Arguing for a new and sober look at the nature of U.S.-Latin American relations, Dr. Hayes addresses the question: Does the United States have compelling national interests in maintaining close relations with Latin American countries? Her conclusion is yes, but for reasons different from those offered in the traditional literature or espoused by many policy analysts. She maintains that U.S. interests in relations with Latin America are primarily political, secondarily economic--though economic ties are the basis of the relationship--and only marginally military. Proper emphasis on these long-term interests may be critical to U.S. national security in a global, as well as regional, context. Dr. Hayes points out that the Latin American countries--occupying a unique position among developing nations today because of their comparatively successful experiences in achieving economic growth and development--represent an increasingly important political influence in both the developed and developing worlds. Moreover, she argues, it is in the U.S. interest to give economic aid to the less-developed countries in the hemisphere, particularly in the Caribbean Basin: U.S. security is better preserved and enhanced by encouraging political and economic stability in the region than by promoting military alliances that Latin Americans may not really want. Supporting the need for a revised rationale for U.S.-Latin American relations, Dr. Hayes focuses in detail on the regions and nations of special interest to the United States today: the Caribbean Basin, Mexico (in a chapter by Professor Bruce M. Bagley), Brazil, and the Southern Cone.
Also of Interest -- Latin America and the United States’ National Interest -- Latin America’s Expanding International Economic Role -- The Caribbean Basin: Focus of Immediate Concerns -- Mexico: The Promise of Oil -- Brazil: Emerging Power -- Dimensions of U.S. Security Interests in Latin America -- Armaments of Latin American Military Forces