President Trump and Latin America

Andres Oppenheimer:  A Trump victory could push Latin America to the left and away from U.S.

Judging from what I heard in recent interviews with several Latin American presidents, a victory by Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election would chill U.S.-Latin American ties, moving even the most pro-American presidents in the region to distance themselves from the United States.

Few Latin American presidents, even the ones who are closest to Washington, would want to risk their domestic political capital countering the near unanimous dislike for Trump in their countries. In recent trips to Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and several other countries, I came across almost no one — including public officials, business people, academics and people on the street — who is rooting for Trump.

He goes on to quote interviews with several of the more conservative presidents in the region who clearly prefer Clinton to Trump.

I am not sure I buy the argument that a Trump presidency would drive the region to the left, but there is little doubt that hemispheric relations would degenerate.
FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Latin America, US Politics, World Politics, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Gustopher says:

    Probably push things in a more local and regional direction than a broadly international direction — we would lose a lot of influence in the region, but I don’t see the Russians or Chinese stepping into that vacuum. The Japanese maybe, in the countries where they already have strong ties (Peru has/had an ethnically Japanese leader for a while, didn’t they?)

  2. @Gustopher: Peru did have an ethnically Japanese president (who is currently in jail) and his daughter almost won the last election.

    I think it is less an issue of some other power having greater influence in the region as it is an illustration of how a president Trump makes foreign relations, even with natural partners, far more difficult.

  3. Andre Kenji says:

    @Gustopher: Peru had a President, Alberto Fujimori, that was a child of two Japanese Immigrants. But there are lots of Presidents in South America that had either Syrian or Lebanese ancestry, that does not mean that Lebanon has some influence over the region.

    South America, like North America, was home to lots of immigrants in the past.

  4. JohnMcC says:

    It is of course true that the anti-immigrant stance that the apparent majority of the R-party has adopted will harm our foreign policy in Latin America because of it’s specifically anti-Mexican/anti-Hispanic nature. But when I stop and think about the international aspects of a Trump administration the predictable disasters are so vast and thorough-going that I have difficulty focusing on our southern neighbors. I tend to get fixed on the amazing destruction that’s obvious in the Middle East where we are actually chest-to-chest with Russian military units. Or maybe Central Europe where Pres Putin would reasonably feel free to meddle. Or the Pacific where a PRC officer might find reason to target an allied ship. Or a USN ship.

    Oh Jesus! I can’t hold it in my vision too long; I’m trying to avoid alcohol.