tv USAID Administrator Mark Green on Promoting Democracy in Latin America CSPAN August 12, 2018 3:59am-5:02am EDT
the televised coverage of the war in the moon,stronauts on and the power of the media to capture america at its most vulnerable while shaping the stories they cover. at 8 p.m. eastern on america history television on c-span3. online programs are available on spot is by -- spotify, the podcast, or on c-span.org. u.s. agency for international development administrator mark green talks about his recent trip to national america and what usaid is doing to provide humanitarian aid and promote democracy in the
>> ladies and gentlemen, good morning. you can do better than that. good morning. there we go. my pastor does that all the time. you can do better than that. welcome. welcome, everybody. welcome to the council of the americas for our conversation day with mark green, the administrator of the u.s. agency for international development. we appreciate that you all have chosen to join us for this session today during this time in latin america. filled with ambassadors and other senior government officials and there may be one or two usaid contractors in the audience as well. we also welcome c-span and other media outlets and your interest in covering the program today. or those of inclined to live tweet this, we encourage that.
use the at sign usaid. farnsworth. ic i head the council of the americas. we have promoted an agenda of democracy, open markets and the rule of law across the americas. i'm privileged to have the opportunity to introduce our speaker and conduct the interview portion of our program that will immediately follow his remarks. mark green is a recognized leader in the foreign policy and business communitys with with a proven record operating between the private sector, the n.g.o. community for a policy that is effective and growth oriented. prior to being sworn in exactly one year ago yesterday as administrator, happy anniversary, he served as president and c.e.o. of the
initiatives for global development and the head of the u.s. global leadership coalition, not all tame but squerblely as well as other important duties as well. he was also the u.s. ambassador to tanzania from mid 2007 to early 2009 and before that a four-term congressman representing the eighth district of wisconsin. in fact, ladies and gentlemen, the only flaw i can find in his resume is his irrational attachment to the green bay pap packers. hopefully we can convince him to support the bears sometime today. is one-year of service as been eventful and successful. we want to take track of the tragedy and the anti- government political steps of
venezuela and other priorities as well. these issues are timely and relevant. it is important that the united states is exercising leadership. mark green and the usaid are at the forefront. we are trafle for such dedication and willingness to serve. ladies and gentlemen, will you join me in welcoming to the council of the americas the honorable mark green. [applause] mark: thank you. good morning, everyone. am i supposed to say you can do better than that? good morning. eric, thank you for those kind words and thanks for all that you have done to arrange my visit here today. i'm grateful for the opportunity and it is great to see you here. as eric mentioned, one year ago
this week president trump gave me the honor of joining the great team of usaid. it seems only fitting that i mark that milestone here. i made more trips to latin america during that time than any other region in the world. there are many reasons why we at usaid are so focused on our work in the americas. we see great openings in the region to enhance trade and economic opportunity in ways that will not only lift lives but yes, expand american economic leadership. latin america already accounts for more than a quarter of all u.s. good exports and supports over 2.5 million american jobs. according to the oecd, the pansion of the latin america middle class is one of the most positive transformations in recent times. in 2001 only 20 povet population in latin america was
considered middle class. by 2015 that was approaching 35%. as you all know, the oecd recently voted to allow colombia to join its ranks. it will soon take its place on the world economic stage alongside chile and mexico. darker trends have also drawn our engagement at usaid. eight of the world's most violent countries are in latin america. it is the world's most dangerous region outside a war zone. while it has lifted many lives, it has left far too many communities behind. more than 30 million people live in extreme poverty in latin america. latin america has some of the world's highest levels of income inequality and affects
154 million young people in the region. and of course it is hard to talk about the americas these days without touching upon migration. while we i think in the u.s. instinctively focus on the migration emerging from the northern triangle. what we don't talk about enough or doesn't receive enough coverage is the largest cross border mass exode us in the history of the americas, venezuela. estimates that more than 1.6 million venezuelaans have already fled colombia. this is a realtime crisis. 5,000 new migrants enter colombia each and every day. realtime day after day. they are desperately seeking food, emergency medical care, they are seeking survival.
to be clear, this is not merely colombia's problem. as i heard at the summit of the americas, desperate venezuelaans are fleing to places like brazil and ecuador and some are reaching the caribbean. this massive displacement creates challenges for everyone involved. of course it is entirely man made and entirely regime driven. given all of these challenges and opportunities, the question for us at usaid is what should our approach be in the americas? someone put it, what are we going to do about it? what principle should guide our lives we seek to live strengthen enterprise opportunities and advance u.s. leadership. we're guided by the principles vice president pence laid out at the summit in lima.
a framework that was first described by thomas everyone is two centuries ago. jemp thinking about the nature of this hemisphere and what he saw at the u.s. role in the hemisphere, he wrote america, orth and south, has a set of interests and she should have a system alone and apart from that of europe. becoming the domicile of desperatism. our endeavor should be to make our hem sphere that of freedom. -- a hemisphere of freedom. how beautiful that sounds. what washington fought so hard for and others like lincoln gave their lives to defend and what so many young americans north and south dream of today and they deserve. i like to think of usaid as the
operations arm of american foreign policy. that serves as both an inspiration and an operational road map. for us, freedom includes the freedom of personal security. the right to be safe and secure in your own home and community. the right to live each day free from fear. we're part of the effort to ensure that throughout the hem hemisphere. trafficers and drug dealers who peddle violence find nowhere to hide. we see intense radification as a step in the hemisphere's response. we're also convinced that eradication alone won't win the fight. won't carry the day. and so we play a role in fostering alternative
livelihoods to ensure once coca s removed, crops and rewarding jobs can take root. a few months back i visited peru and saw first happened hour oy partnership with that country and the business community is making eradication more effective and more sustainable. applying technical assistance o improve the local business supplying farmers are high quality seeds. peru's production of expert quality chocolate will more than double by 2021. helping to feed the growing demand for dark chocolate and supply the $35 billion u.s. confectionary industry. we have similar programs that involve another of my great
vices, coffee. during my visit in peru, i asked a farmer why it was he was turning away from coca. after all coca still produces money and he said emotionally, as he put his hand on the shoulders of his two boys, coca gives you work. but it doesn't give you a uture. freedom of personal security is not just about the drug trade. as the northern triangle countries know so well. crime, corruption and in some places outright lawlessness are driving people to desperation and to flight. one of our most promising initiatives harnesses lessons that u.s. law enforcement and learn places rs like streets of boston and l.a. local officials and police in
parts of honduras to establish 46 outreach centers. these centers recruit mentors who provide volkswagenal training for at-risk youth. we're supporting efforts to help them find jobs and neighborhood by neighborhood deter them from joining gangs and criminal life. our system has helped place street lights, clear abandoned soccer fields that have become dumping grounds for bodies. we have launched a program to combat substance abuse and support a local soccer league to take at-risk youth off the streets. in the four years since this work has begun, homicide have fallen in that part of honduras 78% and gang recruits dropped by 25%. for us, the hemisphere of freedom also includes economic
freedom. freedom for private enterprise. the freedom to own and invest. the freedom to pursue your own nonentrepreneurial dreams. for us this freedom reinforces all the others. it helps citizens and communities realize freedom's benefits in a very tangible, measurable way. it helps freedom deliver. ince the day i joined usaid, i emphasized two very simple principles in our approach to development. first the purpose of foreign assistance must be ending its need to exist. we say that because we believe in the inherent desire of every person, every community and every country to be self-reliant, to be able to lead their own future. and create their own opportunities. second principle of development.
we believe quite simply that free enterprise is the most powerful force on earth for ccelerating a country journey. in practical terms what this means is that we're prioritizing frahms in this hemisphere for market economic reforms, strengthen economic capacity, mobilize resources and strengthen the role of civil society. in honduras, we're helping to ensure that economic growth is more inclusive. a great example of that is carmen carrasco. a woman from one of the most violent neighborhoods in honduras. she completed a usaid sponsored training tram. it helped her choose a technical path and learn valuable skills and she now works in the construction industry as an iron assembler.
according to carmen, this project is "an opportunity that change my life, filled me with knowledge and taught me that there were so such things men's jobs or women's jobs. there are just jobs." people like carmen change the character of their neighborhoods. they strengthen the communities in which they live. or work. in colombia, we're providing technical assistance that is turning mining, especially gold mining from an illegal activity that funds criminals, destroys the environment and steals tax revenue into real opportunities for jobs, good jobs and community development. believe it or not, legal mining has now replaced drug trafficking as the primary source for sundaying organized
crime in colombia. our program strengthens laws on permitting and legislation. it teachers workers how to cost effectively mine without relying on mercury and it helps rehabilitate the land when the mining is done. in short, it gives legal responsible mining businesses the chance to succeed. it creates new investment opportunities. it uses private enterprise and community-based workforce and makes sure that freedom delivers. our work in colombia goes well beyond mining. for example, we have been using our programs to help colombia with strategic planning in their energy sector. one result is just over a week ago, colombia was able to announce its first reverse energy auction. the auction has a goal of delivering 1,000 megawatts of new capacity next year in 2019. this auction will generate
strong international competition including from u.s. investors and equipment suppliers to provide the nation with low cost, clean energy. again, economic freedom that delivers. but of course, to be clear, more than anything else, everyone is who a hemisphere of reedom, he is writing about -- jefferson wrote a hemisphere of freedom, he is talking about economic freedom. a right to shape their government's policies. democratic freedom guides and inspires our work at usaid because we don't believe the americas can rise to their otential unless democracy, citizen-led, citizen-responsive governance touches every corner
of the hemisphere. two centuries after jefferson's message, even though so much has been achieved in the americas, freedom is but a dream. cuba, fidel castro may have passed away but it continues with raul. he still leads the communist party. the message was very clear. instead of moderating, the havana regime is merely mutating. and the dictatorship continues to crack down on civil society by harassing, beating and jailing the cuban people. the ladies in white still gather every week and peacefully walk to church and protest ongoing human rights abuses and call for the
unconditional release of political prisoners and every week they are met with harassment, violence and arrests by castro's thugs. freedom denied. h cuba, it is all communism that is mue indicating. in nick raga, tyranny that is oing its best to -- nicaragua, it is tyranny. ortega once battled tooth and ail to overturn simosa's reign has now become simosa. i heard of the brutality and ongoing violence occurring right now as we speak. over 350 people have been killed. the death toll rises each day. n.g.o.'s on the ground say the
regime has authorized the shoot to kill policy using tactical weapons and snipers to carriette out. there are widespread reports of dnapping, killings and torture. they have been denied access to life saving care. even the church and clergy who believe their faith calls them to bring peace and mediate, they are now under attack for those very same activities. because priests were unwilling to simply stand by during the atrocities. daniel ortega has called the catholic church itself -- owners. the regime's relentless efforts to frighten and intimidate and divide them. ortega must stop the violence now and listen to the voice of his people.
the voice of freedom. as i mentioned earlier, one of the most far-reaching forces sweeping across latin america is the wave of venezuelaans desperately fleeing the dictatorship and mismanagementment. a country rich in resources. that country has been reduced to hyper inflation, malnutrition and the scarcity of the most basics of medicine. a country that should be a donor nation. a country that should be lifting others out of poverty. has become a driver of despair and it is in other parts of the region. usaid has mobilized over $40 million in funding to support venezuelaans and colombians who ave fled venezuela to help
such things as medical attention, emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, shelter and protection from violence and exploitation. colombia, brazil, ecuador. $60 million. we stand ready to offer humanitarian assistance to suffering family who is remain in venezuela. only the president would allow us to access to extend a helping hand. but i saw for myself when i visited the border, the world owes colombia a debt of gratitude for its willingness to accommodate the venezuelaans who have fled there and we are supporting their efforts but the numbers of those displaced and the needs they have from living for months under maduro's rule, basic nutrition challenges, emergency healthcare and more.
it obviously requires a much broader international response. we know humanitarian assistance is not a long-term answer. in venezuela or anywhere else. the u.s. always stands with people when disaster strikes. that's just who we are. these must also remember are not natural disasters. again, they are manmade and regime driven. ortega, maduro, castro, they are simply on the wrong side of history. we believe that the usaid has an irreplaceable goal helping the americas reach their potential. a potential that is almost limitless. but your role, your role is even more important. first, you can help deliver on the promise of democracy and freedom by creating opportunity.
second, by the way you do your business, you can reinforce the openness in transparency , essary for sustainable inclusive economic growth. third, you can give the region's young people a chance, chance to earn, to learn, to rise, to lead. i'm always amazed, as people look around the world and they look at the demographics, they refer to the youth bulge in many parts of the world as a problem to be avoided or a challenge to be met. it is an opportunity. it is an opportunity to shape the future. taken together, the freedoms that we see, the freedoms that are part of that hemisphere of freedom can unleash energy and crivet in the way that government alone could never
match. as opportunity grows and good jobs are created and access to justice reaches communities that are sometimes forgotten, crime will find no corner. democracy will floushish because people see it. see the results, tangible, real. they help our nation's like colombia, peru. inspires people inside and outside latin america in ways that usaid and our u.s. partners could not. at least not alone. our most effective programs are those that barn successful community leaders across the region like those that turn around and apply them to communities that could use role models and inspiration. the americas are a community. the america americas are a neighborhood.
what affects one inevitably affects the others. last year, when a string of hurricanes flattened much of the caribbean, we in the u.s., we at usaid, we moved to assist. we assisted with supporting the displaced, helping the homeless, and launching projects to help affected communities find new livelihoods. a few months later, when hurricane maria struck the shovers puerto rico, colombia and mexico were among those who responded. mexico sent $100,000 in water and mosquito repellant. they sent six electrical experts to help assist the power grid needs on the islands. as one said to me at the time, that's what friends and neighbors do. indeed. especially in that hemisphere of freedom. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you and congratulations. it is from my perspective refreshing to hear someone speak so forthrightly and with such great understanding and passion frankly about the polls in the hemisphere and i want to start or continue the conversation if i may. yesterday was the anniversary usaid swearing in as administrator and you spoke about colombia and the inauguration of the colombian president. it was also the anniversary of something else. the bombings of tanzania and kenya. my point -- my question is you
spoke a lot about the length between democracy and.com and security. i would like to play that out a little bit more in terms of specifically from the role and perspective of usaid. how are we to be able to think about development as a security issue for the united states and the western hemisphere? mark: thanks. you're right. it was the 20th anniversary over the embassy bombing. it was a chance for both of us who have served. i have lived in both countries during my career, but to pause and reflect, what we noted then is that when the bad bad guys dropped 20 years ago, i'm sure they had different results in mind. i'm sure that they believed their strike would chase the u.s. away. divide us from others in the region. of course the opposite happened. instead, we began, we forged
working partnerships that have made such a difference there. i believe as a jern matter we as usaid and other parts of the u.s. government and our partners, we have a role in driving or attacking the drivers of despair. does ery clear, poverty not cause terrorism. however despair, absolute despair is a force, is a feeling that bad guys know how to exploit. and so it has always been my view that it is good for us, us, all of us here, if we tackle those drivers of despair and we're seeing tackling of those drivers of despair. to take it one step further, particularly with respect to the americas, we all know that the best way to tackle the drivers of despair is to create opportunity.
enterprise-driven tunlt. because -- opportunity. because families, individuals in the americas, north and south, like everywhere else in the world, they want to provide for their kids and they want a better future for their kids than what they have seen. and so the role of private , is irreplaceable. i think it is the difference maker. and it is not the answer to all of our security challenges but i also believe it is a very important part of the answer. we have an important role to play particularly our partnerships with the private sector. host: i want to come back to venezuela in a bit but let us shift the focus to central america. nicaragua. in the context of what you're spent, about, we have the u.s., over a several
administrations have spent a lot of money in central america but the results are still mixed. from your perspective now, having been an administrator for a year, are there things we can do differently in central america to address some of the despair that is clearly causing immigration and migration movements and some of the security issues we see in the region? can we think about these issues differently? how should we be addressing these challenges? mike: for one thing, look at how -- at what works and build upon it. i got totage i had is look at what my predecessors did , take what was working and try to expand it. i believe very much in programs, tools, and initiatives that create safe places in communities, not just in central america, but everywhere, where
families can live and work and kids can go to school. a basic security that we all need because not having it is what drives so many people. way to carry those out in my view is to take some of the successful leaders and tools in places like medellin and cali and bring them to the northern trigonal -- triangle and expand upon what works. at the end of the day, it is still about opportunity. we have to constantly look for ways to create opportunities for enterprise driven growth, opportunities that allow people to make ends meet and provide for their families. government can do a lot of things. we can create frameworks. we can work on the enabling environment. we can build role of law. we can look at transparency. of law butuild rule
it is still about transparency and businesses. host: that is fabulous. and in some ways that is a paradigm shift. to have private sector led growth, job creation, but to look at this instead of a challenge to be met but as an opportunity for growth, investment, and job creation. that changes the paradigm in an effective way. do you see these challenges in any way differently than what you see elsewhere? is latin america unique? mike: latin america is our neighbor. in some ways it is easier to accelerate. it is easier to bring investment to their, to bring about some of the exchange of ideas and commerce because of its
proximity. but so much in terms of lessons are universal. i lived in africa a couple of times in my life and the first time is a much younger man. i lived in a village setting with no electricity, running water. all of the challenges. but i was always taken by how the people all around me never wanted me to give them anything. they were simply looking for chances. and so, when they asked for things, it was always with a goal towards helping them on their journey to help themselves. that is what i have seen throughout the americas. a similar thing. now, there are these days profound challenges. i think transnational crime, the driving away hurting the ability
for communities to have those safe places. needed.help is this will not take care of itself. it is in our interest to be involved because this is a neighborhood. and what affects one part of the neighborhood will eventually of not immediately affect all of us. i believe in the role that government can play and must play. i think it is what we need to do. it is in our interest as much as there's. -- as much as theirs. host: one of your data points really struck me. i found it stunning. illegal actress coming out of colombia are getting more money through illegal mining than drug trafficking. the issue of illegality and despair is something we don't focus on. previous mindset. as a new administrator, you are giving us a new perspective on some of these things to approach. i want to use that as a segue
into the question about venezuela. it is in a humanitarian crisis going -- growing by the day. a new government in colombia. elections in brazil in october. are closing. in south america, latin america, and the caribbean. what is the endgame? you said it is not sustainable to just offer humanitarian relief. i agree. thathere other things broadly speaking the international community can be doing to assist a quite desperate situation in our own neighborhood in the americas? mike: in some ways, you have the the answers. it is the international community that must and as well. this is not a colombia problem or a u.s. problem. it is all of us coming together and taking a stand. it is vitally important.
there are a couple of pieces. the obvious need for a humanitarian response to an ongoing catastrophe that we all see. we are doing that. that we in the u.s. fully appreciate the magnitude of these flows, the numbers involved and how as these venezuelans are truly desperate and are moving throughout the region. what this will mean for institutions and economies to the region. the strains that it will inevitably create. i spoke -- i heard from some of acom nations when i went down to speak at the summit and they said they are feeling the impact of the flows and the impact on their economies. we take -- we need to take a clear international approach to this. that is a most important thing. and to be clear as to what is
driving this. one of my great fears to be very honest is the stories we hear coming out of venezuela suggest an economy and a set of institutions that are degrading , one day so deeply ,hen madero goes and he will go eventually. the question is the timing. to rebuild will take this once proud country, this once vibrant economy that drove so much in the way of opportunity i think is going to be an and or miss undertaking. went to thehen i border crossing where the bridge is coming it was illuminating. i spent a lot of time very impressed with the work the colombians are doing. the logistical challenges with
people coming with wide-ranging needs are really something. with a flood of people come in, still come in the middle of the bridge there is a banner that says "welcome." and these are huge numbers. i anticipated the flood of venezuelans coming towards us. what i did not anticipate was the flood going the other way. what was interesting was talking to a number of sources, that day, -- still net 5000 per but there is a lot of two-way traffic which suggests to me that the system has so broken down in venezuela that you have people literally coming for a square meal or two square meals. --y young venezuelan mothers i met a young venezuela mother, i met her at the catholic relief center, and she said she had walked hours to get there with her kids. she was volunteering at the food
center so she could get a couple of squares herself. and at night, she would wander the streets selling those condiment cups of coffee to get a few points to try to pay for any shelter assistance. being driven to desperation. it is something we all need to pay attention to. crises that of the i see and face with displaced communities, they tend to be in the past. the question is -- what do we do about displacement? this is real time. every day there is a new tragedy. more people are coming over. deserves our attention because with no end in sight, the consequences will be lasting and will affect the entire atmosphere. -- hemisphere. host: we will have the opportunity to go to you for a round of questions.
but let me ask the question that is probably on the mind of many people. we hear a lot about chinese investment in the americas. the chinese model is quite different than the u.s. model. there is is government led. ours is private sector led. people suggest -- well the u.s. is not competing for latin america. give butit is ours to china is coming and away that we are not. my question would be from your perspective, looking at this from a global perspective, what is the u.s. private sector missing in the context of latin america? for our wii. missing anything and this is just an inevitable or are we not missing anything and this is just an inevitable shift? advice would or
you give to a private sector audience looking at the region in a new way? mike: first, it is incumbent upon us to talk about this from a development perspective because of what the long-term consequences are of the china model. diplomacy they drive. i am sure you have seen the recent story -- sri lanka, pakistan, and elsewhere. i think the consequences of the easy money that china and ,thers, but china is the top the long-term consequences in terms of the in some cases crushing debt but also the lines on extractive's. and the strategic -- on extractives. chinae strategic benefits
is getting. these resources in the americas are the birthright of their citizens. and that birthright is at risk. because of the easy money that china offers. have what we refer to at usaid as a clear choice initiative. we think it is part of our role to talk about the differences in what the two models offer. our model we refer to as a "journey to self-reliance." and it is not easy. there are forms that are required to go on the journey of self and they are not easy. they require you to take on corruption. they require you to take on the enabling environment. and to operate in transparency. and to build your regulatory capacity. it is hard work.
but if you are willing to go on that journey, we will stand with you because it is in your interests and our interests in terms of what we believe in. journey,e end of the you will have self-reliance and eventually prosperity. that is the model we believe in. and all of the signs are that the chinese, no surprise given what it is built around, it leads in a different direction. can lead tolomacy this rendering of the birthright of the natural resources but it really does condemn people, chain people to a wall -- to a long-term future that is tied to governmentent, big that does not much like transparency or democracy or diversity of opinion and debate. and so those are the choices. every country must choose for itself of course. important fort is
people to understand because of the consequences, they affect all of us. host: in some ways, venezuela is the logical end game of precisely what you're talking about. mike: look at the countries that are rising, colombia, peru, mexico and brazil. they have challenges to be sure. but there are opportunities. vibrant opportunity. and then you look at countries that are at a crossroads. some of the countries in the northern triangle have to make questions about tackling corruption and providing for transparency. and then, you see countries like cuba and venezuela. again, on the wrong side of history. in the case of venezuela, destroying what was a great economy and the driver of so much hope.
moment, a it is a key crossroads moment for the hemisphere. that is a great point to open up the questions to all of you. we have microphones and cameras. lee's wait for the microphone. we will start back there with one. >> how low. teresa welsch. last week nicaragua was president claimed usaid for the protests on the ground and the violence in his country. i'm wondering your response and if you see tensions becoming so high that he will have to raise the country. host: nothing like starting off with an easy question. over here. at first as a former prisoner in exile here, i want to thank
you for everything you are doing. venezuelanh the number theory and what do you see for the disparate -- the diaspora community here? host: very interesting question. could you please pass the microphone. , a journalisthal recently in nicaragua. with aently met nicaraguan opposition leader who was filmed at the nicaraguan university in april alongside armed men including a member of an armed again. given that the nicaraguan opposition has killed around 60 people, many for the sandinistas and over 20 police officers, i wondered if you had anything to say about the violence of the nicaraguan opposition.
couple of different opinions on nicaragua. and we have the venezuelan dias pora. mike: first off, and it applies to both the first and last question, when countries are failing, and governments are desperate, they do their best to ,queeze out freedom, democracy and diversity of opinion and they blame everybody else. they blame everybody else for their own shortcomings. and that i think is what we are seeing played out in nicaragua. thatailings that are there are self-evident -- the killings , the violence, again, i just catholic priests from nicaragua who talked about the efforts to intimidate them, to scare them, to get them to back down.
it is heartrending. morenk as more and whoeration grows from those are being imposed upon by the regime, and also quite frankly, the more that the regime sees it is isolated and lacking support, sure, they will start blaming others. with respect to the venezuelan we atra, i don't think usaid do as good a job as we need to do partnering with the diaspora communities. in the countries where we seek to partner and help self-reliance to grow, it is not about us. it is about empowering citizens to lead their future. venezuela's diaspora must be part of a brighter future for venezuela.
again, this is a country with vibrantl people, with entrepreneurial citizens looking for a chance. absolutely, we look forward to finding ways to partner with diaspora now and in the future. makinghat point you are is a powerful source of potential support and income. and not just for venezuela but also haiti and elsewhere. mike: and shame on us. i think we here in washington, maybe that is part of the problem, that we tap into the strength of the diaspora community enough. these are people that have tremendous interest in the future of their country. they had the experience. it is something that we quite frankly need to do a better job of. host: let us try to get two
remaining questions in. us go to the ambassador of ecuador. go ahead. >> good morning. you for your thank very interesting remarks. somebodyased to hear talking very frankly about what we need in latin america. even though you concentrated in some countries and not in all. that is one of my concerns because you did not mention my country. not in the way i think it year andnow since one a half, many things have changed. from a veryansition
different government to a very open one. we are rebuilding our relations with the united states. i am a done a lot and brand-new ambassador you might say. i am only six months here. to put ind like ecuador that is being rebuilt and what the usaid can do. mentionsany of your regarding migration for example from venezuela, you talked 5000 go to colombia. those 5000, 1000 come
to ecuador. 200,000ave now nearly venezuelans in ecuador. affected by what is happening in venezuela. after some comments comments on what you said which was very interesting and frank and we need to be like that. but, what can you do for ecuador transitions after 10 years of a very different government? thank you. host: thank you, mr. ambassador. congratulations, mr.
administrator. i am a retired foreign service officer and investor in the region. for quickly, thank you referring to the hemisphere as a community and a neighborhood. there are too many u.s. government officials over the years who like to throw around the term "backyard" which to my mind is demeaning to the americas. -- you put your , corruption,th transparency, and accountability. a guatemalan friend yesterday told me that the biggest problem in guatemala continues to be corruption. they are working on it but in one area in particular is public procurement. it is riddled with corruption. usaidstion jumps to what is doing with regard to the corruption issue across the board. plus, one other thing.
in there universities northern triangle, universities and south america, good --versities, are we missing are we doing enough to link american universities and the universities of the region to join forces and can usaid be or play a catalytic role? i know that some things are being done. a is note the diaspor being touched, are our own universities being given enough opportunity to get into the area? host: let us take those questions. and maybe give you a chance for a final comment. my sevenpologize for of omission with respect to ecuador because ecuador is a country whose relationship that with the u.s. we are very
hopeful about. i would love to have a further conversation with you. the workmportant in that we do at usaid -- i believe in the journey to self-reliance so it is looking at what you believe are the areas, the capacities that we can help to foster. would love to have those conversations and i am very much aware, again, i think the flow of migrants from venezuela really is a regional problem and requires all of us to stand together. universities,o one of my predecessors peter mcpherson would say not nearly enough -- regarding what we are doing with the universities. standing advisory council for usaid around food security is largely university driven. we have a number of programs but
i think we're just scratching the surface. that is what people want. people are looking for to wills, r tools and ideas. in terms of taking on corruption -- certainly in latin america, we are partnering closely with the attorneys general. that is key. one area of great promise when it comes to tackling corruption is the emergence of i.t. tools. young people in particular, my are able to doon things with smartphone technology that will hold people to account. creating remarkable opportunities for transparency that we have not fully harnessed. i think that is also a key part to what the future must be. but clearly, corruption, lack of
transparency, is one of the challenges that holds back countries from reaching their potential. host: mr. administrator, the themes you have talked about today are universal. not just latin america. i think you have really put out a very interesting agenda, comprehensive. different in some ways. creative. and. deeply informed. i want to thank you for talking to us about that. and thank you for your leadership. i hope you will come back to the council of america's to talk more and i hope we will have occasion to celebrate. gentlemen, please join me in thanking the administrator. [applause]
>> newsmakers this weekend, our guest is nasa administrator jim brightside. he talks about the trump administration's priorities for ace travel and the presidents over establishing a spaceport military branch. >> nasa has hundreds of billions of dollars of assets in orbit, loss our american assets in orbit. ended on he accessible. it is important for the science, discovery from exploration we do .
i have been a very strong order of the space corps that is similar to the space force. we voted on it in the house of representatives. i voted on it. it actually passed before house with 344 votes. at the end of the day. technology and assets that nasa builds, we want to commercialize stupid oldies. -- those capabilities. president has made a determination that it needs to be protected. said,true, as you have the air force does this. it is a national security mission. there have been arguments that say we don't want the space domain having to compete with
the air domain. we want a separate force that can focus completely on space, given how important it is to the american way of life and how it is more contested every day. ofyou can watch the rest that interview today at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. next, a look at self-driving vehicles and other innovations with the ceo of the tech development company weimo. this was part of the national governors association summer meeting in santa fe, new mexico. >> i am excited to kick off our meeting with the session dedicated to the theme of my chair's initiative. ahead of the curve innovation