I think Obama's stated position that the US wants a new beginning with Cuba is a good thing. Cuba is only 90 miles from the Florida coast, has excellent tourist potential, a large well educated work force and the potential to become the economic center of the Caribean. The US economic embargo against Cuba was really the result of the Cold War; America didn't want a communist country in our half of the globe. But, Communism is no longer a threat, and neither is Cuba. If the economic embargo against Cuba is lifted, then what you should see Cuba becoming more and more prosperous.
Also, with the new president comes an opening for better relations with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Venezuelan oil is important to the US. And, I'm glad to see that Chavez was open to having better relations with Obama than he had with Bush2. Chavez gave Obama a book called "The Open Veins of Latin America" when both were at the Summit of the Americas this week. That book outlines the history of South American relations with the western powers (Europe first, and then later, America).
I'm also glad to see the hostility between Chavez and Bush 2 come to an end. That was more of a circus sideshow than anything else. It was kinda like watching two angry dogs on leashes that were just long enough to keep them apart. Entertaining to some degree, but not what you expect to see in international diplomacy.
The countries of Latin America are all emerging economies, and will do well once the world economy turns around. Brazil has both a large resource based economy and high technology and will undoubtedly lead South America out of the current recession.