Recent Events

The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center partnered with the George W. Bush Institute for a day of events around the topic “Promoting Growth in the Northern Triangle.” The Arsht Center’s Central America Portfolio and the Bush Center’s Central America Prosperity Project (CAPP) share the common goal of contributing towards propelling the region forward to generate better living conditions in order to prevent forced migration. On this occasion, the organizations joined efforts to discuss how the countries in the Northern Triangle –Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala— can advance their economic development and strengthen relationships with key partners such as the United States.

On Thursday, April 25, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted the US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams to discuss what an inclusive democratic transition in Venezuela looks like. The event convened key figures representing both the Venezuelan opposition and the dissident Chavismo, who are committed to bringing about a return to democracy in Venezuela.

2018 saw political tides turn in three of Latin America’s largest democracies. These elections also saw deep polarization and distrust in institutions among Brazilians, Mexicans, and Colombians in an information environment ripe with disinformation. Following a year-long effort in which the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and its Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) exposed and explained disinformation around key elections in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, on Thursday, March 28, 2019, the teams launched a comprehensive report that outlines trends and lessons learned from the 2018 presidential elections in Latin America.

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.”