Yglesias, in analyzing U.S.-Latin American foreign relations in the wake of the Summit of the Americas, says this:
At the end of the day, our interests in Latin America are pretty limited
Whoa. Now, in the sake of proper context, he's saying we need to get beyond a Cold War paradigm for thinking about Latin America. But nonetheless, America's relations with Latin America are incredibly important. Trade, immigration, drugs, American investments in the region, regional security, natural resources--all of these issues are huge. The Bush administration certainly lowered the region's profile in American national security priorities, and while it's unlikely that we have to worry about an armed China-Venezuela alliance, that doesn't mean that the region is not vitally important.