The former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Arturo Valenzuela (a potentially confusing last name given the region being discussed) spoke at the latest Hinckley Forum about the past that the U.S. and Latin America share. Echoing old concerns and wrong doings, he names the Cold War as a dark point in U.S. policy, calling out the administrations for their support of brutal regimes. Done in the name of national security, as well as the defense of democracy, the U.S. helped support tyrannical dictatorships in various Latin American countries to combat the spread of communism. Valenzuela conceded that the U.S. did begin questioning these right-wing authoritarian regimes, but only after the cold war ended. That end, Valenzuela argued, was a beacon of hope for Latin America as the United States was now more likely than ever to leave them alone.
posted by PW