Location: CIGI's Seagram Room
11:45 am: Welcome and introductions
12:00 pm: Moderated discussion between Dr. Cooper and Dr. Heine focusing on inter-American democracy promotion and the situation in Honduras.
12:45 pm: Q&A session with the audience.
1 pm: Session concludes
On 29 November 2009, Honduras held its presidential election amidst considerable uncertainty. It is still unknown what effects the election, which saw Conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo claim victory, will have on the on-going democratic crisis in the country. On 28 June 2009, the democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya was forcibly removed from office and replaced by Robert Micheletti, previously the President of the Honduran Congress. Described by most governments of the Western Hemisphere as a coup, Zelaya’s ouster has called into question Honduras’ democratic condition and served as an eerie reminder of Latin America’s troubled past. It is still unclear what level of international recognition Lobo’s victory will receive.
In a feature discussion, Drs Andrew F. Cooper (Associate Director and Distinguished Fellow, CIGI) and Jorge Heine (Distinguished Fellow and CIGI Chair in Global Governance, Balsillie School of International Affairs) argue that Honduras serves as a litmus test for inter-American commitment to democracy and for the region as a whole. Although united in their opposition to the coup, representatives of the region, including the Organization of American States, Canada, the United States, Brazil and Venezuela, have been unable to broker a settlement. Drs Cooper and Heine discuss what Honduras means for the future of Latin America and the Western hemisphere.
With the democratic questions in Honduras unresolved, 2009 is proving to be a pivotal year for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Old questions, such as those pertaining to democracy as exemplified in Honduras, are being met with new ones about how the region will deal with its increasingly globalized environment. In recent years the region has become a much more active international player. New actors, such as China and India, are forging new relationships with the region, while Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, push for a greater say in regional and global affairs.
Which Way Latin America? Hemispheric Politics Meets Globalization (United Nations University Press, 2009) explores these topics in great detail. Editors Andrew F. Cooper and Jorge Heine have assembled a group of renowned experts on Latin America to address questions, old and new, about where these new winds of change are pushing the region.
This event will be moderated by Eric Helleiner, CIGI Chair in International Economic Governance and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo.