The Institute for Leadership in the Americas (ILA) recently held two programs, one in Guatemala and another in Peru, in conjunction with the Pan American Development Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to securing a free and prosperous Cuba and to defend the human rights of Cuba’s political prisoners.
The first program took place from August 24 – 28 in Guatemala City, Guatemala in conjunction with Francisco Marroquin University, and brought together forty university students from more than ten Latin American countries including Guatemala.
The program was led by lecturers from Francisco Marroquin University along with others such as Carlos Alberto Montaner, the author of numerous books on Latin American politics and economics. In addition to lectures, students enjoyed a dinner and question and answer session with U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen McFarland.
Throughout the week, the students worked in groups to develop projects that they could implement in their home countries to promote the cause of liberty and civil rights for Cubans living under the fifty-year dictatorship of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul. Students also received training that can be used to conduct “train-the-trainer” activities with civil society members and opposition leaders on the island.
A second program took place on October 8 and 9 in Iquitos, Peru, in conjunction with the Pan American Development Foundation and the Institute for Leadership in Iquitos. The program brought together twenty students from the Amazon region of Peru who attended both lectures on Cuba as well as training to support the opposition movement on the island.
“This was an opportunity to teach students about the current situation in Cuba and to show how a fifty year dictatorship can affect millions of lives throughout the rest of Latin America,” said ILA director Jon Perdue. The Institute for Leadership in the Americas will hold its flagship program in Santiago, Chile from January 11 – 22, 2010 at the Catholic University of Chile.