As a south american, I've always been confused about the US policy against us. I really don't understand why the US has, since the end of WWII, crushed Latin America again and again and again, and they keep doing is to this day.
The US had at least two good options with LATAM:
1. Let LATAM develop, have healthy capitalist economies, get us to be in the NATO Thug Club, and sell us their flashy iPhones and cars.
2. Let LATAM develop, under their rules, and make us become their own China, much nearer and in the same timezones.
As it is now, Latin America is basically useless to US interests. We don't have a developed industry. Pretty much the only thing US buys is oil from Venezuela and copper and lithium from Chile. Other than that, latin america is still poor. We have slow internet (so netflix can't grow), we have really high prices vs. salary (so the flashy iphones are reserved to a tiny fraction of the population), and other things are considered "luxuries" (like an XBOX360 which is 4-5X the US price, since: if only the rich can afford it, they might as well charge what the rich can pay).
US has been in bed with China for too long. China is now heavily investing in LATAM. I think the US really needs to take a strategical leap, unify LATAM, and make the "American Bloc" to compete against the Eurozone and Russia/Asia. But this is not going to happen. If it hasn't happened in 60 years, it's not going to happen now. Which is a shame. The potential of Latin America is simply unbelievable:
- Almost 1 billion people
- Infrastructure already in place (Argentina alone had over 30.000km of railways)
- Natural resources to spare thanks to the unexploited Andes and the VAST reserves of all sorts of minerals
- Endless coastlines to place strategic ports
- Political stability(*) and a peaceful, tame population
- US Military presence already in place, and underdeveloped local armies
(*): The political instabilities in Latin America have been caused by CIA and friends over 40 years. LATAM naturally steers left because the (many) poor that feel "left out" of the system. Piñera in Chile was right-wing and his party lost to the same left-wing candidate (Bachelet) who was the president before him, because the breach between the "rich" and "poor" is rather high there. Middle class people can barely afford to go to college.
The best course of action would be for the US to let us "naturally develop". It will be a slow process, taking at least 50 years for LATAM to reach higher status (and leave behind the "south american shithole country" stigma), enough time for the US to figure out a new course of action. Development will allow US companies to move production here, and decrease chinese dependency.
But the "paradigm shift" needs to be real. The US only wants Latin America to sign free trade agreements with countries that WILL NOT benefit from them. For example: US wanted a FTA with Argentina. Our main export was, at the time, beef (exports of interests to US, not counting,for example,soybean). The problem is that while the FTA was "free", later "regulations" weren't. Argentina can't export beef to the US (because the US wants to protect its own market). Our industry doesn't produce anything that the US wants so that's another problem. But, the US had a *LOT* to sell to us. If we signed the FTA, it means 0 tariffs for US products, and eventually, destroying our own local economy.
Chile is more flexible in this regard. Chile does not have factories or farms. Their economy is solely based in raw mining exports, no value add. The US now gave them the Visa Waiver program. So the US buys copper from them, and chileans fly to the US for vacations and "return" the USD. Chile benefits in no way, but they are OK with that since their president is a right-wing billionarie.
As it is now, the US unstoppable monetary emission will eventually cause a crash and take 3/4 of the world's economy with it, leading us to a "New World Order" with China on command, and the final victory of "Communism".