Alex Massie

Plucky Honduras!

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Meanwhile, there is good news from Latin America. Cato's Juan Carlos Hidalgo reports that the President of Honduras is the latest Latin American leader to call for an end to the "War on Drugs". Argentina and Mexico have made similar noises in the past. Some of this, for sure, is because the continent is turning to the left and is less concerned about upsetting Washington. Some of it, too, becase the failure of the "War on Drugs" is ever-more apparent. But Hidalgo suggests another reason too:

Another important factor is that many Latin American countries are now less susceptible to punishment from the United States, thanks in part to free trade agreements. A decade ago, all Latin American countries but Mexico depended on unilateral trade preferences to export to the U.S. market. Upsetting Washington could represent losing these preferences. Today, 11 Latin American countries have implemented (or are in the process of implementing) permanent trade agreements with the United States that ironically gives them more stability in their relationship with Washington.

This, I must say, is perilously close to a (rare) win-win situation for libertarian-minded chaps. As such I am, of course, suspicious...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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