Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center

Shaping understanding of Latin America and the Caribbean’s global importance.

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations through high-impact work that shapes the conversation among policymakers, the business community, and civil society. The center focuses on Latin America’s strategic role in a global context with a priority on pressing political, economic, and social issues that will define the trajectory of the region.

Building bridges was fundamental as the world went virtual in 2020. …With the creation of the Caribbean Initiative, the center will foster greater regional alignment on the key issues affecting bilateral and multilateral relations.

Center work in 2020

2020 was a year of rising to the occasion and finding solutions in the face of adversity. Latin America and the Caribbean account for one-eighth of the world’s population, yet, as of March 2021, one-third of COVID-19 deaths occurred in the region. In response, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center was a pioneer in unpacking the short-, medium-, and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its weekly Aviso LatAm: COVID-19 newsletter offers the most comprehensive regional COVID-19 coverage, from vaccine rollouts and medical news to economic impact and projections. The center also convened stakeholders across industries, countries, and continents to think through medical innovation, supply chain issues, and patient access challenges. Simultaneously, it launched new scenario planning work with the Inter-American Development Bank on the pandemic’s possible regional implications looking out to 2025.

Building bridges was fundamental as the world went virtual in 2020. The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted four regional heads of state through its new Leaders of the Americas series, and, in an effort to accelerate a renewed push for bipartisan congressional engagement on Mexico and Venezuela, it launched the center’s first two congressional fellowship programs. The center also provided momentum for a series of US-Brazil commercial agreements through its convenings and the publication of a landmark report.

With the complex humanitarian crisis escalating inside Venezuela, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center promoted bipartisan support for a peaceful transition to democracy. The center formed a robust network of Venezuelan women leaders and then focused on building their capacity as changemakers. A new multidisciplinary working group focused on countering the Maduro regime’s illicit activities through greater international community alignment.

Preview of 2021 work

Trucks wait in a queue for border customs control to cross into the United States in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on April 30, 2020. REUTERS/JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ

In 2021, as the region looks to turn the page on COVID-19 and as the Biden-Harris administration seeks to recast a relationship based on partnership, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will be at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to longstanding challenges.

In Central America, where US support for locally led solutions can help to address the underlying push factors that force millions to leave their homes, the center will double down on opportunities to help secure the livelihoods of those who face daily violence, remote economic opportunity, and continuous threats of natural disasters.

In Venezuela, the center will leverage its past work to promote a sustained, humancentered, and multilateral campaign to advance possibilities for restoring democratic institutions and relieving the humanitarian crisis through a gender-balanced, Venezuelan-led effort.

COVID-19 will remain even as countries begin vaccination campaigns. The center’s COVID-19 work will shift to focus on the pandemic’s long-term impact and steps that can be taken to expedite recovery.

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will also be at the forefront of deepening the United States’ partnerships with Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia; the COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the importance of strong working relationships.

With the creation of the Caribbean Initiative, the center will foster greater regional alignment on the key issues affecting bilateral and multilateral relations. A standing consultative group comprised of eminent leaders from the United States and the Caribbean will guide and assess specific work efforts, including a task force on financial inclusion.

China remains a major influence in Latin America. As it deepens engagement and leverage in the midst of the pandemic, the center will closely follow how the United States and the region can advance a shared agenda with respect to the Asian giant.

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Image: An aerial view of the Gatun locks on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal is seen during an organised media tour by Italy's Salini Impregilo, one of the main sub contractors of the Panama Canal Expansion project on the outskirts of Colon City March 23, 2015. The expansion project area will allow bigger ships to transit, with two new sets of locks, one on the Pacific side and one on the Atlantic side. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso