Barack Obama's victory as seen from Latin America

Latin America and the Caribbean

Praise and congratulations emanated from Latin America, in response to the historic victory of President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday. Many Latin American presidents called for a new era of relations between their country and the United States, however, others expressed doubt as to whether relations will actually change. Editorial boards across the region also provided their interpretation of Obama's win, pointing to both the historic nature of the elections, with Barack Obama being the first African-American in the White House, and the significant challenges that lie ahead, despite the strong popular support for change. Below you will find quotes from various Latin American presidents' official communications to the United States' new President-elect, as well as links to and excerpts from editorials from many of Latin America's top newspapers. Latin American presidents' remarks: Colombia: President Álvaro Uribe "We have to continue working and looking for support in order to maintain a policy of coordination with the government of the United States against narcotrafficking, terrorism, and the strengthening democratic institutions." Ecuador: Colombia: El Tiempo: Revolución Obama (Obama revolution) "In the case of Latin America, and in Colombia in particular, it is too early to speculate about the immediate changes that will be in the bilateral agenda. Regardless, the democratic majority now in power favors adding conditions to military aid packages, trade exchanges, and the fight against drugs in exchange for improvements in human rights. For our country, the arrival of the new Obama administration could become a unique opportunity to spell out new points in the bilateral agenda." Ecuador: El Comercio: Ganar era previsible, gobernar será titánico (Winning was foreseeable, governing will be titanic) "The agenda of the United States' new President is one of the most difficult tests in the history of the country. It will require an enormous and historic serenity; from an extraordinary team of advisors and, if it is believed, blessings from the divine." Peru: El Comercio: Estados Unidos: histórica elección y grandes retos (United States: historic election and great challenges) "In regard to Latin America, one hopes for improved relations, that will not be limited to a revised migration policy, but instead in more concrete links and on a longer time scale. In regard to Peru, it has only been mentioned as an example FTA that could be better considered by our government." La República: Obama y A. Latina (Obama and Latin America) "Although there were few references to Latin America during the presidential campaign, . . . there were two concrete points that can be cited in favor of the president-elect. The first was his t.v. spot in relatively correct Spanish, addressed to the hispanic electorate, that, according to the results, he ended up conquering. The second, that was brought about during his debates with McCain, was in reference to Peru. The senator from Illinois presented himself as favorable to the FTA signed between the USA and our country, to which he practically qualified as exemplar and said that it could count on his support." Venezuela: El Nacional: Obama y nosotros (Obama and us) "When Venezuelans think about these campaigns in other countries and we compare them to their elections to elect governors and mayors, it makes them want to cry. Destruction is the war cry of the President against his adversaries. In the United States, the competition has other characteristics. It was between parties and between candidates; here it is between the all-powerful and corrupt government and simple citizens." Mexico: La Jornada: Histórico (Historic) "It is not sensible, ultimately, to hold expectations of a radical change in the power of the United States as a result of the arrival of Barack Obama to the White House. But, it would be unfair to deny the marked and positive political and human differences between the victor at the polls yesterday and the man who in eight years has carried the power of the United States to its worse moral and economic abyss." Argentina: Clarín: Una elección por el cambio, en Estados Unidos (An election for change, in the United States) "The triumph of Barack Obama was the consequence of a profound political mobilization. The Americans voted for a change in national and international policies and the election has an enormous significance for the northern country and for the rest of the world, in that which respects the national administration, international relations and the culture of social relations, because it will contribute to a more inclusive and tolerant society." Chile: El Mercurio: Triunfo de Obama (Obama's triumph) "Obama represents a distinct way of taking on international themes, in tune with the ruthless criticism that the Democratic Party made to Bush in his eight years." Guatemala: Prensa Libre: Respecto de una victoria anunciada (Respect of an announced victory) "This election became a symbol of hope to achieve changes and to establish the now lost unity of the purposes of this country." Costa Rica: Nación: Presidente de la esperanza (President of hope) "The exemplar triumph of Barack Obama reflects the best of the United States. Governing will be the biggest challenge, but he has solid conditions to assume it."