During two half-days of rich dialogue on May 12-13, 2022, the Institute of the Americas convened a virtual forum to discuss “U.S. Policies toward Authoritarian States in the Americas: Fresh Thinking Amidst Changing Geo-Politics.” The forum was organized in an effort to examine U.S. policy vis-à-vis Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua (CVN) in anticipation of the IX Summit of the Americas hosted by the United States in Los Angeles earlier this month.
The forum’s 19 panelists consisted of seasoned academic scholars, think tank experts, former senior policy practitioners, leading journalists, a representative of a top U.S. business organization, and a Latin American CEO. Collectively, the forum’s panelists brought deep country expertise as well as broad theoretical knowledge about authoritarian systems. The panel discussions echoed shared analyses and occasional differences and reflected areas of emphasis rather than sharp discord. That said, no formal agreements were sought among the participants as the remote participation and time limits made both deeper discussion and formal consensus-building infeasible. Highlights of the forum have been distilled into a final proceedings report. UC San Diego Professor Richard E. Feinberg, who is also a member of IOA’s International Advisory Council, is the principal author of this report.