Congressman Francis Rooney Speaks at 2017 Latin American Summit

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Congressman Francis Rooney Speaks at 2017 Latin American Summit, October 2, 2017 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

Congressman Francis Rooney Speaks at 2017 Latin American Summit


Miami, FL – Congressman Francis Rooney addressed attendees at the 2017 Latin American Summit, hosted by Governor Rick Scott. The Congressman took part in a panel discussion on the historic, current, and trending state of foreign policy in Latin America. In addition to Congressman Rooney, panelists included Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Carlos Curbelo.

Congressman Rooney stated. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to share my thoughts and expertise on promoting human rights, democracy, and free and fair elections in Latin America. As a former Ambassador and current member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I know well the challenges and opportunities facing us as we cultivate relationships in this part of the world.”

Latin America is of great strategic importance to the United States, and is unfortunately too often overlooked by our foreign policy decision-makers. Dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela threaten stability in the region through egregious human rights violations, fostering drug trafficking, and by undermining the rule of law. Further, members of the Maduro regime in Venezuela have ties to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah

The United States needs a greater focus on the region. Promoting human rights, democracy, and the rule of law would strengthen our ties to Latin America, and counter the growing influence of Russia, Iran and China in the Western Hemisphere.”

The purpose of the Summit was to discuss the critical relationship between Florida and Latin America. Topics included in the event were; the importance of democracy and human rights, Florida’s growing trade industry in Latin America, the importance of international business, and an examination of U.S. international policy.

Prior to serving in Congress, Rooney served as United States Ambassador to the Holy See from 2005 to 2008 in President George W. Bush’s Administration, and as a member of the Advisory Commission on the Panama Canal from 2002 to 2005 and 2008 to 2016.

During his time at the Vatican, Ambassador Rooney represented United States interests in working with the Holy See, which uses moral persuasion and "soft power" diplomacy to combat crises including Islamic-inspired terrorism, human trafficking and medical epidemics. As a member of the 115th Congress, Ambassador Rooney serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Prior to serving in Congress, Ambassador Rooney wrote extensively on foreign affairs. Ambassador Rooney has written op-eds on the United States relationship with the Holy See, Latin American politics, the crisis in Venezuela, and fighting Islamic terrorism. He also co- chaired a study of Latin America published by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress entitled “Trends in Latin America & Presidential Leadership.”

As a member of congress, Ambassador Rooney has written about issues relevant to his committee assignments, including Venezuela, United States-Cuba relations, American policy towards Russia, the importance of religious freedom and about fighting Islamic-inspired terrorism.

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