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Policymakers and the media have largely ignored Latin America in recent years, focusing instead on the Middle East and Asia. This oversight is misguided especially when considering the strong economic, political and geographic ties that connect us deeply with our southern neighbors.

Heritage Foundation experts James Roberts and Ray Walser write:

In 2013 and beyond, the second Obama Administration and Washington policymakers of all stripes should work to fashion a Western Hemisphere policy that advances U.S. national interests, promotes democratic and free-market values, and actively combats criminal and terrorist organizations.

With the socialist regimes in Venezuela and Cuba under Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers potentially coming to a close, new opportunities are emerging for the U.S. to reassert its regional leadership, expand commerce, and support democracy and human rights.

Trade with Latin America already supports millions of American jobs, and new free trade agreements could create millions more. With over 550 million consumers and a rising middle class in Latin America, Latin America offers new markets for American goods and services.

Do you think the United States has opportunities in Latin America?

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