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The Oppenheimer Report on Security and Latin America: New Congress to push Obama.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee chair (Photo credit to Getty Images)

For the past two years, the Obama administration has managed to keep its Latin American policy largely out of the headlines, focusing its energies on Iraq, Afghanistan and other world hot spots. But that’s about to change.

There is a consensus in Washington’s foreign policy circles that the Congress that took office earlier this month after the GOP victory in the midterm election will put pressure on the administration to take a harder line on the authoritarian regimes of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Key congressional committees have changed hands, and are now led by Republican foreign policy hawks who have long criticized President Barack Obama for allegedly being too soft on Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez and his allies in the region.

In an interview last week, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami, the new chairwoman of the House’s powerful Committee on Foreign Affairs, told me that  READ MORE HERE.