30 Issues: America and the Americas

Thursday, October 18, 2012

30 Issues in 30 Days is our election year series on the important issues facing the country this election year. Today: U.S.-Mexican and U.S.-Latin American interactions and foreign policy issues close to home. Visit the 30 Issue home page for all the conversations.

Open Prep: Questions, Articles, and Links to Get You Started

Key Questions

  • Is the U.S. a good neighbor to Latin America?
  • Can we expect continued fallout from the Fast and Furious scandal?
  • Where do we stand in the War on Drugs?

What are your key questions on this topic? Post them below and get the conversation going!


Got a Follow Up?

Each Friday we'll be following up on one of that week's issues. Got a particular follow-up question from this conversation? Comment below or tweet us. Tweet to @brianlehrer

Comments [13]

Owen from Berkeley, CA

Juan Forero suggested U.S. drug war policy has worked in Colombia. This is true only if we ignore, as Juan Forero always does, that there has been MASSIVE internal displacement and brutality carried out in Colombia by the army and its paramilitary allies, who are themselves some of the biggest drug dealers. Yes, the big cities are safer now, but the situation in the countryside is atrocious.

Oct. 18 2012 05:16 PM
cabinetmaker from NYC

Your remark that Ralph Nader cost the 2000 election for Gore overlooks the fact that Katherine Harris dumped tens of thousands of African-Americans from the Florida over rolls, who more than likely would not have voted for Bush.

Oct. 18 2012 11:35 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

jonah from ny said:

"marijuana prevents cancer. And cures it"

Tell that to Bob Marley.

Oct. 18 2012 11:04 AM
jonah from ny

I am extreamley offended by Your characterization of marijuana as a health" Problem" marijuana prevents cancer. And cures it and 16 Other diseases. Listen to science Friday last week!

Oct. 18 2012 10:54 AM
steve from Manhattan

Don't forget our recent history -- Hugo Chavez, who some claim provided the gateway for Iran into the Americas, started his political leadership as a staunch supporter and ally of the United States. But G.W. Bush, in his infinite wisdom, had the CIA orchestrate a coup against him in 2002, and while it failed to remove Chavez from office, it succeeded in turning Chavez into an AVID anti-American imperialism leader. Thus, Chavez subsequently allied with those he knew would get under our political skin (Cuba, Iran, etc.). As we did in Iran in 1952 and Afghanistan in the 1980s, the United States once again showed our distinctive talent for turning allies into enemies, thus creating the very problems we most decry in years to follow...

Oct. 18 2012 10:46 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

"the Soviet Union was not a distortion of Marxism, but Marxism done by experts"

Ed, you have just proven that you know little about Marxism or the Soviet Union.

Oct. 18 2012 10:45 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

As long as Mexican drug cartels are at war, murdering and beheading opponents, and the weak Mexican government can't control this war, the border must be tightly controlled to keep this drug war out of the US.

Oct. 18 2012 10:41 AM

Is the US a good neighbor to Latin America? ... Was the US a good neighbor when it mined Nicaragua's harbors? When it forced Bolivia to privatize its water supply, leading to private firms denying people water? When it drove Argentina to the brink of bankruptcy through the World Bank? When it abetted the overthrow of Allende? ...

Oct. 18 2012 10:30 AM
John from office

My mistake, I thought Mareeeah Inooohoosah, would be in this segment. The queen of the spanish pronouncments.

Oct. 18 2012 09:49 AM
john from office

Oy Vey, this segment will be a contest over who can pronounce Spanish words and names the best. So American towns and states like New Mexico Florida and California will be pronounced as if we were standing in and from Mexico City. Brian of course will try to say the names in Spanish because that is the PC thing.

If you are speaking in Spanish speak Spanish, say things in Spanish. If you are speaking English speak English. Listening to Latino USA can be so annoying with the switching back and forth.

Oct. 18 2012 09:39 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

As with most foreign policy issues, the radical left wing mole in the White House has totally ignored Central and South America. Hizbollah camps? The erosion of democracy? The rise of left wing dictators? Ortega back in office as President in Nicaragua? The increasingly dumber MSM doesn't even cover it.
Barry has been too distracted, since he began running for re-election 2 years ago to apply himself to topics that he knows little about, and about which he cares even less. THAT takes real work. (If this illiterate in the White House could even find the area on a map.)

Why not have Mary O'Grady on the show for a sobering view of little Barry's alarming lack of interest in the issues there.....she has covered the Americas for years for the Wall Street Journal.

Oct. 18 2012 07:41 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Given Brian Lehrer's embracing of Marxism the other day in talking about utopias (but I agree with Tom Wolfe and Solzhenitzen - the Soviet Union was not a distortion of Marxism, but Marxism done by experts, and remember how Jewish people fared under the Soviets, not good), and that Bolivia and Ecuador and Venezuela and perhaps Brazil are turning more communist, and this will affect Latin America, Brian Lehrer must have high hopes for the area.

(The drug war in Mexico started right after they legalized first trimester abortion in Mexico City.)

Oct. 18 2012 05:51 AM

- Is the U.S. a good neighbor to Latin America?
You have to be kidding! America is a good neighbor to some of our Southern compatriots However, we are "fair weather friends" as we allow businesses to set up shop. without having the same protections for workers as they must provide in the US. They don't even pay a true "living wage", & have longer work hours, & no provision for safe working conditions. Then they will leave the area, some without giving notice or paying the worker the wages due. Too often we take from our "friends" not help.
- Can we expect continued fallout from the Fast and Furious scandal?
I wonder? is this really the first time this kind of "Fast & Furious" tactic was used? We've been at this Drug War since the 1930s! But some guns are going across the boarder bought by civilians here to sell them there. Our loose gun laws aid & abet this, like Colorado & Arizona, by allowing a person to buy up to 50 Uzi's at a time, "for personal use." WHO needs 50 assault weapons? for what? Certainly not to hunt with! No, they are bought to sell them to anyone who'll pay the price, including the drug lords! That doesn't justify our government allowing guns to fall into these hands. Government shouldn't be in the business of selling guns - But it is not their first time (Iran - Contra anyone?)
- Where do we stand in the War on Drugs?
IF we're really serious about stopping the drug trade, the only way is to promote Drug Rehabilitation right here. Drug usage crosses all borders, all socio-economic lines.
Another way to fight the prevalence of drugs here is for All here to treat the South American people with respect by, as above, by making US Companies give them the same fair wages, hours, and safe working conditions as we expect here. FYI. we have those benefits thanks to Unions fight to pass Liberal Labor Laws, via the Democrats!

Oct. 17 2012 01:50 AM

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