United States President George Bush visit to Latinamerica, which included Argentina, Brazil and Panama, was described as a "disaster" in a New York Times editorial accusing the US government of having completely failed in the recent Americas Summit held in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
"He and his delegation failed to get even a minimally face-saving outcome at the collapsed trade talks and allowed a loudmouthed opportunist like the president of Venezuela to steal the show", points out the NYT.
"In Argentina, Mr. Bush, who prides himself on his ability to relate to world leaders face to face, could barely summon the energy to chat with the 33 other leaders there, almost all of whom would be considered friendly to the United States under normal circumstances".
In Mar del Plata the US and 28 of the 34 participant countries tried unsuccessfully to re-launch the Free Trade Area of the Americas, FTAA, negotiations which have been frozen for over two years because of disagreements on US farm subsidies.
The controversial final Americas Summit declaration had to include a core paragraph outlining the differences which split the meeting.
"After President Bush’s disastrous visit to Latin America, it’s unnerving to realize that his presidency still has more than three years to run. An administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can’t afford an American government this bad for that long".
The NYT points out that the White House is in an uproar over the future of some of the president’s political advisers and cabinet members, "but the central problem is not Karl Rove or Treasury Secretary John Snow or even Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary. It is President Bush himself".
Finally the editorial suggests Mr. Bush should at least send a signal to the nation and the world that he was in charge and so "the next three years might not be as dreadful as they threaten to be right now".
This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.