Clinton faces critical hosts in Latin America

March 2, 2010

By Nicholas Kralev, The Washington Times

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added a last-minute stop in Argentina on Monday as part of her Latin American tour this week, amid complaints that she was ignoring countries critical of U.S. policies in the region.

The State Department attributed the change to the difficulty of spending the night in Chile, as originally planned, because of the extensive damage caused by Saturday’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake there. Mrs. Clinton, who is bringing satellite telephone equipment to Chile, will make a brief stop in the capital, Santiago, Tuesday morning.

However, diplomats and analysts said, the choice of Argentina was no accident — but not only because of its proximity to Uruguay, where Mrs. Clinton was earlier in the day. Her initial decision to skip Argentina, which was fiercely defended by the Obama administration’s top official for Latin America on Friday, was criticized by Argentine and other officials.

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