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Ambassador John F Maisto


June 8, 2011

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Former US Ambassador to Nicaragua, Venezuela, and OAS

Transitions to Democracy and US Policy - Never Easy


Continuing our focus on Central America we will hear from Ambassador John F. Maisto who led U.S. diplomacy at the OAS from 2003 thru 2006. He focused on strengthening democracy, human rights, anti-terrorism, counter narcotics, and election observation.  He led the successful effort to provide voter ID’s for each Haitian voter. Maisto served as Special Assistant  to President Bush and as Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Nat’l Security Council under Condoleezza Rice.   As Ambassador to Venezuela he led energy diplomacy with that country and established working relations with the then newly-elected Hugo Chavez. As Ambassador to Nicaragua, 1993-96, he directed $100 million in new U.S. aid to consolidate democracy, address education and health needs, and stimulate economic growth. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America, 1992-93, he supervised U.S. cooperation with two UN-mandated human rights commissions in El Salvador (resulting in hundreds of military dismissals), and directed the first-ever U.S. contact with Guatemalan rebels to advance stalled peace negotiations.  Ambassador Maisto is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portuguese and Italian.  He has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown and an MA in Latin American History from San Carlos University, Guatemala 


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