I am very happy about Obama’s Cuba policy, in addition to his Iran agreement. So that’s for all the people who say I never say anything nice about him:
In short, Obama’s diplomacy at the Summit of the Americas in part consisted of going around promising not to overthrow his fellow leaders, which would be faintly ridiculous if Washington hadn’t in fact intervened so much in neighbors’ affairs.
The Obama moment in Latin America most resembles presidentFranklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” during the Great Depression and WW II, when FDR similarly ceased trying to impose the US will on countries it its south. (Unfortunately in the Cold War period, the interventions were revived).
It is worth pointing out that one of the reasons Obama has difficulty in his negotiations with Iran is that its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, distrusts Washington because of its long history of intervention in Iran. The US along with its WWII allies invaded and occupied Iran in the 1940s; the allies overthrew the ruler, Reza Shah Pahlevi in 1941. The in 1953 the CIA conducted a coup against popular Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh because he led the nationalization of Iranian oil. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the US allied with Saddam Hussein of Iraq, who had invaded Iran in a wanton act of naked aggression in 1980. When Saddam used chemical weapons against Iranian troops, the US ran interference for Baghdad at the UN Security Council, ensuring that Baathist Iraq was not sanctioned for its war crimes against Iran.
So maybe Obama needs a sidebar with Khamenei to reassure him that Washington is not trying to overthrow him, either.