When President Obama took office in January 2009, US relations with Bolivia had reached a historic low. Also the US-Ecuadorian relations deteriorated right before Obama's assumption of office. Facing the bad climate, Obama promised to launch "a new chapter of engagement" with Latin America. But what followed?
In PRIF Report No. 103 (2011) "Re-engaging Latin America's Left? US relations with Bolivia and Ecuador from Bush to Obama" Jonas Wolff examines the evolution of US relations with Bolivia and Ecuador during both the second Bush presidency and the first years of the Obama Administration. Surprisingly, he discerns no remarkable differences between the two policies. On the one hand, the Bush Administration reacted less confrontationally than anticipated to the election of left-wing political leaders Morales and Correa. On the other hand, Obama largely continued the pragmatic policies of the later Bush years. The present study searches for motives and identifies the limits inherent in contemporary US policies toward Latin America.
This PRIF Report can be ordered at PRIF for 10 Euros and is also available as free download (PDF file).