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BYLINE: LETICIA LOZANO
Recession-driven reality may come as a shock
Like millions of people worldwide, Central Americans are hopeful that the administration of President Obama will bring about a new era in politics, trade, international relations and human rights.
President Martin Torrijos of Panama hailed Obama's victory as offering "the chance of a new era of cooperation and understanding." Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said it was "a triumph for all civilization." For Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan leader and a Cold War-era enemy of Washington, the victory was "a miracle."
But the region, which is heavily dependent on trade with the U.S., may be in for a shock. Under President Bush, Central America was not badly served, winning a wide-ranging trade deal, the Central America Free Trade Agreement, which has become one of the key tenets of the bilateral relationship and is credited with …