What have McCain and Obama said about Latin America?

Latin America and the Caribbean

Less than one week remains before election day, and the end of what has felt like the longest-ever presidential campaign season. While Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain have tried to show America what a McCain or Obama Administration would look like, talk of how they will work with Latin America has been few and far between. Below, we have compiled links to speeches, press releases, policy statements, and some interviews that will give you a better idea as to what each candidate has been saying about U.S. policy toward and relationship with Latin America. Obama A New Partnership for the Americas: Fact Sheet on Latin America (PDF) On Latin America & the Caribbean At TC Williams High School - Alexandria, VA - Feb 10, 2008 Statement of Senator Barack Obama on Fidel Castro Stepping Down - Feb 19, 2008 Obama Statement on Recent Events near Colombia's Borders - March 3, 2008 Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Renewing U.S. Leadership in the Americas - Miami Florida - May 23, 2008 Interview with Barack Obama - ABC News - Jake Tapper Obama Talks Latin America -- and Spain -- on Miami Radio - Sept 22, 2008 Debate Reality Check: Obama's Position on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement - October 15, 2008 McCain Full text of the McCain interview - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - January 23, 2007 McCain Statement on Castro Resignation Statement by John McCain on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement - April 11 Remarks by John McCain on Cuban Independence Day - May 20, 2008 John McCain 2008 Launches New Spanish Radio Ad, "Cuba Prisoners" - June 10, 2008 John McCain 2008 Launches New Web Ad: "Colombia Free Trade" July 1, 2008 Statement by John McCain on Today's Hostage Rescue in Colombia - July 2, 2008 ICYMI: John McCain On "Good Morning America" From Columbia (their typo) - July 2, 2008 Statement by John McCain on Venezuela - Sept 12, 2008 [Audio] interview with Union Radio - September 18, 2008 Remarks By John McCain In Miami, FL - October 17, 2008 Dialogue between both candidates at the final presidential debate on October 15: (see full transcript and video of this debate here) MCCAIN: But let me give you another example of a free trade agreement that Senator Obama opposes. Right now, because of previous agreements, some made by President Clinton, the goods and products that we send to Colombia, which is our largest agricultural importer of our products, is -- there's a billion dollars that we -- our businesses have paid so far in order to get our goods in there. Because of previous agreements, their goods and products come into our country for free. So Senator Obama, who has never traveled south of our border, opposes the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The same country that's helping us try to stop the flow of drugs into our country that's killing young Americans. And also the country that just freed three Americans that will help us create jobs in America because they will be a market for our goods and products without having to pay -- without us having to pay the billions of dollars -- the billion dollars and more that we've already paid. Free trade with Colombia is something that's a no-brainer. But maybe you ought to travel down there and visit them and maybe you could understand it a lot better. OBAMA: Let me respond. Actually, I understand it pretty well. The history in Colombia right now is that labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis and there have not been prosecutions. And what I have said, because the free trade -- the trade agreement itself does have labor and environmental protections, but we have to stand for human rights and we have to make sure that violence isn't being perpetrated against workers who are just trying to organize for their rights, which is why, for example, I supported the Peruvian Free Trade Agreement which was a well-structured agreement. But I think that the important point is we've got to have a president who understands the benefits of free trade but also is going to enforce unfair trade agreements and is going to stand up to other countries.... MCCAIN: Well, let me just said that that this is -- he -- Senator Obama doesn't want a free trade agreement with our best ally in the region but wants to sit down across the table without precondition to -- with Hugo Chavez, the guy who has been helping FARC, the terrorist organization. Free trade between ourselves and Colombia, I just recited to you the benefits of concluding that agreement, a billion dollars of American dollars that could have gone to creating jobs and businesses in the United States, opening up those markets. ... MCCAIN: I have fought against -- well, one of them would be the marketing assistance program. Another one would be a number of subsidies for ethanol. I oppose subsidies for ethanol because I thought it distorted the market and created inflation; Senator Obama supported those subsidies. I would eliminate the tariff on imported sugarcane-based ethanol from Brazil.