Recent Events

On Thursday, March 14, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center convened distinguished experts and international leaders to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, as well as next steps in rebuilding the country’s economy, infrastructure, and institutions. The event served as the official unveiling of Plan País—the Venezuelan National Assembly’s detailed plan for reconstruction—on the international stage.

Previewing President Bolsonaro’s first official visit to the United States, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted the public event “Open for Business: A New Chapter for US-Brazil Relations?” on February 28. Roberta Braga, associate director at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, moderated the discussion between Murillo de Aragão, founder and CEO of Arko Advice, Renata Vargas Amaral, founder and president of Women Inside Trade Association and director of international trade at Barral M. Jorge and Associates, and Ambassador Anthony S. Harrington, former US ambassador to Brazil and chair of Albright Stonebridge Group’s Managing Board.

On Monday February 25, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center held a rapid reaction conference call addressing the developments in Venezuela and the potential next steps for the interim government of President Juan Guaidó. The conversation included the following participants: José Manuel Olivares, Representative for the State of Vargas in the Venezuelan National Assembly; Jason Marczak, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center; and Diego Area, Associate Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

On Thursday, February 14, His Excellency Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia, discussed Colombia’s ambitious agenda for transitional justice, economic reform, and regional leadership. Duque, who was sworn in as president of Colombia in August 2018, was interviewed by CNBC Contributor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council hosted the event in conjunction with CSIS, AS/COA, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Wilson Center. President Duque covered a wide array of topics, including: 

On January 30, 2019, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center gathered distinguished experts and governmental leaders to discuss the new interim government of Venezuela—led by Juan Guaidó, the head of the National Assembly—and the future of democratic transition in the country. The event served as the first public forum for newly appointed ambassadors of the Guaidó administration, as well as a focal point for discussing the international community’s role in supporting the prospects for democracy in Venezuela. The event consisted of two panel discussions, followed by questions from the audience.

The first panel featured the following speakers: Carlos Vecchio, Chargé d’Affairs to the United States by the Interim Government of Venezuela; Julio Borges, Representative to the Lima Group for the Interim Government of Venezuela; David Smolansky, Coordinator for the Working Group to Address the Regional Crisis Caused by Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Flows at the Organization of American States. The second panel featured the following speakers H.E. David O’Sullivan, Ambassador to the United States from the European Union; H.E. Manuel María Cáceres, Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Paraguay; H.E. Alfonso Silva, Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Chile, and the Hon. Ed Royce, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the US House of Representatives.

Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated as president of Brazil on January 1. Since taking the helm of Latin America’s largest democracy, the Bolsonaro administration has announced controversial decrees and discussed necessary reforms. The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, in partnership with the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI), hosted a public event on the heels of the Davos Economic Forum and just three weeks following the inauguration to discuss the next one hundred days of the new administration and the potential impacts of its policy proposals. Panelists included Fabio Kanczuk, executive director for Brazil at the World Bank, newly appointed by the Brazilian administration; Dr. José Pio Borges, chair of the board of trustees for CEBRI; and Pablo Bentes, managing director for international trade and investment at Steptoe and Johnson, LLC.

Last week, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for his second term following last year’s fraudulent electoral process. Despite international condemnation and rising domestic pressure, Maduro is unwilling to relegate his hold on the country. On January 9, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center launched an infographic and hosted a conference call with the new leadership of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly and  Stalin González, second vice president, to provide insights on the opposition’s strategy to counter Maduro’s power frenzy.

Guest moderator John Paul Rathbone, the Financial Times Latin America editor, started the conversation with Juan Guaidó  by asking about the upcoming actions the opposition will take to initiate a democratic transition in Venezuela. President Guaidó, stressed the severity of current political conditions and future challenges the National Assembly will face – being this the only recognized democratic institution. Guaidó declared the National Assembly’s mission is to make “this usurpation of power cease.”

On December 3, 2018, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center gathered distinguished experts to discuss the US-China trade-and-investment relationship. It was the purpose of this forum to rigorously analyze and at times debate the tenuous relationship between the world’s two largest economies and formally introduce the report China-Latin America Trade at a Moment of Uncertainty: What Lies Ahead in 2019?, an Atlantic Council publication authored by Anabel González, former Costa Rican minister of trade and the World Bank’s former senior director of Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness.

Almost twenty-five years ago, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada went into force and became a critical part of the North American economy. On Friday, November 30, 2018 these three countries will sign a new, modernized trade deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA. As did its predecessor, this agreement will impact millions of jobs, trade-dependent communities, and investment in key sectors.
On October 28, Brazilians elected their next president: Jair Bolsonaro. He will step into office at a pivotal economic moment for Brazil, following a campaign of heightened polarization. Can the newly elected leader, alongside new voices in Congress, implement the reforms necessary to usher Brazil into a new economic era? To discuss the future of Brazil’s commercial and investment outlook, and what’s next for US-Brazil relations, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Business and Economics Program hosted a public event on November 1, two days after election outcomes were announced.