of Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-North Carolina),
Hearing of the House International Relaions Subcommittee on the
Western Hemisphere, October 21, 2003
Western Hemisphere Subcommittee
Hearing on Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Policy
in the Western Hemisphere
Tuesday, October 21, 2003, 1:30 p.m., Room 2200, Rayburn House
Subcommittee will come to order. This afternoon we will explore
Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Policy in the Western
is a pleasure to welcome our first panel of witnesses from the
Bush Administration, includingat lasta Senate-confirmed
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. We
are also pleased to have a second panel that will feature Dr.
Robert Pastor, a former senior policy maker and a scholar of U.S.
relations with the Americas.
Secretary Roger Noriega and USAID Assistant Administrator Adolfo
Franco are well known to me and Members of our International Relations
Committee and need little introduction. In my considered opinion,
President Bush has signaled his commitment to the Western Hemisphere
by appointing these two very capable gentlemen.
just last week in Bolivia remind us that there are nations in
the Western Hemisphere that face grave challenges. We are all
appalled by the violence in Bolivia. We all urge Bolivians to
reject violence and respect democratic institutions and constitutional
euphoria of the 1990s has dissipated in the Western Hemisphere.
Incomplete economic reforms have collided with a world-wide recession
and the implosion, in some countries, of traditional political
truth is that some governments in this Hemisphere have not been
able to extend education and economic opportunities to poor communities.
Endemic corruption saps money from real priorities. In some countries,
there are political parties and political movements led by demagogues
that use violence as a political tool and even shield criminals
is good news too. Democracy is firm in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Uribe, with our help, is giving Colombias democracy a real
chance to survive and prosper. Soon, the Colombian people will
again vote in municipal elections despite threats and attacks
by terrorist groups like the FARC.
is a stable democracy that can exercise positive influence in
President, Vicente Fox, has made real progress in going after
major drug traffickers and criminals.
has demonstrated that sustained economic reform and adherence
to democracy benefits ordinary people.
Salvador continues to demonstrate that sustained engagement by
the U.S. coupled with political will from a countrys leaders
creates real reforms.
is the time for leaders in this Hemisphere who believe in democracy
and the liberating power of private sector economics to stand
up and work together. We must not let lesser matters divide us.
believe it is time that Congress and the Administration rethink
the focus and scope of our foreign assistance programs in the
Hemisphere. It is not just that we arent providing the kind
of money we should. We must also engage our friends and neighbors
with new, entrepreneurial approaches to create wealth for their
people and for our own people.
know that our witnesses understand the challenges our nation and
our friends and neighbors in this Hemisphere face. I also believe
that your testimony today can help identify the opportunities
that will allow us all to move forward in positive ways.
would like to recognize our Ranking Democratic Member, Mr. Menendez,
for an opening statement.
October 24, 2003, this document was also available online at http://wwwa.house.gov/international_relations/108/ball1021.htm