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‘Business as Usual?’ – The UK’s and Latin America in 2011

Last year marked the 200th anniversary of Simón Bolívar’s visit to Britain, during which the revolutionary leader sought support for the independence movement in Latin America. Although the British government initially remained neutral in the struggle between Spain and Latin America, Britain became a valuable source of troops and weapons for Bolívar’s revolutionary army. Despite this historical link between Britain and an independent Latin America, a strong cooperative relationship between the two has not been maintained.

Two centuries later, in his speech at Canning House on November 15, 2010, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague, commented, “History teaches us that Britain has a track record of underestimating Latin America and neglecting its opportunities. It is this neglect that the British government is determined to address.” Hague further observed that the British coalition government under Prime Minister David Cameron must recognize that “Latin America must be a key focus of a foreign policy that seeks, as ours does, to build up new and strengthened relations in the world in pursuit of prosperity and security…so it will be under this government.” This proclamation was designed to assert the new coalition government’s dedication to gloriously re-establishing Britain’s links with Latin America, and effectively redressing the “steady decline” in British presence in the region over the past century.

This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Liam Whittington.
To read the full article, click here.

Friday November 11th, 2011 | Research Memorandum 11.3
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