Up to this point in the 2012 election there has been an almost complete lack of discussion about our neighbors to the south in Latin America. Mitt Romney mentioned the region briefly during the first debate, when he made the less-than-bold suggestion that we should trade more with the region, while President Barack Obama wasn't able to fit it in the words "Latin America" during his long-winded and often rambling answers.
Well, tonight's Vice Presidential Debate is supposed to cover foreign policy (in addition to domestic issues) and we'd be interested to see who will be the first one to mention the region. It is likely to be moderator Martha Raddatz, ABC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent. In case she's looking for some last-minute suggestions, here are five things we'd like to ask Joe Biden and Paul Ryan:
1. The Drug War
More than 65,000 lives have been lost to drug violence in Mexico in recent years, and there's been very little change in drug consumption or drug prices in the United States, despite spending nearly $25 billion per year fighting the drug war. Is it time to call the drug war a failure and change strategy? Follow up: The presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and Uruguay have called for a discussion about legalization, would you participate in talks about ending the prohibition of drugs?
Mexican Authorities have Recovered 68,000 Guns in the Past Five years that have been traced back to the U.S., what would you do to curb the amount of guns that are making their way from the United States to Mexico?
3. Relations with Mexico
Obviously, security is a big focus in regards to Mexico but both presidential campaigns have barely mentioned our economic relationship with our largest trading partner. Trade with Mexico provides 6 million jobs in this country. What will your administration do in the next term to increase this?
Are there any economic benefits to maintaining the embargo with Cuba? Follow up: How would your administration handle the death of Fidel Castro, and what direct actions would you take upon hearing the news?
Would you characterize the recent elections in Venezuela as free and fair? Follow up: In July President Obama said that Hugo Chavez "has not had a serious national security impact" on the United States, is this still the case?