Americas Summit: Chance for new start

Editorial, Miami Herald, 4/16/2009

If a president’s job performance could be judged solely by public diplomacy, it would be easy to forecast success for President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas. The president turned in a stellar performance on his recent visit to Europe and Turkey. There’s no reason to think he won’t do the same on his first foray into Latin America and the Caribbean.

The meeting of 34 chief executives from throughout the region begins Friday in Trinidad & Tobago. Even though Mr. Obama has never been south of the border and is new on the job, he may be the most popular U.S. chief executive in the region since John F. Kennedy. He will be the star of the show. Unfortunately, that raises expectations unlikely to be met, given the economic crisis at home and a foreign-policy agenda that includes two nasty wars, expanding nuclear arsenals by rogue nations and piracy on the high seas.

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