February 12, 2010 — The evolution of democracy in Panama since the removal of military dictator Manuel Noriega will be the topic Wednesday when Panama's ambassador to the United States, Jaime Aleman, arrives on Grounds to continue the University of Virginia's Ambassador's Speaker's Forum.
Aleman, a guest of Vice Provost for International Programs Gowher Rizvi, will speak to students, faculty, staff and the public at 4 p.m. in room 107 of Clark Hall, in a free appearance.
Noriega was military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989, when the United States invaded, removed him from power and eventually imprisoned him. Since Noriega's removal, Panama has conducted free and fair elections, implemented social programs, economic reforms and steadily improved its infrastructure whilst helping to administer the Panama Canal.
The University's 2009-10 Ambassador's Speaker's Forum began in September with Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haq. Since then ambassadors from India, Denmark and Poland have spoken on Grounds.
The Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs also will host a teach-in Thursday on "U.S. Policy and the Islamic World: Engagement or Confrontation."
This event is also free and open to the public. Panelists include U.Va's Human Rights Program director in the School of Law, Deena Hurwitz; the Edward R. Stettinius Jr. Professor of Government & Foreign Affairs, William Quandt; and Zohra Rasekh, founder of Global Watch Group and an independent expert for the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Committee. The discussion takes place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in room 120 of Rouss Hall.