Working Towards a Hemisphere of Freedom: Connecting Democratic Leaders in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela

Audio of the Event  
Authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have led to sociopolitical turmoil, economic disruptions, and human rights abuses. From March 2017 to June 2018, over 800,000 Venezuelans fled to Colombia amid political and economic chaos in Caracas. In Costa Rica, nearly 8,000 asylum claims from Nicaraguans were registered between April and July 2018. As many as 23 percent of all Cubans in the U.S. arrived within the last 8 years. These countries are considered three of the four least “free” countries in Latin America and the Caribbean according to Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World 2018.”

This event will bring together U.S. development agencies and policymakers with democratic leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to share diverse and bipartisan views on how we can move closer towards a hemisphere of freedom. This event will also be an opportunity to recognize Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s many years of tireless and effective service to advance freedom in the Western Hemisphere.

Please join us on Friday, November 30th for an armchair conversation from 9:00-10:00 a.m. and a public panel discussion from 10:00-11:30 a.m.

This event was made possible through support from CSIS.


8:30 AM  Registration Opens

Opening Remarks

9:00 AM — Senator Bob Menendez
9:15 AM — Administrator Mark Green
9:20 AM — Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

First Public Armchair Discussion  9:00 AM — 10:00 AM

Administrator Mark Green
U.S. Agency for International Development

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
U.S. House Representative for Florida’s 27th District

Carl Gershman
President of the National Endowment for Democracy

Dan Runde
Senior Vice President; William A. Schreyer Chair and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development

Honoring Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen  10:00 AM — 10:15 AM

Second Public Armchair Discussion  10:15 AM — 11:15 AM

David Smolansky
Former Mayor of El Hatillo in Caracas, Venezuela

Rosa Maria Payá
Cuban Dissident and Freedom Fighter

Miriam Kornblith
Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy

Moises Rendon
Associate Director and Associate Fellow, Americas Program

Audience Q&A  11:15 AM — 11:30 AM

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