Former President of Dominican Republic, and Honorary President of GFDD and FUNGLODE, Answers to the Question If Latin America Matters in the 21st Century?
On April 8-9, the former president of the Dominican Republic and honorary president of sister non-profits GFDD and FUNGLODE, Leonel Fernández, visited Yale University as a Spring Chubb Fellowship Recipient 2013. The Chubb Fellowship is one of the highest honors accorded to a visiting speaker. Since its inception in 1949, Chubb Fellows have included former US presidents, heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, and prominent public individuals in government, industry, and arts.
“I, today, address Yale´s authorities, faculty members and students on the relevance of Latin America and the Caribbean in the 21st century,” remarked Mr. Fernández.
The Chubb lecture was held on April 9, at Yale Law School. The honorable guests, except president Fernández, included the current Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the United States, Aníbal De Castro, and the director of GFDD New York office, Yamile Eusebio. The event was free and open to public.
After the opening remark, Dr.Fernández took the floor to present his talk under the title “In the 21st Century: Does Latin America Matter?” To begin with, he noted that it was his great honor and privilege to be “at this prestigious institution of higher learning today, from where two prominent Latinos were educated, becoming for many a source of inspiration: Supreme Court Judge, Sonia Sotomayor, and the former Mexican President, Ernesto Zedillo.” Next, the president gave special greetings to a group of Dominican students at Yale, who have organized themselves since 2005, in a creative manner, as the Dominican Student Association QuisqueYalies.
The honorable guest then continued saying that he was thrilled to share with the audience the news that the Dominican Republic had recently gained a respected status as a world power in baseball. The Dominican Republic became the undefeated champion of the World Baseball Classic. With the distinction and sense of national pride, “I, today, address Yale´s authorities, faculty members and students on the relevance of Latin America and the Caribbean in the 21st century,” remarked Mr. Fernández.
Central to his speech was the question if in the 21st centure Latin America and the Caribbean really matter. Despite the region’s achievements during the past decade in macroeconomic stability, poverty reduction and improvement of income distribution, the question “is still looming out there.” The answer is simple as that – the region is a place of enormous contrasts. It is not wealthy enough to become a state-of-the-art center for international financial transactions. It is not poor enough to provoke worldwide pity. And it is not dangerous enough to generate global fear.
Here, the president paused and came back to the audience with a slightly modified question of “what is the importance of Latin America and where does its major contribution lie?” First, the region has been always considered as the realm of culture “where Latin America and the Caribbean have made their mark through literature, music, dance, film and arts, and built their brand and reputation on a global scale.” Second, for the last three decades, given the enormous demographic, economic, social and political transformations that have been taking place in the region, Latin America and the Caribbean have emerged as a key player in global affairs.
The region is flourishing. There is an undeniable sense of progress, social change and modernization there. Yet, according to Dr. Fernández, here arises a follow up problem of the region’s long term sustainability. The president suggests that in order to become sustainable and competitive in the 21st century, the Latin American and Caribbean nations must put on their respective agendas, with no exceptions allowed, the promotion of education, science and technology, enhancement of innovation and availability of economic diversity.
Towards the end of his speech, the honourable Chubb Fellow concluded with what Latin America needs. In his view, the region shall look for a more and better democracy, more sustainable economic growth, preservation of the environment and natural resources, employment, better quality of education and health care, and widespread prosperity and opportunity for all.
The president finished his inspiring presentation referring to the Latino community in the US. He called them to remember about the importance of Latinos in political, social and cultural life in America, as President Obama personally stated, “our country was built on and continues to thrive on its diversity, and there is no doubt that the future of the United States is inextricably linked to the future of the Hispanic community.”
Hear the President”s full speech here!
Las últimas noticias/novedades de lo que acontece con el BEISBOL INVERNAL en la República Dominicana durante la temporada 2019-2020.