Over the past two decades, the Latin America and Caribbean region has made enormous strides in terms of political and economic development. Twelve countries held successful elections for head of government in 2006, including a close election in Mexico. To date in 2007, the Bahamas held elections in May; elections are scheduled for Jamaica and Guatemala in September, Argentina in October, and are due to be called in Trinidad and Tobago by October. Although the region overall experienced an economic setback in 2002-2003, it has rebounded since 2004, most recently experiencing a growth rate over 5% in 2006. Despite this progress, several nations face considerable challenges that affect U.S. interests and policy in the region. These include persistent poverty, violent guerrilla conflicts, autocratic leaders, drug trafficking, increasing crime, and the rise of a new form of populism in several countries. This book provides an overview of U.S. relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.