SANTIAGO, Chile Can the Middle East learn from Latin America? On his tour of Central and South America, President Obama has repeatedly lauded many of the regions countries for shifting from dictatorships to democracies over the past two decades. In a speech Monday, he invoked Chiles rise from the Pinochet era to a democracy. A day earlier, in Brazil, Obama said its transition could be a model for countries in the Middle East and North Africa where a historic wave of popular uprisings has surprised authoritarian governments in that region and the Obama administration itself. The lessons of Latin America can be a guide for people around the world who are beginning their own journeys toward democracy, Obama said in a speech at an art museum in the capital city of Santiago. With decades of experience, theres so much Latin America now can share, how to build political parties and organize free elections, how to ensure peaceful transfers of power and how to navigate the winding paths of reform and reconciliation. The address came on the third day of Obamas five-day trip, which continues Tuesday in El Salvador. Obama and his family left Santiago at 9:10 a.m. local time (8:10 a.m. in Washington), to fly to San Salvador. Like much of the presidents trip, his speech in Santiago was intended to highlight the growing economic progress of Latin America and focus attention on issues in which Chile, a close U.S. ally, could work with the United States. Obama and his family left Chile early Tuesday to fly to San Salvador. Read more at: Obama lauds Latin American democracies, defends Libya action during Chile visit - The Washington Post --------------------------------------------------------------- Chile? An close US ally? When did they ever send troops to any of the wars the US was involved in? The use of the word "ally" is really an insult to all US veterans. And what should Latin America teach the middle east. Overpopulate your country then send your people into the nearest decent country to steal everything it can get its hands on? Then demand citizenship there?