Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, made a particularly sensible point when I talked to him during his visit to Miami this week.
The recent normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, Almagro said, is good for the Western Hemisphere because it “has changed the logic of relations between Latin America and the United States.”
By that Almagro didn’t mean the United States has surrendered to the Latin American left. To the contrary, he suggested normalization gives Washington’s democratic agenda fresh leverage in the region.
And that matters now as the ideological left, after more than a decade of remarkable clout, begins to fade from the Latin American scene — a collapse that might be accelerated this weekend if Brazil’s Congress votes in favor of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff for alleged budgetary shenanigans.
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Consider first how the Latin left, from Patagonia to Port-au-Prince, made such a stunning comeback at the turn of this century.
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Tim Padgett covers the Americas for WLRN.