Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Ambassador to the U.S. to Discuss U.S.-Venezuela Relations and New Era for the Americas

Nov. 13, 2009

Event: Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States, will discuss "U.S.-Venezuela Relations and a New Era for the Americas." The event is co-sponsored by the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and the Department of Government at The University of Texas at Austin. Media are welcome, but interview availability is limited and must be arranged prior to the day of the event.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 4 p.m.

Where: The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Union, Eastwoods Room 2.102

Background: A new era in Latin America characterized by social and progressive change is favoring regional cooperation, efforts to combat poverty and political rather than military solutions. Alvarez will speak about these dynamics and the possibility of improved U.S.-Venezuela relations.

Alvarez became ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States in 2003. He has emerged as an effective and well-respected diplomat, navigating the complexities of Washington and traveling widely throughout the United States to describe Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution and create links between the people of the United States and Venezuela.

After five years of service in Washington, in September 2008 he was recalled to Caracas after Venezuela expelled the U.S. ambassador there in solidarity with Bolivia during a diplomatic dispute with the Bush administration. Less than a year later, in June 2009, he became the first foreign ambassador in U.S. diplomatic history to be reinstated by Washington (along with his U.S. counterpart in Caracas) as the Chavez and Obama administrations moved to normalize relations. He is the dean of the Latin American diplomatic corps in Washington, having served longer in his post than any of his regional counterparts.

For more information, contact: Michelle Bryant, College of Liberal Arts, 512 232 4730; Paloma Díaz, LLILAS, 512-232-2415.