By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN
(CNN) – During last night’s foreign policy debate, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney argued over the war in Afghanistan, nuclear crisis with Iran, tension with Israel, the rise of China and America’s role in the world.
But Latin America hardly came up and Twitter users, especially the Latino community, were not pleased.
Dear commission of presidential debates: this is why diversity matters. In debate about foreign policy, nothing about Latin America?!
Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) October 23, 2012
Romney mentioned Latin America during talk about a plan to increase trade.
“We can do better than that, particularly in Latin America,” he said. “The opportunities for us in Latin America we have just not taken advantage of fully. Latin America’s economy is almost as big as the economy of China. We’re all focused on China. Latin America is a huge opportunity for us — time zone, language opportunities.”
Obama did not respond to Romney’s comment on Latin America.
Some were surprised there was no mention of Operation Fast and Furious. Since 2006, drug-related violence has led to more than 50,000 deaths. Obama hosted Calderon during the North American Leaders’ Summit last spring, when Mexico’s gun violence and drug trafficking were a top priority on the agenda.
No Fast and Furious. No Mexico at all. No immigration. No Eurozone. One sentence on Latin America. Passed ball on Benghazi coverup. #debate
Stephen Fleming (@StephenFleming) October 23, 2012
Just last month, poet Javier Silicia made international headlines when he led a peace caravan through the U.S. from Mexico with 100 people who have lost loved ones to drug violence, hoping to “implore the governments of Mexico and of the United States to accept co-responsibility for ending the disastrous drug war.”
We only share a border w Mexico, no biggie. In fact, let’s just skip it entirely
Emma Baumhofer (@ebaumhofer) October 23, 2012
Moderator Bob Schieffer opened the debate with a reminder of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, stating, “It is a sobering reminder that every president faces at some point an unexpected threat to our national security from abroad.” But the candidates didn’t touch on rumors circulating about Fidel Castro’s health or easing travel restrictions for Cubans traveling abroad.
With only minutes left, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba conspicuously absent from #debate2012…
Juan E. Gastelum (@juangastelum) October 23, 2012
And, what about Venezuela?
While the possibility of a nuclear Iran was discussed, there was no mention of Iran’s relationship with recently re-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. In January, Chavez hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a five-day Latin American tour. The are “strong allies united by a fierce opposition to what they view as U.S. imperialism,” CNN reported.
They signed more than 270 accords related to trade deals, construction projects, car and tractor factories, energy initiatives and banking programs. Ahmadinejad also visited Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba.
Latin America dangerously overlooked on tonight’s debate. Brazil expands, Chavez reelected and Mexican drug war continues. No doctrine there
Camilo Vargas (@Caava) October 23, 2012
What did you think of the debate? How should Latin America have been discussed?