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Conference "Election Year in Latin America"

IPDAL organized a conference with the European University to reflect on the context and implications of the presidential elections taking place in the region in 2018.

The “Electoral Year in Latin America” seminar allowed various students and institutional guests, such as the Director of the Organization of Ibero-American States in Portugal, the Director of the European Parliament Office in Lisbon and Latin American diplomats, to participate in an enriching debate and in great depth about the context and possible meanings of the presidential elections taking place in Latin America from the end of 2017 to the end of 2019. 15 of the 19 countries in the region will choose their respective presidents, raising the question of coincidence – or not – of the change of economic cycle with a change of political cycle.

On April 12th, the guest speakers were Professor Octavio Amorim Neto, a specialist in Brazilian politics, Professor Nancy Gomes, PhD in Ibero-American affairs, and a representative of the Cuban Embassy, Javier Levy Hernández.

Within the scope of the conference, the circumstances of the political scenario in Brazil were explained after not only the impeachment of Dilma Roussef but above all the arrest of former president Lula da Silva. There was also talk about the polarization of society in the face of the elections and the way in which the Brazilian economy has behaved in the face of this crisis.

The general context of the Latin American sub-continent was also discussed, where it was highlighted that the reduction of poverty, which allowed the emergence of a new, still fragile, middle class, will continue to mark the political agenda of the various countries, as will integration of Latin America in globalization. It was also explained how the elections in Cuba are different from all others in Latin America, and a message of continuity of the processes started with Raúl Castro was asserted.

The initiative took place within the scope of the International Week of the European University and was also marked by the signing of a protocol of understanding between IPDAL and the European University , where the President of the Institute, Paulo Neves, and the Rector of the University, Pedro Barbas Homem, were present.