February 19, 2009, 12:00 - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Center for Latin American Studies
and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis
held a conference entitled:
Democracy in Central America: How Strong?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
12:00 – 2:00PM
Vargas, Daremblum, Krueger, and McCarry
Keynote Speaker John Walters
During the 1970s and 1980s, Central America was a major Cold War battleground, torn by violence and internal conflict. The Cold War drew to an end in Latin America as a wave of democratization swept the region. Today, however, the influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his brand of populism, Iranian adventurism, organized crime and drug trafficking, and the world-wide economic downturn are endangering democratic gains in Central America. In Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega has tied his country to the radical populism preached by Chavez. In El Salvador, the leftist FMLN seems poised to win the presidential elections in March. In Honduras, President Manuel Zelaya has linked his country to ALBA, the trade association of countries in Venezuela's orbit. Meanwhile, Guatemala continues to be torn apart by violence from organized crime. In light of this potential regression into authoritarianism, democratic institutions seem increasingly threatened. To shed light on challenges to democracy in Central America, Hudson's Center for Latin American Studies, in partnership with the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis brought together a select and distinguished group of experts on the region.
Jorge Vargas is the Director of the annual report, "State of the Region" and is a columnist for La Nacion in San Jose, Costa Rica. He also teaches at the University of Costa Rica
Anne Krueger is a Professor of International Economics at John Hopkins' School of Advanced and International Studies. Before joining SAIS, Krueger served as First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
Caleb McCarry is a Senior Associate with Creative Associates International, and was previously the Cuba Transition Coordinator at the State Department. Previously he was Staff Director with the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
John Walters, who has just joined Hudson Institute as Executive Vice President, served for the past eight years as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) at the White House. In this cabinet-level position, Walters coordinated all aspects of U.S. federal drug control policy, including interdiction and efforts to fight trafficking abroad.
Jaime Daremblum (moderator)
Jaime Daremblum is a Senior Fellow and Director of Hudson Institute's Center for Latin American Studies. Daremblum, the former Costa Rican Ambassador to the U.S., has written widely on threats to democracy in Latin America.
HUDSON'S CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES IS GRATEFUL TO THE LYNDE AND HARRY BRADLEY FOUNDATION FOR ITS GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THIS LECTURE SERIES
For more information please contact Ioannis Saratsis at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 974-2403.
Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center
1015 15th Street, NW, Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20005
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