Jon Huntsman President 2012


For too long the United States has fallen short in its engagement and commitments to the countries right here in our own backyard.


Taking Care of Our Own Neighborhood

For too long the United States has fallen short in its engagement and commitments to the countries right here in our own backyard. The result is lost opportunities, strained relations, and escalating challenges that pose serious concerns in the areas of security and rule of law.

Latin America presents a huge source of untapped economic potential. Latin America is one of the fastest growing regional trade partners for the U.S., and is the fastest growing export market, with the U.S. exporting three times as much to Latin America as to China.

Latin America is also a key component and partner in protecting and preserving our national security interests. Increased violence in the region can and will spill over our borders if it is not contained.

Mexico is dealing with a surge of violence, and Guatemala is on the verge of being an accomplice to region-wide narco-criminal activity. Latin America is also home to success stories such as Colombia, and to emerging powers such as Brazil. Our policies must be deft enough to deal with all countries.

Cuba presents special challenges to the United States and to the region. The next President of the United States may have an opportunity to dramatically reshape Cuba policy as the Castro Regime is likely to end. Until that time, stiff sanctions are appropriate for a regime that represses its people, supports terrorism, and attempts to export revolution in our own backyard.

Jon Huntsman Priorities:

Focus on our own backyard: Overall, our own region needs more attention from Washington. We need a better investment climate, more directed capacity building efforts with countries that want to make the right choices, and greater commitment to the development of political institutions and civil societies. America cannot be safe as long as we need to keep one eye open for the next failed state to appear in our near abroad. We must never forget that promoting peace and prosperity in our neighborhood, promotes peace and prosperity at home.

Apply "Colombia" model to other troubled states:The United States should seek to build institutional capacities in troubled countries such as Mexico and Guatemala for comprehensive solutions to their internal security challenges.

New opportunities, new partnerships: Brazil is the world's 5th largest country and the 7th largest economy. America cannot continue to neglect the potential that a stronger partnership with Brazil can yield. From renewable energy and environmental issues to a strong technological and industrial sector, Brazil is rich with opportunity for partnership and collaboration.

Prepare for change in Cuba: We are right to keep sanctions and keep pressure on the regime as long as the Castro brothers are in control. Yet we should be prepared for political transition in Cuba, and align ourselves with the Cuban people who yearn for freedom, democracy and opportunity.


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