Obama’s policies. His election breaks the unanimity of the Cuban-American delegation in Congress,’’ said Peters.
The Helms-Burton law limits presidential prerogatives on Cuba and it takes an act of Congress to lift the embargo, but the president could further liberalize travel to Cuba or remove Cuba from the list of nations that sponsor terrorism.
But most analysts say the fate of Alan Gross — a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development who was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in Cuban prison for trying to illegally bring in satellite phone equipment — is an obstacle to any new overtures toward Cuba.
The United States has pushed for his release but Cuba has insisted the United States must return the “Cuban Five, ’’ a group of Cuban agents convicted of spying in the United States. “Distasteful as this might be to some people, I think this is something that has to be negotiated by both sides,’’ said Peters.
In Colombia where there were fears that a Romney win might mean waning support for negotiations with the FARC guerrillas, President Juan Manuel Santos congratulated Obama and said he looked forward to building on their close ties. He said he hoped “we continue working with the same goals, the same objectives and that we keep producing results.”
Colombian negotiations with the FARC are scheduled to resume in Havana on Nov. 15. The FARC is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, but the Obama administration has been supportive of the peace initiative that aims to put an end to Colombia’s almost 50-year conflict.