Watch Live: Assistant Secretary Valenzuela's Digital Town Hall

Posted by Suzanne Hall
November 2, 2010
Replay: Assistant Secretary Valenzuela's Digital Town Hall

About the Author: Suzanne Hall serves as New Media Advisor for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

The countdown has begun for our digital town hall with Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela tomorrow, Wednesday, November 3! Assistant Secretary Valenzuela will address a crowd of about 150 students from around the Washington, D.C. area from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT tomorrow at George Washington University. He'll engage with the group on U.S. foreign policy in the Americas, and how it affects the upcoming generation of youth leaders. Engaging the youth of the Americas is vital to our diplomatic efforts. The numbers speak for themselves: 37 percent of the people living in Latin America and the Caribbean are younger than 20. We are excited to hear their ideas tomorrow on how we can build constructive partnerships in the region.

Our intent through this program is to break down barriers. While the auditorium at GWU only seats 150, audiences from around the hemisphere will participate live in the event via Spanish, Portuguese, and English-language livestreams. You can watch the English-language livestream here on DipNote. We encourage you to tune in as well, and send us your questions and comments.

Dr. Valenzuela will discuss the United States' dynamic engagement in the Americas, and focus on our four overarching priorities critical to people in every society, especially youth: promoting social and economic opportunity for everyone; securing a clean energy future; ensuring the safety and security of all of our citizens; and building effective institutions of democratic governance.

We look forward to your joining us tomorrow for this opportunity to explore your interest in U.S. involvement in the Western Hemisphere.

To join in English, click here. To join in Spanish, click here. To join in Portuguese, click here.

Send us your questions via @WHAAsstSecty and Facebook .



Charles J.
California, USA
November 3, 2010

Charles G. in California writes:

Hay I know you love the frist Nation so munch? You love are BoyScouts,Sleeping bags,are boats. But now they found we had airplans befor the wirgt brothers but you see as in all Nations there was some backsliding,and we all be came a malti tribale Nation. So the whole land is Holey and it is the garden of what we made into when the Pilgrums came over. So to those who have the sprit of the garden we can if we are left to do are job to make new Biosphere's in where we live.

Sarah G.
November 3, 2010

Hi Suzanne,

I greatly appreciate your efforts to truly reach out and connect with students across the Western Hemisphere. As you highlighted in the blog posting, the youth segment is a growing portion of the population that deserves attention. Your town hall is an excellent way to interact with tomorrow's future.

Thanks Suzanne!
Sarah G.

Sadia U.
November 3, 2010

Sadia U. in Canada writes:

The US faces competition as Latin America has once again opted for the "diversification of dependency." How does the US see itself competing against the European Union & APEC with respect to economic policy?

Ali A.
November 3, 2010

Ali A. in Canada writes:

The health of the US economy depends heavily on foreign markets. The Latin American economic policy has been relying on interregional blocs? Does the US plan to adopt a similar policy?

Beatriz A.
November 3, 2010

Beatriz A. in Mexico writes:

Portugal legalized drugs and they have found that drug consumption within the country declined. will legalizing drugs in Mexico end the drug war?

R. B.
November 4, 2010

DipNote Blogger Suzanne Hall replies:

@Beatriz A. - We do not believe legalization of drugs is the answer. The Obama Administration opposes drug legalization efforts in the United States and firmly believes that increased access to and availability of illegal drugs jeopardizes public health and safety.

New Mexico, USA
November 5, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Suzzanne Hall,

With all due respect Suzzanne, I invite you to take a look at everything I had to say on this issue to Donald in Virginia on another thread Posted on Tue Oct 26, and a follow-up Posted on Wed Oct 27, 2010;

Then read this article and ask yourself whether current Federal policy is in anyway defendable as such.

Personally Suzzanne I don't know how throwing a dying 70 year old cancer patient out on the street with winter coming on because he's self medicating his pain legally, doesn't in fact violate his constitutional rights to "life, liberty and the persuit of happiness", let alone allow him to die in dignity.

What justification of such a policy could you possibly give him when it obviously jepordizes his health and safety in the immediate aftermath of his eviction?

I'll be more than happy to have this discussion with you here and now, if you care to.

Best Regards,


" News/medical-marijuana-Cancer-patient-loses-housing-voucher-"


Robert Jones, a 70-year-old cancer patient who lives in Las Vegas, N.M., has been notified that he is no longer eligible to receive a federal housing subsidy because he uses medical marijuana.

Jones received a letter from the local housing administrator Oct. 12 telling him even though medical cannabis has been legalized by the state, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.


HUD Public Affairs spokeswoman Donna White added, "It is illegal to use drugs such as marijuana in public housing and with the Section 8 program. However, if you already have an occupant in a unit, the department does not require the housing authority to evict. That is left at the discretion of the housing authority."

R. B.
November 5, 2010

DipNote Blogger Suzanne Hall replies:

@Ali A. in Canada -- Yes, the U.S economy does rely heavily on our exports for growth, but we also strongly rely on our own internal consumption. I would disagree with your assertion that Latin American economic policy relies on interregional blocs. The majority of the free trade agreements being pursued by Latin America nations are outside the region – Canada, the EU and Asia. Even the traditionally insular bloc of MERCOSUR is discussing the possibility of negotiating with the EU and Canada. Finally, the U.S. believes in free trade. Our priority is a global agenda under the Doha Round and we also have negotiated bilateral free trade agreements with individual countries. We will continue to promote opportunities in the region as they become apparent.

R. B.
November 5, 2010

DipNote Blogger Suzanne Hall replies:

@Sadia U. in Canada --

The U.S. applauds the efforts of Latin American nations to diversify their trading partners. Efforts such as those by Mexico and Chile to broaden their trade relationships have been instrumental in helping the region successfully weather the global economic downturn and promote economic growth. Although the U.S. has lost some market share in the region in the last five years, exports from the U.S. to Latin America account for over 30 percent of total exports to the region – the largest single total for any economy. As the U.S. is a member of APEC, we can’t really be in competition with APEC.

The U.S. is constantly looking at ways to make our businesses and products more competitive in the global market. This past spring, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) that seeks to double U.S. exports in the next five years. Through the framework of the NEI, the U.S. is looking at new markets for U.S. industries and expertise as well as improving promotion efforts for U.S. products. In addition, our global economic policy stresses increasing economic growth and opportunity, particularly for those that do not normally benefit. Our goal is to help countries achieve sustained economic growth through responsible policies such as environmental protections. Their success is our success. This is a strong contrast to how some countries, such as China, are doing business in the region.


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