June 20th, 2007
06:26 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain: "Anti-Americanism" is rising in Latin America

Atlanta, GEORGIA (CNN) - Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain thinks that the current “anti-Americanism” felt in Latin America exists because the U.S. has been ignoring the region, the Arizona Republican said Wednesday.

In a speech in Palm Beach, Florida, McCain also said that he “will not passively await the long overdue demise of the Castro dictatorship.”

McCain believes U.S. leaders and media have focused most of their attention on the Middle East and in the meantime “dangerous forces” have slipped into Latin America. With Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez following Fidel Castro’s lead of “embracing authoritarianism” McCain says we are creating a “recipe for disaster.”

“Hugo Chavez has used the cloak of electoral legitimacy to establish a one party dictatorship in Venezuela, breathed new oxygen into the decaying Castro regime in Cuba, allied with Iran and other American enemies, and supported populist, anti-American forces throughout the hemisphere,” said McCain in a speech to the Florida Association of Broadcast.

McCain has big plans for Latin America. He called for more U.S. assistance to Latin American governments to increase security over land, sea, and air and also to bolster the electoral process and trade.

"Our security priority in this hemisphere is to ensure that terrorists, their enablers and their business partners, including narcotraffickers, have nowhere to hide," he said.

McCain drove it home that we need to create a “democratic hemisphere” and change how we have treated Latin America in the past, which was as a “junior partner rather than as a neighbor, like a little brother rather than an equal. Latin America is not our backyard; Central and South America are not ‘beneath’ the United States.”

–CNN Political Desk Assignment Editor Marissa Muller

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Tom, Mission Viejo, CA

    A rising tide lifts all boats.

    For all those fed up with illegal immigration, the number one was to stem the flow is to get Mexico to make economic reforms. If there were a future for poor Mexicans then they'd be less likely to cross the border in search of a better life. It is in our interest to see Mexico and Central America develop stronger economies.

    Mexico ought to be a "First World" country, not in the second tier. With all its natural resources and geogrpahic location it should rival the United States. But the corruption and racism in Mexico stifles a lot of progress.

    The worrisome trend in South America should be a fairly high importance. Venezuela is the 3rd largest supplier of oil to the US and Chavez has nationalized most of the industry. Meaning it could be run into the ground fairly quickly. If oil prices ever drop the nation will be bankrupt fairly quickly, as well, as spending has sky rocketed on social programs.

    Some commentors need to grow up a little bit with all these notions that helping other nations detracts from Americans. We live in a global economy and depend on others just as much as we depend on ourselves nowadays.

    There's no reason to think we can't help Americans in the US and americans in the rest of our hemisphere (it doesn't always take money). Spending money is not always the answer anyway. Spending less money is sometimes the answer, too! Simply enacting laws prohibiting discrimination could be a huge boost in Mexico.

    June 21, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Jeff, Knoxville, TN

    John McCain is right. We need to concentrate more on the Latin American countries. We have several in South America that needs our support in technology to help move them toward a more democratic rule. One area that needs to be watched closely is the tensions between Chile and Peru over fishing rights in the Pacific. We need a more even approach in this side instead of always supporting the country with the most money. Chile is benefiting from the sale of fighter plans from US companies while Peru with major democratic reforms is left to stand on its own. It is in the regions and our best interest that Peru succeeds

    June 21, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Jose S. Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.

    Bravo Tom, Mission Viejo... you hit the nail on the head. The issues in Mexico and Columbia stem mostly from European conquests and treatment of indigious population. These idiots who believe killing some Leftist or Socialist leader and installing a puppet regime is the answer. Look at Chile, Panama, Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Peru where U.S. intervention failed miserably. Good conversation.

    June 21, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Will - Miami, Fl

    ...and anti McCainism is increasing here in the United States...

    June 21, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    The "rising tide lifts all boats" and "globalization is good for all the world" stuffr is a bunch of crap when you're the one living in the US with the higher standard of living and watching it decline due to the two fold attack of US companies outsourcing all our jobs to cheap markets overseas while at the same time allowing millions of people to freely cross our borders virtuallly unchallenged because they will work cheaper for big companies than their American counterparts.

    If I were a guy from Mexico who sneaked illegally into the US and took a job from an American under the table, rather than live in my dirty hole of a country – sure, I'd think it was great! But when I'm an underemployed American being told by the president that I need to go back to school and get a master's degree to get an entry level job while I watch all the jobs go overseas and see the mass flood of cheap workers coming over the border so big executives at mega corps can make millions in bonuses from all the money they saved by not hiring us expensive Americans – well I'm sorry, but I don't think the current system is so great. Globalization is a lie, and you guys bought it big time. Its more "rob from the poor, give to the rich" nonsense.

    When every American who needs a job has one, then it is the time to start looking out for the rest of the world.

    June 21, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    And lets not even get started on NAFTA and other so called "free trade" agreements that are not benefiting the US. Who depends on who? What is our trade defecit? We owe China how much? While they BLOCK our imports? Is that really globalization? Not when ot only goes "one way".

    America imports 85% of its clothing. So if we had to stand on our own, only 15% of us would be wearing any clothes right now. Why? Because they outsourced all the manufacturing jobs to places where it is cheaper so big execs can get millions more in bonuses. We're right back to that again.

    June 21, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. Chris, Thorofare, New Jersey

    How odd that Hugo Chavez claims the CIA tried to oust him by using media (sponsored by CNN no less!) and staging a coup in 2002, replacing him with a US backed puppet government. The people of Venezuela overthrew the puppet government and Chavez was returned to power.

    Why would the US do this you ask? For oil, what else? Venezuela is one of the most oil rich regions in the world.
    The US wanted to control a cheap oil source and is/was willing to destroy a country to do it.

    Iraq is in civil war for the same reason, big business interests who now own America. Whatever happened to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, anyway?

    And to this day our "national media" portrays Chavez as a dictator. Why?Because he refused to give one of the CIA based media companies designed to put the people against him a new license.

    All of this activism in Venezuala has made them ally themselves with other South American countries against the US, including Cuba. THAT is what McCain is speaking about.

    Why don't we trade with South America and stay out of thier business? Why don't you mention why things have gotten this bad McCain?

    June 23, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Keny .yorkshire ,England

    Americans never seem to "get it" Where world current events are concerned .As an outsider looking in ,the most likely reason behand this "Generousity " will be the fact that many South American Countries are now making close alliances with Iran .how come Americans are always the last ones to know what is happening on their own doorstep .

    September 27, 2007 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
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