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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2007, 09:29 GMT
Bush visit: US and Latin American views
President Bush on a visit to Brazil in 2005
Mr Bush has described poverty in Latin America as "a scandal"
As US President George W Bush winds up his week-long tour of Latin America, BBC News website readers from the US and countries he has visited debate the trip.

Mr Bush has already held talks in Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Guatemala and is currently in Mexico.


The Bush administration has a poor image in Latin America due to its foreign policy in the region. However, the bigger question is not Bush, it is the politicians all over Latin America who treat their country's resources as their personal resources. These politicians are stealing everything they can get their hands on at the expense of their country's infrastructure, socio-economic growth, education and health. They have already eaten away at the confidence of young people in this continent. I only wonder, if the US could spend a billion or two from the Iraq war on education and income-generating projects in Latin America.
Ravi Prakash, Atlanta, US

It's interesting that the same group of people that pushed through legislation to construct a wall between the US and Mexico is now calling for the alleviation of the plight of the poor. What about our own problems? What about our social security system? What about our tax system? This administration is a walking contradiction.
Kevin W, San Diego, California, US

President Bush should recognise that the reason Latin Americans question the value of democracy in their region is because democracy has failed them numerous times before. Their concerns are well-founded. The US, as a democratic nation, has supported many of the most repressive and destructive regimes that many Latin American countries have experienced in their short histories. Unfortunately for President Bush, the bitterness that many countries feel towards the US will not be reversed by a week of obligatory visits and forced sympathy. Successful democracies should lead by example, and the US has failed.
Lindsey Rush, Austin, US


It is time we stopped stereotyping the US as a ghastly empire and started negotiating with them. Why not trade with the US under equal and fair terms? Move on!
Sandra Sena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Bush's aid programme to Latin America brings nothing new. It just maintains the aid programs started years ago. Compared to other countries the US helps around the world, it is not even substantial. Its impact on poverty will not be noticeable.
Lisandra, Brasilia, Brazil

Protests in Bogota, Colombia
Protests have preceded President Bush's visit
I really hope the US aid initiative for Latin America works out. We've seen so much talk and no actual progress concerning the development of the poorest areas. We have a wealth of natural resources on our doorstep, but many people today still live in total poverty, while a few have everything.
Rafael Brandão, Salvador, Brazil

Though not a fan of the Bush administration, I have to say that his visit could actually do some good for the region. Of course his habit of giving financial aid to foster the spread of "democracy" is flawed, but the economic prospects of shifting trade relations with Brazil is promising. If Brazil doesn't undercut the value of its ethanol-producing technology it could make real economic progress through sales to the US. It would be worth a lot more than an aid package which will neither put a dent in Latin American poverty, nor in anti-democratic or anti-American sentimentalities in the region.
American in Brazil, Recife, Brazil

If Bush wants to alleviate poverty, he can start by cutting tariffs and farm subsidies, especially ethanol tariffs. He can also drop our debt. It's not fair that some countries get their debt forgiven and others don't. Ultimately it is up to the people of Latin America to stop voting for leaders like [Brazilian President] Lula [da Silva] and [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez and quit blaming their problems on the American bogeyman. Latin America needs to adopt the free market policies embraced by EU nations and Asian nations like Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Marcos Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Bush's proposed aid programme wouldn't hurt, but it would only be a temporary solution and a diversion from the many social problems in Latin America. People here are also wondering what his agenda is in the region. Maybe he is trying to gain some votes for his party from the Latin-American immigrant community in the US, or maybe he is simply trying to stop the spread of left-wing politics in the region.
Carlos Aguilar, Mexico City, Mexico

Our government has to play its part by implementing national reforms, fighting corruption and educating more of its people
Adriana Baltazar, Mexico City, Mexico
I don't think the kind of aid offered by President Bush will help. It would only make Latin American countries more dependent on international aid. They need reforms and they need to strengthen their economy as well as their governments. If we want social programmes, we should approach international institutions like the World Bank. For Mexico, migration reforms are very important, as well as a revision of the Nafta treaty, in order to boost our economy. But our government has to play its part by implementing national reforms, fighting corruption and educating more of its people.
Adriana Baltazar, Mexico City, Mexico


Mr Bush is coming to Guatemala on Sunday, and if his plans mean well, his attitude doesn't. Members of his security team are taking over whole hotels, they are closing streets and making us take security checks and other routes to get to work. How does that help exactly? Will he show up at our workplaces or schools to explain? We understand he is the president of the United States, and perhaps his proposals will help somehow, but he does not own the country and cannot make us put our lives on hold as he passes through.
Claudia Samayoa, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Mr Bush will not be able to strengthen ties between the US and Latin America with his proposed aid programme because he is Mr Bush. Much of Latin America wants little to do with him. The task of strengthening ties between the two regions would be better off left for the next president in office.
Joaquin Roesch, Guatemala City, Guatemala


In Colombia, the United States has been known for claiming to give aid in one area, such as education or infrastructure, but really investing in another, like Plan Colombia [initiative to combat the illegal drugs trade in the country]. So I think Bush needs to make a good strong announcement concerning his proposed investment in the region, and as with any investment it should be looked after.
Felipe Hoyos, Medellin, Colombia

For Latin Americans, the US is making promises which are simply too little too late
Rodrigo Ortega, Colombia
Relations between Colombia and the US couldn't be better, because we are so dependent on the US. For Latin Americans, the US is making promises which are simply too little too late. US aid for Egypt is twice as much as that given to Latin America. That lack of solidarity has caused us to lose trust in the US
Rodrigo Ortega, Colombia

Colombia, like many other countries in Latin America, is absorbed by poverty. Any aid kindly provided by any developed country could contribute temporarily to solve some of the existing problems. But it could also end up in the pockets of some politicians. Wouldn't it be better if developed countries, rather than throwing money at the problem, monitored where their money ended up? They should also be able to offer ideas and solutions to these nations on how to improve their situation. Some European countries, for example, previously implemented programmes in Latin America to educate rural people in farming and agriculture. These are the type of projects that we need.
Roberto, Cali, Colombia


What has President Bush done for Latin America in the past six years? Let's see. He accepted the overthrowing of an elected government in Venezuela - the US was the only country in the hemisphere to do so, and then looked ridiculous when Chavez regained power. He is building a fence with Mexico. He keeps an illegal embargo on Cuba. He supports a government in Colombia that has alleged links to paramilitary groups. On and on we can go. We are poor in Latin America, but wise enough to know that this US president is no friend of ours.
Agustin Yerovi, Montevideo, Uruguay

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