Filed under: AmericasWhile Mitt Romney is my favorite in terms of domestic priorities, McCain takes the cake for his foreign policy stances. He has been consistently pro-democracy and pro-free trade. He visited Ukraine following the Orange Revolution, vows to make Latin America a top priority, and consistently bashes Russia for its slide into dictatorship. What's not to love about that? Here's what he had to say in a speech delivered in Miami:
MIAMI (AP) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain warned on Wednesday against the spread of socialism in Latin America and pledged to give the region renewed U.S. attention if elected.Again, what's not to like about this? Unfortunately, we wouldn't even be talking about this today if something had been followed through with 45 years ago...
Appearing in Little Havana, McCain carefully avoided criticism of President Bush but said the Iraq war "has diverted attention from our hemisphere and we have paid a penalty for that" in the form of a growing leftism embodied by leaders Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.
In a speech to veterans of the ill-fated, CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, McCain said his first trip if elected to the White House in 2008 would be to Mexico, Canada and Latin America "to reaffirm my commitment to our hemisphere and the importance of relations within our hemisphere."
The Arizona senator said that "everyone should understand the connections" between Chavez, Morales and communist Cuban President Fidel Castro.
"They inspire each other. They assist each other. They get ideas from each other," McCain said. "It's very disturbing."
Cuban-Americans are a key voting bloc in electoral-rich Florida and typically cast their ballots for Republicans.As president, McCain said he would work on political, diplomatic and economic fronts to counter the rise of socialism, including efforts to spread free trade. Yet the United States must also stress the advantages of capitalism and democracy to win "a war of ideas" in the region, he said.