2008.04.10: April 10, 2008: Headlines: Figures: COS - Dominican Republic: Politics: Congress: Election2008 - Dodd: Hartford Courant: Dodd Presents His Ideas On Dealing With Latin America

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Dodd Presents His Ideas On Dealing With Latin America

Dodd Presents His Ideas On Dealing With Latin America

Dodd advocates an end to the long trade embargo and on travel restrictions. He thinks America should start showing Cuba more of itself, hoping the example will help change Cuba from within. Dodd is really delivering this speech to Sen. Barack Obama, whom Dodd has campaigned for. A President Obama could adopt Dodd's notions on the region. But either Obama or Hillary Clinton might be more likely to allow him a foot in the door. "They're more apt to listen," Dodd said. But he also noted that " George Bush's father was great in the hemisphere." Dodd said the older Bush understood the importance of interpersonal relationships. "I think Barack Obama would get that, understand that." Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic in the 1960's.

Dodd Presents His Ideas On Dealing With Latin America

Dodd Presents His Ideas On Dealing With Latin America

By JESSE A. HAMILTON | Washington Bureau Chief

April 10, 2008

ANNAPOLIS, MD. - Sen. Chris Dodd had billed this speech as a major policy address, as a strategy outline for U.S. relations with Latin America.

But the lengthy Wednesday-night talk to Navy cadets was not really a wish list for this year's dealings with the region. Dodd is looking toward 2009 and beyond, at a potential Democratic president, so he's starting now to push his own "blueprint" for how the United States should deal with its neighbors to the south.

The occasion was a keynote address at the U.S. Naval Academy's foreign affairs conference. Dodd, a senior member of the Senate committee on foreign affairs, has some sway in this arena, especially on the subject of Latin America.

His chairmanship of the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere puts him in direct touch with these issues.

So, to the mass of white uniforms, he talked about moving on from a three-pillar strategy that pays attention only to elections, trade and drug problems.

He argued that social and legal institutions have to be built in these neighbor democracies, especially civilian-led militaries and governments operating under the rule of law. Free trade can't be the full answer, he said.

He outlined what would have to be an expensive new shift in focus to America's own backyard, although he also advocated a regional approach to policy that would encourage the countries to work among themselves more.

Dodd also dealt with energy policy, saying the United States should work in the short term on more efficient delivery of fossil fuels, but its long-term plan should be to expand work with these other countries on alternative fuels.

And he talked about Cuba.

Dodd advocates an end to the long trade embargo and on travel restrictions. He thinks America should start showing Cuba more of itself, hoping the example will help change Cuba from within.

Dodd is really delivering this speech to Sen. Barack Obama, whom Dodd has campaigned for. A President Obama could adopt Dodd's notions on the region. But either Obama or Hillary Clinton might be more likely to allow him a foot in the door.

"They're more apt to listen," Dodd said. But he also noted that " George Bush's father was great in the hemisphere." Dodd said the older Bush understood the importance of interpersonal relationships. "I think Barack Obama would get that, understand that."

Dodd added that he has traveled in Latin America with Sen. John McCain, too, and "he showed a real interest in the region." As for what the region wants, he said, "People want to see us lead in a constructive and positive way again."

The interest of one Navy cadet from Connecticut, Ryan McDonough, wasn't so much about foreign policy as about Connecticut hockey, namely what Dodd is doing to replace the long-departed Hartford Whalers. Dodd said he'd work on it, but the confessed Red Sox fan added: "Living in Connecticut, you've got to export your allegiances."

Contact Jesse A. Hamilton at jhamilton@courant.com.




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Story Source: Hartford Courant

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Dominican Republic; Politics; Congress; Election2008 - Dodd

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