U.S.-LatAm relations uncertain under Trump administration: Brazilian experts

RIO DE JANEIRO -- With U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to take office this week, the future relations between the United States and Latin America remain highly uncertain, according to Brazilian analysts.

Last week, Trump held his first full-fledged press conference since July, during which he talked about policy plans after his inauguration on Friday.

"What surprised me is that Trump's vision of international economic relations belongs to the 18th or 19th centuries," said Mauricio Santoro, a professor of international relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

"To believe you can only enrich yourself at the cost of your neighbor is a folly that ignores centuries of empirical evidence and the own path of the U.S.," he added.

In Santoro's opinion, Trump made it clear during his campaign that his vision for Latin America "begins and ends with Mexico."

Santoro believes the U.S. president-elect will focus more on domestic affairs, not on the international arena.

The main U.S. concerns about Latin American countries will still be issues like the fight against drug trafficking and migration, said Oliver Stuenkel, a professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

Gunther Rudizit, a professor of international relations at the Rio Branco Integrated Faculties, believes Trump is "unpredictable."

"Nobody knows what he will do," Rudizit said.

Referring to the thawing relations between the United States and Cuba, Rudizit said that Trump should favor outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to suspend the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, since Trump "seeks at all costs to halt illegal migration."

Obama announced last week that the United States is ending a longstanding policy that granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the United States without visas, an important step to normalize relations with Cuba.

Source: Philippines News Agency