From the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. AS/COA Online's news brief examines the major—as well as some of the overlooked—events and stories occurring across the Americas. Check back every Wednesday for the weekly roundup.
Secretary Clinton Delivers Major Policy Speech in Quito
Before an audience at El Centro Cultural Metropolitano in Ecuador, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a major policy speech in which she articulated the Obama Administration’s vision for U.S.-Latin American relations, with a focus on combating social inequity. Clinton spoke on a range of issues from access to education, to economic equality and social justice to the environment. During her remarks, Clinton paraphrased Latin American historical figures such as South American independence leader Simon Bolivar—a hero of U.S.-critic and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez—and Cuban national hero José Martí as she highlighted points about overcoming social inequities. But she stressed the role of the private sector as well, emphasizing five areas of "opportunity" to overcome impediments to social inclusion: education, reforming inefficient tax systems, empowering women, job creation, and public-private sector partnerships. "If you pit the government against the private sector, that’s a lose-lose proposition," she said. She rounded out her speech with a call to the future rather than the past. "Sometimes, we in America are accused of not paying enough attention to our history," she said. "But the obverse can also be true. Sometimes people are captives of their history. So let us resolve to meet in the present."
Foreign Policy's Madam Secretary blog comments that Clinton charmed Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, who said during her visit: "[W]e are not anti-American. We love the U.S. very much. It is a trade partner. In fact, I spent the happiest four years of my life with my family in that great country."