LatinaLista — With only 24 hours to go before one of the most historical elections in recent memory comes to a close, it's interesting to put this election into perspective.
This picture underscores how the election has taken hold of the nation's imagination.
There is no doubt that Election 2008 will figure prominently in history books and be forever remembered as the election that heralded change in the presidential political process.
Yet, given all the excitement the nation has had during this election season and the unbridled interest from foreign news media, we wondered if people outside the U.S. really were as excited about this election as we are.
The question was posed to several Latina Lista contributors who live in Central and South America. Their answers, while not surprising, are enlightening and illustrate how our southern neighbors practice cautious optimism when it comes to expecting anything from the U.S.A.
Ana Maria lives in Argentina and she shared the following with Latina Lista:
I am a first time voter and I voted for Obama. I am so excited and anxious about this election because I think it will be historical that someone like him can take the lead in the White House. I watched all the debates, I participated in forums in facebook regarding Obama, I can't stand neither Sarah Palin nor McCain. I have a hard time understanding why someone would like to vote for them, I respect the right to do so, but don't get the idea of wanting to back up conservative politics that would put the country back where it was 50 years ago. I believe that Obama has the power to change the perception people has all over the world about the United States.
Here in Argentina, people don't really care about who gets elected there. They have enough with their own problems...but from some people I have talked to, they are also expecting that Obama wins. I think Obama is like a rock star, a great speaker and I love that he has lived abroad and has a sense of what the rest of the world is.
Artemissa from Chile
Artemissa from Chile says:
In Chile, there's little coverage in the on-air broadcast news programs about the North American presidential elections. I believe the editors of these segments are more focused on local matters, without leaving behind the most relevant news of international nature, being the U.S. elections not among them…
I believe that Chile will be clearly better off with Obama's win, because he has the standpoint of being more open to dialogue. Latin America shouldn't be a priority on his agenda at this moment, because comparing it with the problems he faces from other places, it is the least problematic region.
Obama understands the great divergences that exist in Latin America. In fact, he has said that he is willing to talk with all the leaders of the region, including President ChÃ¡vez and the Cuban authorities.
Obama has a more sophisticated vision, and is more sensitive. He is a person who sees the world with more opportunities and possibilities, rather than threats.
The election of Barack Obama will benefit our country, mostly because of the fact that the Democrat candidate has made public he will not sign more Free-Trade-Agreements with countries of Latin America.
So Chile will continue having a comparative economic advantage with respect to the countries of the region that still don't have a Free-Trade Agreement with the U.S.
Mayra from Guatemala
Mayra who lives in Guatemala where many of her fellow Guatamaltecos have left their homeland to immigrate illegally to the United States says:
We all know that USA is one of the world-power nations and that the Latin American countries all depend on its stability to continue growing, or at least to maintain a certain stability in our economy.
Some in Guatemala are indifferent if one or the other wins the U.S. presidential race — Barack Obama or John McCain. For others, it does make a difference as was seen in the comments penned by a local newspaper columnist at one of the country’s most popular newspapers. His comments have us all thinking about what he wrote…
John McCain is seen as a continuity in the policies of the administration of Bush, which aggravated many problems of the world. The columnist mentions the educational level and experience of the McCain team, which also leaves much to be desired…
On the other side, we find Obama and Joe Biden, who possesses experience as a senator of 26 years and an expert in foreign policy. Obama comes from a stable family, with a complete vision of the world, its problems and its solutions, and graduated from Harvard. Besides Obama has offered to legalize the migrants lacking identity papers and wants to build a friendly relation with Latin America. He is considered a sincere person…
We in Latin America expect that the U.S. does a good election, since not only the destiny of the USA depends on it, but also Latin America and the rest of the world. We depend on a good election.
It is my desire that the people who have in their hands the destiny of such world power, analyze their vote and investigate the best option. We expect that no matter the results, change will take place which will help us to improve this convoluted world.