Iran's ties to Latin American leaders have been growing in recent years, but the alleged assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the US is drawing attention to its less savory activities.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is in the midst of one of his world tours, making friends with US enemies and getting support for his country's nascent nuclear program.
Economic blame, Cuba, and Chávez, challenge new US-Latin American relations.
Without Bush to rail against, Chávez will be left without a foil, say analysts.
US-Cuba relations are unlikely to thaw anytime soon, but change may be only a matter of time.