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Will Seventh Summit of the Americas Be Transformative?

WHO: American University Western Hemisphere and Cuba Experts

WHAT: Discussion & Analysis of the Summit of the America's &U.S.-Cuban Relations

WHEN:  April 7 - ongoing

WHERE: In studio, via telephone, on campus.

BACKGROUND: The Sixth Summit of the America's ended without a declaration leaving a hemispheric cliff-hanger because of Cuba's exclusion. Panama's invitation to Cuba to the Seventh Summit of the Americas and the subsequent rapprochement between the United States and Cuba has given rise to new optimism displacing the cynicism that has come to characterize the last three summits. 

The 2015 Summit of the Americas in Panama's official theme is "Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas." For the first time, all nations in the hemisphere will participate;however, the rise of multilateralism outside of the Organization of American States and the summit process over the last decade still leaves some serious divides among member countries some of whom have specifically excluded the United States from participating. Additionally, economic downturns in Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina are putting pressure on their governments.

American University experts from the School of International Service, School of Public Affairs and Center for Latin American & Latino Studies are available to discuss the Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama. 

Cuba
William LeoGrande
(available via telephone and e-mail only), American University School of Public Affairs professor and former dean, is an expert on U.S.-Cuba relations. LeoGrande is co-author of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana.

*LeoGrande is available to discuss all aspects of U.S.-Cuba bilateral relations and what Cuba's participation in Panama signifies.


Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba
Amb. Anthony Quainton
, American University School of International Service ambassador-in-residence, previously served in the United States Foreign Service and held ambassadorships in Nicaragua and Peru in addition to other countries.

*Amb. Quainton is available to discuss the Obama administration's philosophy of engagement and the extent to which it plays out at the summit in President Obama's dealings with Cuba's Raul Castro, Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, and Bolivia's Evo Morales.

Regional and Sub-Regional Alliances
Lou Goodman
, American University School of International Service professor and former dean, is an expert on social change and politics in Latin America. 

*Goodman is available to discuss sub-regional alliances including the Pacific Alliance, Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Rio Group and others in the context of the summit and hemispheric relations.

Johanna Mendelson-Forman, American University School of International Service scholar in residence also serves as a senior associate with Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies where she works on security and development issues, civil-military relations, and stabilization and reconstruction.

* Mendelson-Forman is available to discuss multilateral fora that compete with the summit and whether the hemisphere is growing apart, despite Obama's call for a new partnership in 2009;whether Venezuela's dysfunction and sanctions will serve as a distraction from the reconciliation of the U.S. and Cuba, and the prospects for a new beginning given the other demands of U.S. foreign policy outside the region

Overall Analysis of the Summit, U.S. Foreign Policy, Politics
Eric Hershberg
, American University director for the Center for Latin American &Latino Studies, focuses on the comparative politics of Latin America, and on the politics of development.

* Hershberg is available to discuss all aspects of the Seventh Summit of the Americas from member country participation to U.S. foreign policy.

Economy
Manuel Suarez-Mier, American University School of International Service Economist-in-Residence and director for the Center for North American Studies, prior to joining academia served as chief of staff of the Governor of the Bank of Mexico and the top economic diplomat in Washington at the time of the negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. More recently (2007-09), he represented the Attorney General of Mexico in the United States for negotiating the Mérida Initiative.

* Suarez-Mier is available to discuss the economic situation of particular countries that boomed when commodities where in high demand in addition to the economic health of the hemisphere as a whole. Additionally, he can discuss the specific challenges populist governments are facing from inflation to shortages of basic goods as a result of these policies longer term consequences.

-AU-

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation's capital and around the world.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.