I pretty much agree with Richard Grabman's analysis of Obama in Latin America. He said:
I don't know what inspired this post [in which I said I thought Obama was doing fine], but from some of the e-mail I get from my readers/viewers, I can guess. While my Labrador Retriever would have been an improvement over the previous White House resident, Obama has done a better job than expected... EXCEPT in Latin American policy. And, those of use, like Esther, who write from Latin America can't be expected to overlook what is, in some ways, a reactionary and dangerous start to his presidency.
BUT I guess I think that, given the realities of Obama's situation, I don't think we can expect more at this moment. I don't think Obama has contact with anyone knowledgeable about Latin America in his administration that isn't a reactionary type. The Clinton connections are terrible, and they seem to be the main democratic input. His plate is overflowing with all kinds of rot. God only knows why he even wanted to be President, BUT the guy finds himself working with a right-wing, bloated, corporate-dominated octopus with its tentacles wrapped around stuff all over the world, not to mention the nuts on the right which have penetrated to the core of the government. He also probably finds himself with far less power than we think he has. He is, after all, a politician who learned how to operate in Chicago and is probably good at figuring out his odds for political survival and making changes -- and sees that as more important than idealism.The Mexican connection....it seems on autopilot. Probably better than actively ramping stuff up, not good as any kind of positive activity.
I translated an interview for Americas Program between Laura Carlsen and Carlos Álvarez, the head of Mercosur conducted in April of this year. Carlsen asked if Álvarez expected any change under Obama in Latin American policy. Älvarez was not optimistic. He said, in fact, that he thought Latin America would do best if the US ignored it. (Here is a link ot Americas Program -- can't find article link right now: http://americas.irc-online.org )
So I guess this is all to say that I think Obama is doing fine, all things considered. I think our job is to find a way to hook into somebody in the administration with some new information.