Just by spending this week in South America while he has so much to worry about elsewhere, President Bush is delivering a much-appreciated message of high esteem for that oft-forgotten part of the globe.
And not since President John F. Kennedy was forging his Alliance for Progress have expectations on the continent for strengthened U.S.-Latin American ties been so great.
Bush is pressing his own proposal for hemispherical unity--Enterprise for the Americas--which puts less emphasis on aid than the old Alliance for Progress did, but more stress on free trade and private investment.
The initiative will be a major item on Bush's agenda during his stops in the Uruguayan capital today and in scheduled visits Wednesday in Argentina, Thursday in Chile, and Friday in Venezuela. He was in Brazil on Monday.