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Event Recording

Event Summary

Over one year after the first COVID-19 case was detected in Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 21.5 million people have been infected. Nearly 700,000 have died. With regional GDP contraction higher than the world average, and inequality and corruption on the rise, the pandemic has laid bare longstanding structural weaknesses. With the geopolitics of COVID-19 increasingly playing out, the United States has a unique opportunity to make up for lost time and be at the forefront of partnering with the region in its recovery. Seizing this moment will be critical in building goodwill and influence at this time of great need. 

What specific steps can the US take to partner with the region in its COVID-19 recovery to help achieve increased prosperity, improved security, and strengthened democracies? What concrete short and long-term actions should be prioritized now and in the months and year ahead? 

Join the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EDT, for a conversation on the role of the United States in the region’s COVID-19 recovery. This discussion will launch an Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center strategy paper authored by Center Director Jason Marczak and Assistant Director Cristina Guevara, and with the input of advisors from 12 countries, that outlines how the United States can help the region embark on a sustainable, resilient, and prosperous COVID-19 recovery.

Opening remarks

Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky
Vice Chair, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security; Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs​​​; ​​​Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project, Harvard University Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Keynote remarks

Congressman Albio Sires
Representative (D-NJ), Chairman, Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. Congress


Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte, (Ret.)
Former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador (2010-2011; 2012-2015)
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2016-2017)

María Claudia Lacouture
Executive Director, AmCham Colombia
Former Minister of Commerce, Industry, Tourism (2016-2017), Republic of Colombia

Carlos Felipe Jaramillo
Vice President for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region
World Bank

Thomas F. McLarty, III
Chairman, McLarty Associates
Former White House Chief of Staff (1993-1994)

Jason Marczak
Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council

Cristina Guevara
Assistant Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations and delivers constructive, results-oriented solutions to inform how the public and private sectors can advance hemispheric prosperity.