Declining oil prices, and the declining stature of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, will also make Mr. Obama’s task easier.
We have no patience for Mr. Chavez’s corrupt and autocratic ways. But the Bush administration did enormous damage to American credibility throughout much of the region when it blessed what turned out to be a failed coup against Mr. Chavez.
Obama will not be cursed with that albatross of the coup blessing. It needs to be repeated by the way, that no matter what the Eva Golingers of the world say or what cute things Chavez invents (the last thing was that US helicopters landed at Maiquetia on April 11 and the "people" forced them to leave), there is no proof that the US was actively preparing the coup, not even that it knew much about it before hand. NOTE: I am not saying the US is nice, its involvement in too many other coups is well established, but the April 11 fantasy intervention is still that, a fantasy intervention propagated by paid agents of Chavez with new and more extraordinary acts of heroism and resistance as years go by. Only the "blessing" exists, courtesy of Condi herself.
And as it is accurate with Venezuela the editorial is also accurate as to what Washington needs to do about Latin America. The last paragraph is priceless:
IF there is still a question about the need for a new policy for the region, consider these facts: Latin America provides a third of the nation’s oil imports, most of its immigrants and virtually all of its cocaine. And, oh yes, it’s right next door.