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Carter Center Events Spotlight Cuba, Latin America

Contact: Soyia Ellison,

ATLANTA - The Carter Center and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta are teaming up to host two events examining the future of Cuba and Latin America.

On Tuesday, July 14, at 7 p.m., former U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro will hold a conversation with Professor Richard Feinberg on "The Emergence of a Private Sector in Cuba." Shapiro will be back on stage Thursday, July 16, at 1 p.m. to interview Joaquin Villalobos, a onetime Salvadoran guerrilla member about the role of the left in Latin America and his transition from guerrilla to political actor.

The Cuba conversation will take place in the theater of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum; the Villalobos conversation will take place in the Center's Cyprus Room. Media who wish to attend either should RSVP to Soyia Ellison.

The two public events are connected to a private meeting of the Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter on July 15. The Friends are a group of former presidents, prime ministers, cabinet ministers, and human rights experts from across the hemisphere. Brought together by President Carter in 2004, their mission is to advance democracy, prevent democratic tensions from erupting into full-fledged crises, and promote the values and principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

The Americas Program of The Carter Center, which serves as the Friend's secretariat, will host the meeting, during which the Friends will analyze the sociopolitical condition of the hemisphere and discuss the group's strategy to promote democracy and human rights and mediate or prevent the escalation of politically motivated conflicts.

Among those scheduled to attend are:

  • Luis Almagro Lemes, secretary-general of the Organization of American States
  • Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States
  • Nicolás Ardito Barletta, former president of Panama
  • Joe Clark, former prime minister of Canada
  • Carlos Mesa, former president of Bolivia
  • Alejandro Toledo, former president of Peru

Members of the public who wish to attend the July 14 or July 16 conversations can register for free at the World Affairs Council of Atlanta website.

About the Speakers:

Charles Shapiro is a former ambassador to Venezuela and current president of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. He has worked in Chile, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago and Denmark, in addition to a variety of Washington assignments including Coordinator for Cuban Affairs. In June, he took a group of Atlanta business leaders and Mayor Kasim Reed on a trip to Cuba to explore business opportunities.

Richard Feinberg is a professor of international political economy at the University of California San Diego and a fellow of the Latin American Initiative at the Brookings Institution. Previously, Feinberg served as special assistant to President Clinton for National Security Affairs and senior director of the National Security Council's Office of Inter-American Affairs.

Joaquin Villalobos is a member of the Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and former Salvadoran guerrilla member and signatory of El Salvador's 1992 Peace Accords.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

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