NDN Latin American Policy Initiative

The Peruvian Quagmire

I want to share an interesting Gallup poll released today that helps shine some light on political tensions in Peru. Throughout the country, the people polled identified themselves as more socialist than capitalist in their personal beliefs (49%), while only 16% identified themselves as more capitalist in their beliefs. However, 45% of Peruvians believe their country is more capitalist than socialist. It's telling that only in the South of Peru did a majority of those polled identify themselves as socialist (57%) - this raises the question of whether there is a disconnect between the more rural South and the rest of the country's market economy. Click here for Gallup's analysis.

The United States and Colombia - Consolidating Achievements

The op-ed in today's New York Times written by Secretary Gates and the Columbian Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, reflects the spirit of shared responsibility and mutual respect that has led to dramatic progress in improving security in Colombia.  The two leaders met today to discuss the U.S.-Colombia security relationship - just one day after NDN hosted Colombian Ambassador Carolina Barco at a Latin American Policy Initiative to hear her perspective on the historic liberation of several hostages held by the FARC, Colombia's growing economy, and the proposed CTPA. 

It's important that the administration take stock of the fact that Colombia's gains are America's gains.  During her presentation, the Ambassador pointed out that over the last 10 years Colombia has been on a path to eradicate drug production, which - in combination with economic and legal reforms - has led Colombia out of a "vicious cycle" of drugs, insecurity, and poverty, into a "virtuous cycle" of security, investment, and economic growth.  The remarkable transformation in Colombia's security situation is largely the result of a partnership between the U.S. and Colombia.  The U.S. understands the benefits to be gained from having a strong, prosperous, and secure ally in Colombia, and has thus committed resources to help consolidate Colombia's hard-won freedom from violence and its economic prosperity.  One can only hope that the next administration will remain invested in the security and prosperity of the Latin American region, continuing the partnership with Colombia and extending similar commitments in the rest of the region - recognizing that any instability in the region has repercussions in the U.S., and by the same token, the gains of its neighbors are the gains of the U.S.  

NDN Latin American Policy Initiative - Meeting with Ambassador Gallegos Chiriboga and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel

NDN is proud to announce the launch of the Latin American Policy Initiative (LAPI). This will include a monthly luncheon series that will feature Members of Congress, Ambassadors from Latin America, and other key policy experts. Each luncheon will focus on a single country and explore opportunities to increase understanding of the bilateral relationships that the United States shares with each country. Our next luncheon will be on Wednesday, June 18th from 12:00pm-1:30 pm in Room 1116 of the Longworth House Office Building and will focus on Ecuador. Please join NDN, Hon. Luis Benigno Gallegos Chiriboga, Ambassador of Ecuador to the U.S., and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel as we continue this exciting new effort. For more information, please contact Andres Ramirez via email at aramirez@ndn.org or phone at 202-544-9200.

Background on LAPI

For years, NDN has been making the case that America is undergoing the most radical demographic transformation in its history. The rise of the domestic Hispanic population has brought about a New Politics in America. To help explain this, NDN and its team have conducted hundreds of briefings on the power of the emerging Hispanic community; and we've used Spanish-language media campaigns and press coverage to continue the discussion on what is such an important development in American politics.

Part of our analysis is that we must encourage our elected officials to engage in hemispheric relations more than they have in the past. The rising U.S. Hispanic population requires it, especially since our relationship with Latin America is becoming increasingly important for our domestic policy. That is why NDN began an effort to better discuss the importance of U.S.-Latin American relations. We heard from Governor Bill Richardson, who delivered a major foreign policy speech on ways to improve our relations with Latin America; and we convened an incredibly important forum on what a Post-Castro Cuba would look like.

We are excited to announce a new endeavor along these lines. We are launching a series of events focusing on the future of U.S.-Latin American relations. These events will focus on a different country each month, and work to establish an ongoing dialogue and research to better inform those interested in Latin American policy.

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