By Arthur Piccolo
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 25, 2011: It appears the Obama’s – Barack, Michelle and their two daughter, the mother-in-law and God knows who else in their traveling entourage, enjoyed their free time in Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.
Who cares? If you do my advice is get yourself a life.
Obama’s down time was not why we voted him President. Nor that he really, really enjoys Air Force One. We elected him to get the job done. You can add Latin America to the list of jobs he has not gotten done. The list is long and growing.
But there is good news from Michelle. We’ll save it for the end.
The President carried plenty of Empty Rhetoric on his recently completed trip. Doesn’t he always? But once you get past his and his speechwriters’ rhetoric, Obama came to Latin America empty handed.
Repeat after me Barack Obama has only one agenda to get reelected. He has decided the best way to do that is to be invisible in clear sight. It’s easy just say nothing.
The less he says the less he is a target for the Republican wannabes who crave The White House. It may be good for him to keep his plush lob but it sure isn’t Leadership. And it isn’t any good for Americans or for example Latin Americans.
Brazil and their new President Dilma Rousseff wanted to see an
American President with bold ideas and who would prove there is
a new vibrant relationship between the United States and Latin America and nowhere more so than in Latin America’s juggernaut – Brazil.
If only saying so over and over and over again would make it so. I lost count on CNN of how many times in 3 short days Obama told Latin Americans there is a new partnership of equals that embraces the United States and Latin America. Then he did absolutely nothing to prove it.
Brazil most of all is looking for a place on the international stage that can be solidified in only one way the symbolism of a seat on the Security Council of the United Nations.
Logic would have President Obama leading the campaign to have both Brazil and India made permanent members of the Security Council. At least Obama has told the Indians he “believes” they should have a seat not that he is serious about it. But in Brazil, far closer to home and where he could have even more of an impact supporting Brazilian membership, Obama said nothing except he acknowledged Brazil would like a seat. Gee. Wow.
Unfortunately for the Brazilians, supporting membership for them will upset some other countries who don’t agree which is not good for Obama personally but worse madden China that does not want India in and India can’t gather the necessary support unless a Western Hemisphere country also gets in.
Even more important to Obama is the American Right Wing which opposes anything that upset the myth that the United States controls the world stage and any hint of other countries as powerful in American eyes makes the Right Wing foam at the mouth and work even harder to unseat Obama in 2012. Too bad Brazil. You lose.
Biofuels, specifically Brazil’s world leadership in clean cheap efficient ethanol made from sugarcane rather than being a blessed when it comes to the United States is a curse for Obama because he is wedded to the American farm lobby that just LOVES wasteful corn ethanol which is making big American farmers even richer because of its required mixing with gasoline in the U.S.
Growing corn for fuel is as wasteful as anything you might conceive and if U.S. corn farmers had to compete against sugarcane ethanol they would lose. So Obama can’t let that happen and here also he arrived in Brazil empty handed with no offers to lessen the prohibitive tariffs on imported sugarcane ethanol from Brazil. Do you get the picture? It’s all about getting re-elected.
It was the same in Chile and El Salvador. Carefully chosen audiences and leaders desperate for the embrace of the U.S. President they still think is a hero in the U.S. maybe news flows slow to them? They crave Obama’s embrace even though nothing but empty words kept flowing from his mouth. It looks good in the local media. Then they trash him after he leaves for doing nothing.
Of course as U.S. Presidents always do he spent much of his time bemoaning the destructiveness of drugs and guns. But offered absolutely no new U.S. initiatives to stem the real drug problem the market for hard core drugs in the U.S. Even less to offer anything to curb the open pipeline of weapons to low lifes in Latin America bought by the truckload in the US. Where virtually anyone can buy as many of any weapon including the biggest assault weapons they like no background checks required or allowed. Then ship them south to cause mayhem in Latin America.
Likewise the other all important issue U.S. immigration reform. Obama made it clear by his silence on the issue he will do nothing to push his so called immigration reform agenda because let’s say it together it won’t help Obama’s re-election.
So what was Obama’s Latin America trip about. Sameole sameole. New Black packaging same empty box.
Latin America and the dozens of countries that comprise it will continue to grow in power, wealth and influence and embraced by the world community while the United States under Obama continues to play the same word games the U.S. always does. As U.S. influence and rapport among Latin Americans continues to decline. Wait a minute.
Here’s some “important” news about the Obama trip I can conclude with. It turns out Michelle Obama has ended her war of words with clothes designer Dian Von Furstenberg and was reported to be “dressed head to toe in the designer’s clothes” during the Obama’s stops in Brazil.
Praise the Lord! Fashion diplomacy Michelle Obama decked out in an American European’s clothes on a visit to Latin America. That should impress Latin Americans that she can’t find Latin American designers to suit her expensive clothing needs on a trip to Latin America. It’s called colonialism Michelle.
She’s as clueless as her husband. At latest they’re back home now and only visited 3 Latin America countries.
Call it damage control.
Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.