Why has there never been amilitary coup in Washington?
Because there’s no U.S. embassy there.
So goes an old Latin American joke. But according to Russell Crandall, a professor of international politics at Davidson College, it’s a joke whose time has passed. U.S. influence in Latin America has been ebbing for the last decade, as Washington’s attention has turned toward the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and homegrown powers such as Brazil, Colombia, and Chile have become ascendant.
Latin America is flourishing. In recent years it has...