Heine on Diplomatic Gaps in Latin America

Amb. Jorge Heine

On November 5, 2023, Ambassador Jorge Heine, Research Professor at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Interim Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, shared his insights in a Miami Herald article addressing the absence of confirmed U.S. ambassadors in Latin American countries.

This situation is shedding light on the current state of U.S. diplomacy in the region. Heine highlighted that the lack of U.S. ambassadors in key Latin American nations, such as Guatemala, Haiti, Colombia, and Peru, creates a significant diplomatic challenge. This void can convey a sense of U.S. neglect in the region, making it difficult for local political leaders to capture Washington’s attention.

The article, available here, also points out that both the administration and the Senate share responsibility for these vacancies, with political disputes and delays in confirming nominees contributing to the problem. The absence of ambassadors can hinder the effective promotion of core U.S. interests in these countries and affect bilateral relations. As the region faces numerous challenges, the importance of filling these ambassadorial positions with qualified individuals is emphasized.

Ambassador Jorge Heine is a Research Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He has served as ambassador of Chile to China (2014-2017), to India (2003-2007), and to South Africa (1994-1999), and as a Cabinet Minister in the Chilean Government. Read more about Ambassador Heine on his Pardee School faculty profile.