We were warned to temper our high hopes for a bold new Obama era of human rights. After all, President Obama would have “a lot on his plate”: a serious economic crisis, high unemployment, over forty million people without health insurance, “two wars,” global volatility. But it’s very hard not to be dismayed by some of the continuities from the Bush to the Obama administration, as well as by some Janus-faced policy decisions with damning human rights implications. When it comes to US-Latin America relations, such decisions include: professing support for progressive immigration reform while expanding regressive anti-immigration measures; claiming a commitment to human rights and democratic engagement while facilitating increased military control over domestic affairs in the region; and voicing a desire for a multilateral approach to Latin American affairs while patently undermining such an approach.

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