We are pleased to present a summary overview of the Inter-American Dialogue’s work in 2006.
This year, we welcomed former president Ricardo Lagos of Chile and former U.S. trade representative Carla A. Hills as the Dialogue’s new co-chairs. Together they ably presided over the 2006 Linowitz Forum, which brought together some 75 participants from across the hemisphere—including more than half of our membership. The discussions focused on the deepening divisions among Western Hemisphere nations, the challenges to democratic governance in Latin America, and the role of economic policy in combating poverty and inequality. Former U.S. treasury secretary Robert Rubin hosted some 20 corporate and financial leaders at Citigroup’s headquarters in New York for a dinner to honor Ricardo Lagos as the Dialogue’s new co-chair.
In 2006, Dialogue staff published some ten articles in leading policy journals. These included an analysis of Washington’s waning influence in the region by Peter Hakim in Foreign Affairs; an incisive exploration of Hugo Chávez’s domestic and foreign policies by Michael Shifter in Foreign Affairs and an examination of the increasing fragmentation among and within the nations of Latin America by Shifter and Vinay Jawahar in Current History; a review of U.S. concerns over China’s rising influence in the hemisphere by Daniel Erikson in Military Review; and a survey of Mexico’s political landscape in advance of elections by Erikson in World Policy Journal, among several others. Book reviews by staff also appeared in Cuban Affairs and Latin American Politics & Society.
Dialogue staff also published nearly seventy articles in newspapers across the hemisphere such as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, The Miami Herald, The New York Daily News, El Mercurio, La Opinión, La Nación, and Confidencial, among others—on topics ranging from this year’s many electoral contests, to U.S. Cuba policy, the role of the OAS, and China’s looming presence in the region. Dialogue staff are regularly quoted by U.S., Latin American, and European newspapers and interviewed on television and radio.
Other highlights of the year’s activities include the 10th annual Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) conference, which offered an opportunity to review trade and investment issues across Latin America. In 2006, the Andean Working Group met twice—once in Washington and again in Quito, Ecuador. Our pioneering work on the Andean region has provided authoritative and extensive policy assessments of the challenges confronting those countries. These include three working papers—on the political impact of energy policy on regional relations by Genaro Arriagada, on President Uribe’s second-term challenges by Rodrigo Pardo, and on the military and politics in the Andean Region by Carlos Basombrío