The Future Looks Bright
I recently stumbled upon an article written by former United States Senator Chris Dodd entitled The Future of Latin America: Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Policy in the Hemisphere. While I would rather not discuss my views regarding his actions as a politician in this post, I do find great value in the article and the message it contains.
Dodd appropriately emphasizes Latin America’s recent improvements in political and economic stability and recognizes the growing clout and potential of the region. The senator also does well to address the mutual progress and prosperity that stands to be gained should U.S. officials choose to take a less paternalistic and exploitative stance toward the region and be more proactive in working toward growth and cooperation in trade and industry.
In summing up his argument and making implications toward the future, Dodd makes the point that American college students should be more concerned with Latin America and implies that educational institutions would do well to attribute more focus to the region. One notable excerpt reads: “It’s time to start majoring in Latin America. Students who want to pick up another language are increasingly turning to French or Chinese–I encourage you to learn Spanish. Traveling abroad? Lots of Americans spend a semester in London or Germany–why not spend yours in Quito or Santiago? In the market for a good foreign investment? Look to Brazil. A fan of Al Jazeera or the Guardian? Why not read Argentina’s Clarin, the largest Spanish language newspaper in the world?”
To me Dodd’s recognition that the U.S. needs to strengthen relations with Latin America is very encouraging. This article, along with various others I have read that bear a similar message (most notably Parag Khanna’s Look South, Not East) affirms my thoughts that looking to the south for opportunity and growth is both a sensible and potentially advantageous course of action as a student. Additionally, it provides me with incentive and validation in dispersing this message to my peers and readers, which I shall continue to do via the Latin American Business Blog.