VOA News reports that the incoming undersecretary of state for public diplomacy is under pressure by experts, including Vanderbilt's Vera Kutzinski, to focus on Latin America:
"As Karen Hughes, the incoming undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, begins the task of trying to improve the U.S. image abroad, one area of concern is Latin America. Relations with most countries in this region have been close and friendly, but there are some challenges emerging."
"More recently, the threat of terrorism and combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have focused U.S. policy on the Middle East. Vera Kutzinski, director of the Center for the Americas at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, says that, as a result, the United States has neglected its neighbors."
"'The United States has not really been paying as much attention to Latin America and the Caribbean as it might have,' she says."
"She says U.S. influence has waned and challenges to U.S. policies in the Americas have grown. She says Karen Hughes should take a good look at what has happened in the region, not only to bolster the U.S. image there, but also to see what has worked and what has not worked."