US President George W Bush has unveiled a social aid programme to alleviate the plight of the region's poor, two days before a tour of Latin America.
Millions of dollars will be spent on education, housing and health care.
I don't understand this; why are we setting up an aid program for South America?
The Bush administration has been criticised by opposition Democrats for neglecting Latin America.
Correspondents say Washington is adjusting to the election of increasing numbers of left-wing administrations in Latin America, including some that are openly critical of the US.
Speaking at the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mr Bush vowed to boost aid to Latin America, saying "helping our neighbours build a better and productive life" was a US priority.
Since when is this our responsibility? South America has lots of people, lots of land, lots of resources; yet the common people in many of these areas are living in poverty and squalor. The problem isn't that they need American aid, they need to get their heads out of their butts and run their countries like it is the 21st century, instead of a bunch of barbarians and savages from the Dark Ages. Nobody down there seems to want a government that gives people freedom; they only have a revolution so that the guy on the bottom can shoot the guy on top and be the next dictator. People only get a better government if they are willing to work and sacrifice for it. If the people can't pull themselves out of their political cesspool, then that is their problem. The only thing that happens when you try to help people like that is that they resent you, and try to take advantage of you. I think we should let them all run to their glorious leader Chavez, if that's what they think they want. Let him spend money and have headaches.
Just my opinion.