A continent once afflicted by military takeovers has slowly but surely implanted stable democracies. Responsible economic management, poverty-reduction programmes, structural reforms, and greater openness to foreign investment have all helped to generate years of low-inflation growth. As a result, the region was able to withstand the ravages of the global financial crisis.

The US not only encouraged these changes, but has benefited hugely from them. More than 40 per cent of US exports now go to Mexico and Central and South America, the US’s fastest-growing export destination.

Mexico is America’s second-largest foreign market (valued at $215 billion in 2012). US exports to Central America have risen by 94 per cent over the past six years; imports from the region have risen by 87 per cent. And the US continues to be the largest foreign investor on the continent. American interests are evidently well served by having democratic, stable, and increasingly prosperous neighbours.

via Times of Oman | Column :: Is US losing Latin America?.