Aid for Haiti

Although Washington’s recent efforts to dispense free medical care to Haiti and other Caribbean-area states should be applauded, it should not be the final step in this country’s policies toward its southern neighbors (U.S. launches medical mission for the poor, Sept. 6).

By refocusing its lens on Latin America and the Caribbean, the United States has shown it is willing to improve living conditions in the 12 countries that will benefit from the medical mission and strengthen its role in the region to gain valuable influence.

Nevertheless, the United States must not simply weigh the USNS Comfort’s anchor and sail off to come back a few years later for another two-month tour. A successful surgery can be done in a day, but follow-up care can take much longer.