U.S. Aid from Direct Commercial Sales, Entire Region, 2004-2009

Arms and Equipment Sold via Direct Commercial Sales, Entire Region, 2004-2009

Country 2004 2005 2006 2007 Country Total
Mexico 174,046,273 226,058,114 393,698,670 239,904,382 1,033,707,439
Cayman Islands 545,507,001 23,783 545,530,784
Colombia 60,446,880 71,095,113 273,452,684 102,268,881 507,263,558
Brazil 85,298,909 141,719,949 53,695,914 188,052,737 468,767,509
Chile 54,053,377 51,807,280 71,293,844 112,163,184 289,317,685
French Guiana 177,374,066 420,888 177,794,954
Peru 3,335,438 7,801,012 63,667,564 80,934,250 155,738,264
Argentina 34,592,442 25,091,314 55,563,002 29,517,536 144,764,294
Dominican Republic 3,975,353 9,519,900 34,361,962 26,161,077 74,018,292
Venezuela 24,576,711 39,541,933 8,015,000 72,133,644
Ecuador 1,724,162 19,070,979 17,692,163 7,248,986 45,736,290
Bolivia 3,288,196 1,210,939 10,828,196 25,695,411 41,022,742
Costa Rica 3,391,777 9,774,916 22,303,459 1,662,610 37,132,762
St. Kitts and Nevis 4,823 1,723 18,011,223 176,050 18,193,819
Jamaica 620,676 1,195,469 2,038,353 10,806,045 14,660,543
Panama 6,094,245 613,872 1,505,889 2,940,334 11,154,340
Uruguay 305,463 371,822 5,114,581 4,292,271 10,084,137
Honduras 672,311 2,104,986 1,083,379 4,458,230 8,318,906
Trinidad and Tobago 1,120,775 3,201,366 1,717,188 1,557,927 7,597,256
El Salvador 3,190,926 413,169 1,280,164 2,256,109 7,140,368
Guatemala 1,915,754 1,316,331 696,433 1,325,455 5,253,973
Bahamas 4,170,934 30,506 289,904 321,391 4,812,735
Haiti 108,345 2,146,163 13,109 1,975,079 4,242,696
Nicaragua 779,824 714,849 1,086,072 661,967 3,242,712
Netherlands Antilles 135,920 1,868,197 421,165 2,425,282
Paraguay 203,676 928,674 779,134 1,911,484
Barbados 239,285 743,991 489,159 319,964 1,792,399
Belize 174,941 353,618 314,621 117,224 960,404
Antigua and Barbuda 47,004 354,059 401,063
St. Lucia 86,950 47,698 111,600 129,161 375,409
Guyana 117,146 37,922 59,074 147,722 361,864
Suriname 102,452 48,065 79,407 81,921 311,845
Aruba 50,448 70,008 33,132 63,602 217,190
Bermuda 88,540 41,486 12,962 33,909 176,897
Grenada 138,973 24,837 163,810
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 19,505 15,042 16,941 92,802 144,290
Dominica 15,774 45,156 67,705 13,298 141,933
Antingua and Barbuda 61,527 61,527
British Virgin Islands 3,885 6,100 5,500 15,485
Montserrat 4,998 4,998
TOTAL 1,014,390,529 795,701,519 1,040,729,238 846,274,296 3,697,095,582

All amounts in U.S. dollars.

Official Descriptions of Aid from Direct Commercial Sales

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Direct Commercial Sales:

Program Description

Direct Commercial Sales:

Law

Grant Aid Table Sources:

  • Direct Commercial Sales ; 

Economic Aid Table Sources:

  • Direct Commercial Sales ; 

Trainees Table Sources:

  • Direct Commercial Sales ; 

Sales Table Sources:

  • Direct Commercial Sales Argentina 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Aruba 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Bahamas 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Barbados 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Belize 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Bermuda 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Bolivia 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Brazil 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Cayman Islands 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Chile 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Colombia 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Costa Rica 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Dominica 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Dominican Republic 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Ecuador 2004; Direct Commercial Sales El Salvador 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Grenada 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Guatemala 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Guyana 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Haiti 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Honduras 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Jamaica 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Mexico 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Netherlands Antilles 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Nicaragua 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Panama 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Peru 2004; Direct Commercial Sales St. Kitts and Nevis 2004; Direct Commercial Sales St. Lucia 2004; Direct Commercial Sales St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Suriname 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Trinidad and Tobago 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Uruguay 2004; Direct Commercial Sales Venezuela 2004; – United States, Department of State, Report by the Department of State Pursuant to Sec. 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act (Washington: 2005) (Link to source).
  • Direct Commercial Sales Antigua and Barbuda 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Argentina 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Aruba 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Bahamas 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Barbados 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Belize 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Bermuda 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Bolivia 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Brazil 2005; Direct Commercial Sales British Virgin Islands 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Chile 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Colombia 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Costa Rica 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Dominica 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Dominican Republic 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Ecuador 2005; Direct Commercial Sales El Salvador 2005; Direct Commercial Sales French Guiana 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Guatemala 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Guyana 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Haiti 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Honduras 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Jamaica 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Mexico 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Montserrat 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Netherlands Antilles 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Nicaragua 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Panama 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Paraguay 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Peru 2005; Direct Commercial Sales St. Kitts and Nevis 2005; Direct Commercial Sales St. Lucia 2005; Direct Commercial Sales St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Suriname 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Trinidad and Tobago 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Uruguay 2005; Direct Commercial Sales Venezuela 2005; – United States, Department of State, Report by the Department of State Pursuant to Sec. 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act (Washington: 2006) (Link to source).
  • Direct Commercial Sales Antigua and Barbuda 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Argentina 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Aruba 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Bahamas 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Barbados 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Belize 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Bermuda 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Bolivia 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Brazil 2006; Direct Commercial Sales British Virgin Islands 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Chile 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Colombia 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Costa Rica 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Dominica 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Dominican Republic 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Ecuador 2006; Direct Commercial Sales El Salvador 2006; Direct Commercial Sales French Guiana 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Guatemala 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Guyana 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Haiti 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Honduras 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Jamaica 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Mexico 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Montserrat 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Netherlands Antilles 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Nicaragua 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Panama 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Paraguay 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Peru 2006; Direct Commercial Sales St. Kitts and Nevis 2006; Direct Commercial Sales St. Lucia 2006; Direct Commercial Sales St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Suriname 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Trinidad and Tobago 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Uruguay 2006; Direct Commercial Sales Venezuela 2006; – United States, Department of State, Report by the Department of State Pursuant to Sec. 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act (Washington: 2007) (Link to source).
  • Direct Commercial Sales Antingua and Barbuda 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Argentina 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Aruba 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Bahamas 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Barbados 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Belize 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Bermuda 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Bolivia 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Brazil 2007; Direct Commercial Sales British Virgin Islands 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Cayman Islands 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Chile 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Colombia 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Costa Rica 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Dominica 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Dominican Republic 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Ecuador 2007; Direct Commercial Sales El Salvador 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Grenada 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Guatemala 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Guyana 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Haiti 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Honduras 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Jamaica 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Mexico 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Nicaragua 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Panama 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Paraguay 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Peru 2007; Direct Commercial Sales St. Kitts and Nevis 2007; Direct Commercial Sales St. Lucia 2007; Direct Commercial Sales St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Suriname 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Trinidad and Tobago 2007; Direct Commercial Sales Uruguay 2007; – United States, Department of State, Report by the Department of State Pursuant to Sec. 655 of the Foreign Assistance Act (Washington: May 2008) (Link to source).

A deep cut in aid to Nicaragua

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. government economic-aid program begun during the first years of the Bush administration. It offers several-year “contracts” of aid to countries that meet a list of good governance criteria, then submit and receive approval for aid proposals. (See our MCC aid data here.)

In Latin America, only Honduras ($215 million [PDF]), Nicaragua ($175 million [PDF]), and El Salvador ($461 million [PDF]) have received MCC aid under several-year contracts. Paraguay and Guyana have received smaller amounts through single-year grants via what the MCC calls its “Threshold” program. The three countries that received MCC contract aid have seen a general decline in U.S. assistance through other, “traditional” U.S. economic-aid programs.Although these aids can benefit the people of these countries financially, nothing like encouraging them to find a suitable source of income to uplift their financial situation forever, for which the automated investment systems like the Orion Code is suitable, as anybody can follow it, without having to worry about the experience or the knowledge and yet, can gain profits abundantly!

According to its contract, Nicaragua was scheduled to receive $47.5 million in MCC aid in 2009. On Thursday, however, the MCC announced that it was suspending Nicaragua’s participation in the program due to concerns about the validity of recent local elections.

The Board also voted to suspend assistance for new activities under the $175 million MCC compact in Nicaragua because of actions taken by the Nicaraguan government that are inconsistent with MCC’s eligibility criteria. MCC will therefore not approve disbursements for activities not already contracted by MCA-Nicaragua. The political conditions leading up to, during, and following recent elections in Nicaragua were not consistent with MCC requirements that include a commitment to policies that promote political freedom and respect for civil liberties and the rule of law.

The Board called on Nicaragua to develop and implement a comprehensive set of measures to address concerns regarding the government’s commitment to democratic principles. The Board will review the response of the Nicaraguan government and determine subsequent actions at its next quarterly Board meeting in March 2009.

“The MCC model is based on aid with accountability and good governance. The Board determined that recent actions by the Nicaraguan government were inconsistent with MCC’s core principles and therefore had to take this difficult decision,” said Ambassador Danilovich. “Nicaragua’s compact with MCC benefits hundreds of thousands of poor Nicaraguans by providing better roads, property titles, and agricultural business support. For the sake of the poor of the country, we sincerely hope that the Nicaraguan government recommits to the principles of democracy and the rule of law so that MCC can reestablish what has been an effective partnership. It should be remembered that our partnership with Nicaragua is dedicated to both poverty reduction and good government policies.”

As a result of the MCC aid suspension, we estimate that U.S. assistance to the hemisphere’s second-poorest country will plummet in 2009 to its lowest level, in nominal dollars, since 2001.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Compass for Colombia Policy

Download:(PDF, 3.78 MB) A Compass for Colombia Policy(PDF, 3.95 MB) Un nuevo rumbo para la política estadounidense hacia Colombia

October 22, 2008

New Report Outlines a Just and Effective Foreign Policy toward Colombia

(English PDF, 3.78 MB) | (PDF en español, 3.95 MB).

During their final presidential debate, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain expressed markedly different opinions on U.S. policy toward Colombia, an important partner in Latin America. Yet the next U.S. president won’t just be debating policy, he will be making it—and in the case of Colombia, he will need more than minor changes along the margins. He will need a new approach.

The Compass for Colombia Policy, written by some of Washington’s top Colombia experts, offers a better way forward for one of the main foreign policy challenges that the next administration will face. This report makes a detailed, persuasive case for a new U.S. strategy that would achieve our current policy goals while ending impunity and strengthening respect for human rights. Instead of risking all by placing too much faith in a single, charismatic leader, the United States must appeal to the aspirations and needs of all Colombians by strengthening democratic institutions, such as the judiciary. In particular, the United States must stand by and empower the human rights advocates, victims, judges, prosecutors, union leaders, journalists and others who are the driving forces towards a more just and peaceful Colombia.

The Compass details seven sensible steps policymakers can take to create a just and effective Colombia policy.

1. Use U.S. Aid and Leverage for Human Rights and the Rule of Law

To address a human rights crisis that continues unabated and a chronic lack of political will to deal with it, the United States must use tougher diplomacy to encourage the Colombian government to strengthen human rights guarantees, protect human rights defenders, and bolster institutions needed to break with a history of impunity for abuses. Colombia’s judicial system is central to the rule of law and must receive strong support.

2. Actively Support Overtures for Peace

The United States cannot continue to bankroll a war without end and, as the civilian population in the countryside continues to endure immense suffering, should make peace a priority.

3. Support Expansion of the Government’s Civilian Presence in the Countryside

Militarily occupying territory is not the solution to Colombia’s problems. The United States should help Colombia strengthen its civilian government presence in rural zones to address lawlessness, poverty and inequality, the roots of the conflict.

4. Protect the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees

The United States can help resolve Colombia’s massive humanitarian crisis by insisting on the dismantlement of paramilitary structures, supporting Colombia’s Constitutional Court rulings on IDPs, and increasing and improving aid to IDPs and refugees.

5. Protect the Rights of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Communities

The United States must pay special attention to promoting ethnic minorities’ land rights and guarantee that U.S. aid projects are not carried out on land obtained by violence.

6. Ensure that Trade Policy Supports, Not Undermines, Policy Goals towards Colombia

The United States should insist upon labor rights advances, especially in reducing and prosecuting violence against trade unionists, prior to further consideration of the trade agreement. The United States must ensure that any trade agreement will not undermine U.S. policy goals, such as reducing farmers’ dependence on coca and ending the conflict.

7. Get Serious—and Smart—about Drug Policy

The United States is overdue for a major course correction in its drug control strategy, which has failed spectacularly in Colombia and the Andean region. The United States should end the inhumane and counterproductive aerial spraying program and invest seriously in rural development, including alternative development designed with affected communities. Drug enforcement should focus higher up on the distribution chain, disrupt money laundering schemes and apprehend violent traffickers. Access to high-quality drug treatment in the United States, which will cut demand, must be the centerpiece of U.S. drug policy.

“The next administration should use diplomatic pressure to hold Colombia to much higher standards on human rights, labor rights, and protection of the rule of law.”–Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group Education Fund

“The United States must recognize the magnitude of the human rights crisis for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in Colombia, in which hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lands and livelihoods to violence. –Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, Washington Office on Latin America

“Nine years after the launch of Plan Colombia, the production of cocaine remains virtually unchanged. The United States simply cannot afford to continue to pursue this costly and failed counternarcotics policy. The next President must change course.” –Adam Isacson, Center for International Policy

“In the last decade, Colombia’s conflict has taken 20,000 more lives and displaced more than 2 million citizens. Now is the time to make renewed efforts for peace.” –Kelly Nicholls, U.S. Office on Colombia

For more information:
Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group Education Fund, (202) 546-7010; lisah [at] lawg.org
Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, Washington Office on Latin America, (202) 797-2171; gsanchez [at] wola.org
Adam Isacson, Center for International Policy, (202) 232-3317; isacson [at] ciponline.org
Kelly Nicholls, US Office on Colombia, (202) 232-8090; kelly [at] usofficeoncolombia.org

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Senate committee approves the 2009 foreign aid bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee finished work last Thursday on its version of the 2009 State / Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, the U.S. government budget legislation that supplies most U.S. aid to Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Excerpts from the Senate’s bill are here.
  • Excerpts from the Appropriations Committee’s non-binding narrative report are here.
  • The Bush Administration’s 2009 foreign aid budget request, issued in February, is here.

The House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee has also finished its version of the bill; that language is not available yet, though a brief summary press release is here [PDF].

Don’t expect this bill to become law anytime soon. The U.S. Congress is only in session for six more weeks between now and the November elections. The Democratic majorities that control both houses are unlikely to hurry and send a bill for a Republican president’s signature when they stand at least a 50-50 chance of being able to send a much different bill to a Democratic president in January. Still, this bill is a useful measure of the Senate’s view of how foreign assistance programs should evolve.

The bill does not recommend specific aid levels for most countries. In the case of Colombia, however, there are enough recommendations to draw a pretty accurate picture of how the Senate appropriators would assign aid. As the table below indicates, aid to Colombia would remain similar to 2008, which involved a significant cut in military aid and increase in economic aid over 2007 levels. The Bush administration’s 2009 aid request sought to undo those 2008 changes; the Senate bill refuses to do so.

Military and Police Assistance
Aid Program
2007
2008 estimate
2009, administration request
2009, Senate Appropriations
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement 386,869,000 247,097,704 329,557,000 241,800,000
Foreign Military Financing 85,500,000 55,050,000 66,390,000 53,000,000
NADR – Anti-Terrorism Assistance 3,395,000 3,288,000 2,750,000 2,750,000
International Military Education and Training 1,646,000 1,428,000 1,400,000 1,400,000
NADR – Humanitarian Demining 691,000
NADR – Small Arms and Light Weapons 427,000
TOTAL 478,101,000 307,290,704 400,097,000 298,950,000
Economic and Social Assistance
Aid Program
2007
2008 estimate
2009, administration request
2009, Senate Appropriations
Economic Support Fund 194,412,000 142,366,000 199,000,000
International Narcotics Control Economic Aid 139,166,000 39,427,296 45,000,000
Transition Initiatives 1,699,970 2,000,000
TOTAL 140,865,970 235,839,296 142,366,000 244,000,000
Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Total 618,966,970 543,130,000 542,463,000 542,950,000
Military-Police Aid
Economic-Social Aid
Other military-police appropriations (est) 126,638,053 126,374,053 126,347,053 126,347,053
Other economic-social appropriations (est) 4,858,000 0 0 0
Total aid to Colombia 750,463,023 669,504,053 668,810,053 669,297,053

(Recall that the Foreign Operations funding bill provides most, but not all, aid to Colombia. Visit the Colombia aid page for the full picture.)

The bill also repeats conditions on the Colombia aid regarding impunity for human rights violations, and the environmental and health impacts of aerial herbicide fumigation.

The Senate bill meanwhile slices deeply into the Bush administration’s $500 million request for counter-narcotics aid to Mexico under the “Mérida Initiative,” granting $300 million instead. The committee’s report recalls that Mexico got $400 million through the special Iraq-Afghanistan war appropriation passed last month, and that this aid will only begin to get spent when the 2009 budget year begins.

Here are some excerpts from the committee’s narrative report. (Click to continue)

Barack Obama’s victory as seen from Latin America

Praise and congratulations emanated from Latin America, in response to the historic victory of President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday. Many Latin American presidents called for a new era of relations between their country and the United States, however, others expressed doubt as to whether relations will actually change.

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Editorial boards across the region also provided their interpretation of Obama’s win, pointing to both the historic nature of the elections, with Barack Obama being the first African-American in the White House, and the significant challenges that lie ahead, despite the strong popular support for change.

Below you will find quotes from various Latin American presidents’ official communications to the United States’ new President-elect, as well as links to and excerpts from editorials from many of Latin America’s top newspapers.

Latin American presidents’ remarks:

Colombia: President Álvaro Uribe

“We have to continue working and looking for support in order to maintain a policy of coordination with the government of the United States against narcotrafficking, terrorism, and the strengthening democratic institutions.”

Ecuador: President Rafael Correa

“I think that foreign policy is going to be more reasonable, more humane, less imperialist. I think that (there will be) more attention on Latin America, but I do not believe that there will be changes.”

“I dream about the day that Latin America, really does not have to worry about who becomes the president of the United States, because it will be sovereign and autonomous enough to walk on its own two feet.”

Correa also stressed the fact that for the first time “a black man will be the president of the United States. It is important that a minority leads the most powerful country in the world.”

Bolivia: President Evo Morales

“Mr. Barack Obama has made history, his victory is historic and, in the name of the National Government, congratulations.”

“Weeks ago, I said that, regardless of which candidate became president, we would work to improve relations with the United States, but even better with Obama, who is a person who represents the most marginalized sectors.”

Chile: President Michelle Bachelet

“I know that we will continue working together to strengthen even further the relations between our countries and take advantage of not only economic opportunities, but also of the training, technology exchange and cultural development that we have.”

“This triumph brings us to an historic moment. Because today, when the world is confronted with a serious range of difficulties affecting peoples’ lives, such as the energy crisis, the economic crisis, and the food crisis, the international community obviously requires new solutions and a special preoccupation for the less protected populations. I am certain that Barack Obama is an expression of the dreams of an entire nation for a better future, full of hope.”

Peru: President Alan Garcia

“We have followed this presidential campaign with interest and admiration, as it has shown the vigor of democracy in the United States and the majority of the U.S population has supported your message of change and hope. We are sure that your leadership and political convictions will be decisive so that the international community will find a responsible and equitable way out of the crisis that is affecting world finances and economy.

We are equally assured that during your term our bilateral relation will continue to strengthen. The vigorous entrance into the Free Trade Agreement, which you supported and used as an example during your campaign, will serve to energize business and investment, and will stimulate exchange and cooperation in the other fields Peru needs for its development and those fields over which the United States has global leadership.”

Venezuela: President Hugo Chávez

“The historic election of an African-American to the head of the most powerful nation in the world is a symptom of the changing times that have been brewing from the south of America, which is now knocking on the door of the United States. From Simon Bolivar’s homeland, we are convinced that the time has come to establish new relations between our countries and with our region, within the basis of principles of respect for sovereignty, equality, and true cooperation.

From all of the corners of the planet, a clamor is arising that demands a change in international relations and the construction, as the liberator Simon Bolivar said, of an equal, peaceful, and coexisting world.

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirms its will and its determination to build, over a base of absolute respect of sovereignty, a constructive bilateral agenda for the well-being of the Venezuelan and U.S. citizenry.”

Mexico: President Felipe Calderón

Text from an official press release:
“The President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, sent a letter today, in the name of the pueblo and the Government of Mexico, to Senator Barack Obama, congratulating him for his victory in the United States’ presidential elections.

In the letter, President Calderón reiterated the Government of Mexico’s commitment to strengthening and deepening bilateral relations and working toward the construction of a better future for the region. He confided that the relation between both countries will begin a new phase of progress based on shared responsibility, a frank and respectful dialogue, and mutual trust.”

Honduras: President Manuel Zelaya

“Barack Obama’s victory is one for the entire world, and is for everyone, who in any moment of their lives, have fought for momentous changes through social organization, for civil rights, human rights, to combat inequality. It deserves sincere congratulations to the American population, to the president-elect, and to those who chivalrously accepted defeat.”

Editorial Boards

Bolivia:
La RazónEstados Unidos, hacia “el cambio” (The United States made “the change”)

“There are ‘changing times in Washington,’ [Bush] recognized; but immediately, he signaled that ‘the world is going to continue being the same’ with Obama. The change, it appears, is passing to the other side in the United States. And Bolivia, as the rest of the countries in the region, will have to understand it like that.”

Los TiemposEl triunfo de Barack Obama (Barack Obama’s triumph)

“However, what awaits Obama is not anything easy. Many prejudices about his ability to lead were refuted by facts, yet there still remain other relative tests to his true aptitude and decisions to confront with conviction the necessary and monumental challenges such as terrorism and the economic debacle. If it is like this or not, the judgement of history will tell. Until then, what is certain is that the United States population and its democracy gave an admirable show of strength. And that already is, by itself, an extraordinary motive for the United States to revitalize its faith in the future.”

Colombia:
El TiempoRevolución Obama (Obama revolution)

“In the case of Latin America, and in Colombia in particular, it is too early to speculate about the immediate changes that will be in the bilateral agenda. Regardless, the democratic majority now in power favors adding conditions to military aid packages, trade exchanges, and the fight against drugs in exchange for improvements in human rights. For our country, the arrival of the new Obama administration could become a unique opportunity to spell out new points in the bilateral agenda.”

Ecuador:
El ComercioGanar era previsible, gobernar será titánico (Winning was foreseeable, governing will be titanic)

“The agenda of the United States’ new President is one of the most difficult tests in the history of the country. It will require an enormous and historic serenity; from an extraordinary team of advisors and, if it is believed, blessings from the divine.”

Peru:
El ComercioEstados Unidos: histórica elección y grandes retos (United States: historic election and great challenges)

“In regard to Latin America, one hopes for improved relations, that will not be limited to a revised migration policy, but instead in more concrete links and on a longer time scale. In regard to Peru, it has only been mentioned as an example FTA that could be better considered by our government.”

La RepúblicaObama y A. Latina (Obama and Latin America)

“Although there were few references to Latin America during the presidential campaign, . . . there were two concrete points that can be cited in favor of the president-elect. The first was his t.v. spot in relatively correct Spanish, addressed to the hispanic electorate, that, according to the results, he ended up conquering.

The second, that was brought about during his debates with McCain, was in reference to Peru. The senator from Illinois presented himself as favorable to the FTA signed between the USA and our country, to which he practically qualified as exemplar and said that it could count on his support.”

Venezuela:
El NacionalObama y nosotros (Obama and us)

“When Venezuelans think about these campaigns in other countries and we compare them to their elections to elect governors and mayors, it makes them want to cry. Destruction is the war cry of the President against his adversaries. In the United States, the competition has other characteristics. It was between parties and between candidates; here it is between the all-powerful and corrupt government and simple citizens.”

Mexico:
La JornadaHistórico (Historic)

“It is not sensible, ultimately, to hold expectations of a radical change in the power of the United States as a result of the arrival of Barack Obama to the White House. But, it would be unfair to deny the marked and positive political and human differences between the victor at the polls yesterday and the man who in eight years has carried the power of the United States to its worse moral and economic abyss.”

Argentina:
ClarínUna elección por el cambio, en Estados Unidos (An election for change, in the United States)

“The triumph of Barack Obama was the consequence of a profound political mobilization. The Americans voted for a change in national and international policies and the election has an enormous significance for the northern country and for the rest of the world, in that which respects the national administration, international relations and the culture of social relations, because it will contribute to a more inclusive and tolerant society.”

Chile:
El MercurioTriunfo de Obama (Obama’s triumph)

“Obama represents a distinct way of taking on international themes, in tune with the ruthless criticism that the Democratic Party made to Bush in his eight years.”

Guatemala:
Prensa LibreRespecto de una victoria anunciada (Respect of an announced victory)

“This election became a symbol of hope to achieve changes and to establish the now lost unity of the purposes of this country.”

Costa Rica:
NaciónPresidente de la esperanza (President of hope)

“The exemplar triumph of Barack Obama reflects the best of the United States. Governing will be the biggest challenge, but he has solid conditions to assume it.”