Florida International University has dominated headlines for its legal and medical programs. Now the Miami-Dade-based university is utilizing the newly impressive Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom and hosted the World Strategic Forum.
FIU made national headlines when an impressive set of new Senior Fellows at the Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom were announced. The staggering list included United States ambassadors as well as former Presidents of South American nations.
Recently, FIU made a statement when they jumped to being named in the top 75 universities in the United States. Now it seems that the country and the world are paying attention to the once-small institution, and is now following up on that reputation with their agenda this past week.
Four former Latin American presidents sat down for an FIU panel, discussing the foreign policy challenges for the region in South America. Iván Duque (Colombia), Jorge Quiroga (Bolivia), Juan Guaidó (interim, Venezuela) and Jamil Mahuad (Ecuador), who all participated in the World Strategic Forum in 2023, discussed the issues.
Jorge Quiroga spoke critically against the United States and Europe, saying "From the perspective from South America, unfortunately, the United States and Europe , economically powerful powers with which we share economic values and democratic principles, are not open to business." Quiroga blamed Congress for stifling progress from happening on free trade.
Later in the forum, the co-president of the World Strategic Forum said something of concern when it came to Chinese involvement with South America, as compared to the United States' "absent" nature in the region. "And everyone answers the same: 'Of course. But either we go with China, which provides billions of dollars that we really need, or nothing. The United States is absent."
The most interesting event however was the awarding of Mario Vargas Llosa with the FIU Lifetime Achievement Award. Carlos Diaz-Rosillo introduced the Nobel Prize winner with a summary of his personal life and professional accomplishments.
“The Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom finds it a true honor, a privilege, and a luxury to join the long list of prestigious institutions that have deservedly awarded maestro Mario Vargas Llosa,” said Díaz-Rosillo, “not only for his brilliant literary career that we all know, but also for his invaluable and essential contributions to public life, journalism, politics and the fight for democracy and freedom."