On April 14th the New America Foundation hosted an event discussing U.S. interests in Latin America and the future of U.S.–Cuba relations, looking forward to the Summit of the Americas. Steve Coll, President of the New America Foundation and Washington Staff Writer for The New Yorker, gave opening remarks and introduced the panel. The panel included Carl Meacham, Senior Policy Advisor for Senator Richard Lugar, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (USA, Ret), Former Chief of Staff for the Department of State, Michael Lind, Whitehead Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Julia Sweig, Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director of Latin Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, David Rothkopf, President & CEO of Garten Rothkopf and Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Tom Omestead, Senior Writer & Diplomatic Correspondent at the US News & World Report, and William Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council. Steve Clemons, Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, moderated the questions from the audience and the debate between panelists.
The primary topic of discussion was whether recent decisions by the Obama administration toward Cuba, including allowing relatives to visit more often and increasing the limits of remittances sent to the country, have been substantively beneficial. Additionally the panelists spoke on topics from China’s increasing influence in the region to the emerging regional leaders such as Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, pushing for change in the U.S.-Cuba policy.
--Event summary by William Monroe, Intern, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
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