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US Interests in Latin America

Recorded on October 31, 2002

The Heritage Foundation's Van Andel Center

U.S. efforts to promote democracy, free trade, and security in the Americas face obstacles in the form of heavily centralized bureaucracies and strong presidencies that resisted deeper democratic practice and public participation. Meanwhile narco-terrorists in Colombia, while under renewed pressure from a government determined to regain control of the Colombian countryside and end their scourge, remain a threatening force. U.S. attention and leadership, lacking in the 1990's, will be required to overcome these barriers to make further progress in a region with rich potential. Since 2001, the Bush Administration has revitalized U.S. efforts to face these challenges by strengthening hemispheric security, supporting democratization and encouraging free trade. Signaling a sharpened and more purposeful focus on U.S. relations within the hemisphere, President Bush termed the new century the "Century of the Americas." What has changed, what remains the same? As the President Bush's point-man on the western hemisphere, Otto J. Reich outlines U.S. efforts to address some of our neighborhood's ills as well as build on recent successes. Join us for a speech followed by a question and answer session with Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Otto Reich.