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Founded in 1951, The Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations (CCFR) is a civic, non-partisan organization dedicated to the promotion of informed discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs.

It has achieved a distinguished record of bringing together concerned citizens in our area with leading authorities on world developments. The hallmark of CCFR is the creation of opportunities for in-depth exchanges on major international issues that increasingly affect our lives.

Professor Alan McPherson, Temple University

“Why Latin America Still Matters”

Thursday January 10,2019

Latin America covers an area of over 7.4 million square miles, about 13% of the earth, and has a population of over 600 million people, about 80% of that in Europe. Within Latin America there are 20 countries ranging in size from Brazil with over 200 million people to the very small Caribbean island states. However, because of turbulence in the Middle East, Europe, and China observers of international affairs often overlook Latin America. Does Latin America still matter in world affairs or to the United States? Russia and China certainly appear to think Latin America matters.
 
Earlier this month an OP-ED in the Wall Street Journal described Russian intentions and actions in Latin America as being “designed to damage U.S. interests by destabilizing liberal democracy.” Russia has provided financial support for struggling Venezuela, expanded port and logistics access in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. And in October the head of the defense committee of Russia’s lower house of Parliament reportedly indicated that Russia is considering a military base in Cuba.
 
Meanwhile for the five year period of 2015-2019 China’s President Xi Jinping set ambitious goals for exchange with Latin America of $500 billion in trade and $250 billion in direct investment. China is now the top trade partner for Brazil, Chile, and Peru and continues to expand trade elsewhere in Latin America. And today China is Latin America’s largest creditor.
 
Our speaker in January, Professor Alan McPherson, believes that Latin America still matters greatly, especially to the United States. Mr. McPherson will discuss whether the Monroe Doctrine still applies in the region and will argue that U.S. leadership in the world is strengthened if we have the support of Latin American countries. He will describe the continuing, even deepening, interdependence of the United States and Latin America. In areas such as trade, drugs, and immigration, the north and south of the hemisphere are more integrated than ever. Professor McPherson also will posit that Latin America’s worrisome inequality and corruption may even foreshadow the future of the United States if we are not careful.
 
Mr. McPherson is the Thomas J. Freaney, Jr. Professor of History and the Director of the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy at Temple University. He has written extensively on relations between the United States and Latin America, including the award winning book “Yankee No! Anti-Americanism in U.S.-Latin American Relations.
 
Before teaching at Temple Mr. McPherson taught at University of Oklahoma and Howard University. He has been a Fellow at Harvard University and twice a Fulbright Fellow.
 
Professor McPherson earned a B.A. in history and economics from the Universite de Montreal, an
M.A. in history from  San  Francisco State University, and a Ph. D. in History from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
6:00 Cocktails     6:45 Dinner     7:45 Address and Discussion

Meal A: Citrus Baked Swordfish
Meal B: Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
Meal C: Vegetable Lasagna