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Will Obama Defend Freedom in the Americas?

11:34 AM, Apr 5, 2012 • By PATRICK CHRISTY
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Obama may appreciate being warmly welcomed by leftist leaders across the region, but his inability—or refusal—to stand firmly against grave abuses of political power is a crushing blow to the region’s democratic movements. It sends a signal to dissidents jailed in Cuba, opposition leaders fighting for elections in Venezuela, and voters robbed of their rights in Nicaragua that the United States is more concerned with maintaining the status quo than supporting the cause of freedom. As Senator Marco Rubio (R, Fla.) recently wrote, “Today, because of decisions made by this president and his administration, freedom fighters throughout Latin America and around the world wonder if the United States will stand with them as tirelessly as we should.”

President Obama’s upcoming trip to the Summit of the Americas this month provides an opportunity for the White House to affirm its commitment to change this course. Let’s hope the president does not miss this important chance.

Patrick Christy is a policy analyst at the Foreign Policy Initiative. 

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