As the Summit of the Americas this week in Colombia was drawing to a close, President Obama touted more regional integration even as increasingly hostile Latin American leaders openly called for change in U.S. and regional policies. Analysts and officials throughout the hemisphere and across the political spectrum said the whole gathering reflected the U.S. government’s growing isolation and waning influence in the region.
President Obama hosted Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Washington, D.C., this week for the so-called “North American Leaders Summit,” announcing further integration of the three governments across a broad range of fields. The meeting, however, fueled deep suspicion and concern among advocates of national sovereignty and the U.S. Constitution.
Another step toward the North American Union (NAU) was announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Defense in its press release noting the “inaugural trilateral meeting” of North American defense ministers in Ottawa, Canada. It was attended by Canada’s Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay, Mexican Secretary of National Defense General Guillermo Galvan, and Mexican Secretary of the Navy Admiral Mariano Mendoza, along with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (left) met with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts in Ottawa this week for the first ever “Trilateral Meetings of North American Defense Ministers.” The meetings sparked more concerns over the erosion of national sovereignty and continued “integration” of the three governments into a continental regime analysts have dubbed the “North American Union.”