15 Signs The US Is Losing Its Influence In The Western Hemisphere

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We won’t be the alpha dog in the western hemisphere forever.

Even if the US hadn’t crashed into a financial crisis, there are demographic, material, and political¬† forces that have been spreading power around the Americas for decades.

Brazil is first among the BRICs — four economies that are supposed to overtake the six largest Western economics by 2032.

Mexico is first among the MAVINS — six economies we expect to blow away expectations and become leading powers in their regions relatively soon.

Canada and Venezuela are oil powers of the distant future.

Peru and Chile are sitting on a fortune of metals and minerals.

All these countries are cranking up, while America faces plenty of fiscal and demographic problems at home.

Our most powerful regional ally--Brazil--refuses to follow our orders on Iran

Hillary Clinton went to Brazil to beg support for sanctions against Iran and came away empty handed.

Now the UN is counting on Brazil, which is friendly with America and Iran, to lead nuclear diplomacy. Luiz da Silva is going to Tehran this week to meet with his friend Ahmadinejad.

The World's Richest Man is now a Mexican, not an American

For the first time in 16 years, the World's Richest Man is not an American. Carlos Slim, worth $54 billion, is the first Latin American to hold that title and one of many emerging market billionaires to eclipse the U.S.

Three years after a US financial crisis, Latin America is again growing rapidly. The US? Not so much...

Compare this to what happened during the Great Depression. Latin America was devastated when US investment dried up and the export market soured in the 30s. A League of Nations report said Chile, Peru, and Bolivia suffered the world's worst depression.

Today is quite different. Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico have led a buoyant recovery from the global recession, according to Reuters. The regional economy is expected by the UN to grow 4.3 per cent in 2010. If the American consumer remains weak, Latin American exports will move elsewhere.

Argentina is openly rejecting IMF guidance and other countries have followed suit

The DC-based IMF is not popular in Latin America. Argentina rejected decades of bungled supervision by defaulting on its debt in 2002. Since then, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, and others have expressed opposition to the IMF and refused its loans. Hugo Chavez is leading the creation of an alternate regional bank, Banco del Sur.

Mark Weisbrot writes: 'The collapse of the IMF's creditors' cartel in the region has also eliminated the most important avenue of Washington's influence.'

Chile produces 300% more copper than America--the former world leader in copper production

America used to lead the world in copper production. We produced 49% of the world's copper in 1929, according to this article from the archives.

Today we produced 1.2 million tonnes yearly, compared to 5.4 million tonnes in Chile.

Brazil now produces over four times as much iron ore as the US. We used to lead that industry, too.

America once led the world in iron mining. In 1892 we discovered the world's largest mine at the Great Lakes Mesabi Range. It was a wellspring for America's industrial might and the foundation of the rust belt.

Now we claim reserves at 2,100 mt. Seven countries claim higher reserves, including Brazil at 8,900 mt.

We produce only 54 mt yearly, while Brazil produces 250 mt.

Canada and Venezuela will pass the US in oil production in the next decade

America produces around 9 million billion barrels of oil a day. Venezuela and Canada each produce around 3 million.

But America's reserves are 21 billion barrels and may last less than a decade. Our oil-rich neighbours claim 99 billion bbl and 178 billion bbl, respectively, and will keep producing oil into the distant future.

Now Brazil exports over twice beef as much as we do

America use to lead the world in beef production. Although we still do, America exports only 800,000 mt of beef per year. Brazil exports 2,200,000 mt.

Here's some ironic excerpts from a 1911 NYT article: 'American-Canadian syndicate to have world's largest beef plant in Brazil... The chilled beef industry has never been tried before in Brazil and has only recently gotten under way in Argentina.'

There's a new regional group that excludes the USA and Canada

Earlier this year, 32 countries south of Texas gathered in Cancun to discuss the formation of a new regional group.

No one cares much for the DC-based organisation of American States, which is known as a puppet of Washington, according to the CS Monitor.

Brazil is now a critical partner for Russia, India, and China

The acronym coined by Goldman Sachs to describe the four key emerging powers has taken on a life of its own. Brazil, Russia, India, and China have held several summits and even discussed making a supranational currency -- that would pull the rug out from the US dollar.

What's important here is that global emerging powers have good relations and are inclined to work together. For instance, China just signed major contracts to build factories and high-speed rail in Brazil.

Brazil refused to cede control of peacekeeping operations in disaster-zone Haiti

Before the earthquake, Brazil led a force of 1,700 Brazilian soldiers and 5,300 UN peacekeepers in Haiti. When the earthquake triggered a massive international response, including 10,000 American troops, there was a behind the scenes power struggle between Brazil and the US.

Weeks after the earthquake, the mission chain of command was still unclear, according to Spiegel.

Brazil, Canada, and Mexico all invest a greater share of GDP in clean energy

A Pew survey found that Brazil invests 0.37% of its economy in clean energy. Canada invests 0.25% and Mexico invests 0.14%

America is eleventh in the world at 0.13%.

Only 25% of our neighbours see America as a leader in global warming

And is it any wonder? Brazilians are more than twice as likely to be concerned about global warming, according to another question from Pew. Argentina, Mexico, and Canada are also more concerned.

Hugo Chavez is still in power

The CIA has a notorious history of interventions in Latin America, supposedly targeting Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, Fidel Castro, Manuel Noriega, Rios Montt, Che Guevara, and many others.

But they haven't stopped Hugo Chavez from railing against the United States for years. Clearly America has adopted a more passive regional strategy.

America struggles to protects home turf against terrorist attack

Homeland security has come a long way since the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, when America pledged to protect the Western Hemisphere from invasion or interference by foreign powers. And a long way since nuclear deterrence and Cold War separated America and most of the hemisphere from foreign attack.

Since 9/11 America has struggled to protect her own borders from a growing number of terrorist attacks.

Could these be the leaders of the next century?

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