Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, July 28, 2005

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For IMMEDIATE Release

U.S. Diplomacy in Latin America
Burton
Schedules Wednesday Hearing 

BACKGROUND: Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress has stepped up investment in developing and expanding U.S. public diplomacy programs.  Funding for worldwide public diplomacy programs now tops $1 billion annually, employing more than 3,000 workers. With a majority of public diplomacy resources now focused on the Middle Eastern and Muslim populations, the Subcommittee plans to assess the impact this focus is having on the effectiveness of targeted U.S. public diplomacy initiatives in Latin America. In addition, the Subcommittee will review the current challenges to the advancement of U.S. strategic bilateral and multilateral relationships in the Americas, as well as perceptions and misconceptions regarding U.S. foreign policy goals in the region. Historically, the U.S. has divided public diplomacy programs into three areas: educational and cultural exchanges; information programs; and broadcasting. In 1999, U.S. public diplomacy programs previously administered by the U.S. Information Agency were reorganized with operations to be managed by the Department of State. In FY 2004, there were 671 U.S. citizens and 1,823 Latin American citizens participating in various academic and professional exchange programs. In addition, the State Department also provides access to information through speaker programs, Internet access, and press outreach. In fact, the increasing use of Internet resources is fast becoming a key public diplomacy tool for communicating U.S. foreign policy initiatives. Finally, the Broadcasting Board of Governors provides radio, television, and Internet broadcasts in a multi-language format via The Voice of America (VOA) to Latin America, Creole to Haiti, and Radio & TV Marti to Cuba.

WHAT:                             Subcommittee Oversight Hearing:
                                          U.S. Diplomacy in Latin America

                                         
Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
                                         
U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Chairman

WHEN:                             1:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 27, 2005

WHERE:                           Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:                   Panel I:
                   Roger Noriega
,
                   Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs,
                   U.S. Department of State;
                  John Maisto
,
                   United States Representative on the Council of the Organization of American States,
                   U.S. Department of State;
                   
                    Panel II:
                    Stephen Johnson
,
                    Senior Policy Analyst for Latin America, The Heritage Foundation;
                    Jerry Haar, Ph.D.,

                    Professor of Management & International Business, Latin American Studies Program,
                    Florida International
University; and
                    Luis Laredo
,
                    former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States.

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