Monday, November 15, 2010

Danger in the Andes

Bolivian Andes

This event, set for Wednesday in Washington, D.C., is getting a lot of play in the Cuban press, including Granma:
Danger in the Andes: Threats to Democracy, Human Rights, and Inter-American Security

November 17, 2010 – US Capitol Visitors Center
  • Are democracy and human rights in danger under the “21st Century Socialism” of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia?
  • Does the ALBA Alliance of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua constitute a threat to U.S. interests and inter American security?
  • Is current U.S. policy toward the region equipped to respond to the erosion of democracy and the pernicious influence of such hostile actors as Iran, foreign and domestic terrorist groups, and narcotics traffickers?
  • Four key U.S. Members of Congress and two panels of U.S. and Latin American experts will examine these and other salient issues. Partial list of panelists:
1st Panel 9:30 – 11:30 am
Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy

Dr. Alejandro Aguirre – President, Inter-American Press Association (Invited)

Marcial Fabricano – Bolivian indigenous leader

Dr. Edgar Teran – Former Ecuadorean Foreign Minister

Dr. Enrique Herreria – Ecuadorean congressman

Luis Nuñez – President, Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Jesus Rodriguez – CEDICE, Venezuelan Economic Think Tank

Guillermo Zuloaga – President, (Exiled) Globovision Television, Venezuela

Javier El-Hage – The Human Rights Foundation

José Cárdenas – Former Acting Assistant Administrator for Latin America, USAID. Former U.S. National Security Council

2nd Panel 11:30 – 1:30 pm
Terrorism, Radical Islam and Narco-trafficking

Dr. Jaime Daremblum – Hudson Institute, Former Costa Rican Ambassador to the US

Joseph Humire – Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Jon Perdue – The Fund for American Studies

John Walters – Hudson Institute, former Director, White House Office of Drug Control Policy

Victor Hugo Velazco – Bolivian indigenous leader

Amb. Roger Noriega – Former Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. Former US Ambassador to the OAS

Joel Hirst – Council on Foreign Relations

Amb. Otto J. Reich – Former Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. Former Presidential Envoy for the Western Hemisphere

Speakers may be added.

In addition, the following Members of Congress are invited and have tentatively accepted based on legislative schedule availability:

The Hon. Eliot Engel (D-NY) – Chairman, HFAC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

The Hon. Connie Mack (R-FL) – Ranking Member, HFAC Sub Committee on Western Hemisphere.

The Hon. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) – Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC).

The Hon. Ron Klein (D-FL) – Member, HFAC Sub Committee on Western Hemisphere

A light lunch will be served.

The event sponsor is listed as the Americas Forum. It describes itself as:
We are a group of concerned individuals who collectively possess decades of experience in inter-American relations and the Washington policy and political processes. We object to the notion of the Americas as the United States’ “backyard,” but see it instead as the neighborhood in which we live. At present, we see the peace and security of our neighborhood threatened by repressive, undemocratic forces espousing a radical populism. As such, we advocate for robust U.S. engagement with the Hemisphere on all fronts – political, economic, and security – because what happens in our neighborhood directly impacts United States’ interests and well-being. We support open political systems and economies as the surest means to create the prosperity all citizens of the Americas deserve. We oppose the divisive politics of radical populism, which are fundamentally destabilizing to the region and in the end only harm the marginalized sectors of societies for whom it purports to speak.

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