Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Update: Wyclef Jean argues that getting shot brought much needed attention to the Haitian election

The story's here at People.com.

Wyclef makes an interesting point about his unfortunate shooting in Haiti. Would anyone in the U.S. know there was a presidential election if 1) Wyclef hadn't attempted to run, 2) Wyclef hadn't been barred from running, and/or 3) Wyclef hadn't been shot?

Does the U.S. care about the Caribbean world or is our only interest in beaches, umbrella drinks, and the postcolonial gaze?

Like it or not the U.S is not only proximally and economically tied to the Caribbean and larger Latin American world. With debate about CAFTA prominent and debate even more polarizing on the U.S.-Columbia Free Trade Agreement (not to mention the U.S.-Panama FTA), U.S. involvement in Latin American and the Caribbean will only increase. These FTA's are important to the economic relationship amongst countries in the Americas and present economic opportunity for U.S., Panamanian, and Columbian interests. As the Panama Canal expands to accommodate new Panamax ships and positions itself as global transportation and logistics hub, one would be reasonable to argue that the U.S. should move to become apart of these opportunities. The FTAs currently await ratification in Congress and there seems to be little push for that to happen. SKFTA (South Korea FTA) is also sitting around for that mater.

Read more about the Columbia and Panama FTA's here: Western Farm Press, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Tampa Bay Tribune, and Quincy Herald-Whig.

Photo credits: Denise Truscello/WireImage/People.com

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