Thanks TaoJones for correcting the often held misconception that the canal was taken back from the US. Expat Americans will be treated just fine; its the same throughout Central and South America
. In fact, despite the incredible animus between Bush and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela
(started by nationalization of the oil
industry and then fueled by the CIA backed coup attempt against Chavez in 2002), even in Venezuela
most people still like Americans (apart from Bush). And even though the influence of Chavez has increased throughout the region, no matter who is elected next year, relations between the US and South and Central America
can and will only improve.
Firstly, the US is still dependant upon Venezuelan oil
, so it makes little sense to ruffle feathers now that the last remaining oil company has renegotiated with the Venezuelan government
. Secondly, Chavez has already planted the seeds of a better relationship with even the Republican frontrunners - Guilliani's law firm represents Citgo (the Venezuelan national oil company) and Romney was one of the few governors who took up Chavez on his offer of free heating
oil for the poor.
Fact is, there are still some incredible bargains to be had in South and Central America
and in many places, the infrastructure is much better than you'd expect. And finally, if you exercize the same cautions that you would do at home, you'll find the people incredibly warm and generous.