Americas Program moves to the Center for International Policy

Dear IRC Friends and Supporters,

After nearly three decades of working to "make the United States a more responsible global leader and partner," the International Relations Center (IRC) has shut its doors.

We are a little sad to see such a long run come to a close, but we are proud of all that we’ve accomplished over the years. Twenty-six books and countless articles attest to the constancy of our efforts to inform, interpret, and influence U.S. foreign policy by putting high-quality materials in the hands of the citizen groups who seek to make democracy a reality.

The good news is that the IRC’s core work through the Americas Program and the Global Good Neighbor Initiative will live on, now as programs of the Center for International Policy (CIP) in Washington, DC. Laura Carlsen and Katie Kohlstedt, in Mexico City, and Tom Barry in Silver City, New Mexico—along with our network of contributors across the hemisphere—will carry on the work on our webpage and in other forums.

Joining CIP gives us a stronger Washington presence at a time when policymakers are searching for alternatives to the U.S. government’s discredited policies in Latin America and elsewhere. It also enables us to streamline administrative functions and combine our experience and capacity with that of one of Washington’s oldest and most esteemed progressive policy think tanks.

The other programs the IRC created—Right Web and Foreign Policy In Focus—will also continue to grow and thrive. FPIF is now housed under the roof of its former co-sponsor, the Institute for Policy Studies.

The Americas Program provides timely political analysis, North-South dialogues, and in-depth reports on important issues throughout the hemisphere, in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Americas Boletín and Americas Updater will continue in their bi-monthly format; new articles will be posted on our same websites: or for Spanish and Portuguese.

Today more than ever, the U.S. public, policymakers, and our global neighbors are ready for what the Americas Program describes as "a new world of citizen action, analysis, and policy alternatives."

We rely on the financial support and encouragement of friends throughout the world. We hope that in this new phase, as our work gains influence and U.S. foreign policy cries out for new directions, we can continue to count on your support.

As we make this transition, please help us out by making a contribution, renewing your contribution, or increasing your level of support. You can make out a check to the "Center for International Policy" mailed to: PO Box 2178, Silver City, NM 88062-2178, or donate online at CIP.

Thanks for standing by us through these changes and most importantly for maintaining your commitment to a U.S. foreign policy dedicated to peace, mutual respect, and social justice.

Tom Barry, Laura Carlsen and Katie Kohlstedt


Senate Bill a Step Backwards for Immigrant Rights
By Oscar A. Chacón

The Senate recently shelved discussion on a comprehensive immigration reform bill. This article, takes a look at why the proposal debated, entitled "Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007," fell far short of what the country needs, or what immigrant communities deserve.

Oscar A. Chacón is Executive Director of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), a network of more than 75 community-based organizations led by Latin American and Caribbean immigrants who are working to improve quality of life in their communities, both in the United States and in countries of origin. He is an immigration analyst for the Americas Program at

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World Bank Gets Another U.S. Crusader
By Tom Barry

President Bush’s decision to appoint Robert Zoellick as the new World Bank president continued his pattern of promoting his loyalists to positions of power. Instead of selecting someone with a demonstrated commitment to alleviating global poverty or relinquishing the U.S. government’s traditional right to appoint World Bank presidents, Bush stayed the course.

Tom Barry is a senior analyst with the Americas Program ( at the Center for International Policy ( in Washington, DC.

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RCTV in Venezuela: The Power of the Media and Freedom of Expression
By Luis Hernández Navarro

Mistaking the specific interests of a powerful media elite for freedom of expression and the right to information is a trap. Information is a public good, not a commodity. The owners of the television channels and radio stations are not the standard bearers of freedom of expression—they’re just the owners of the media.

Luis Hernández Navarro is Opinion Editor of the Mexico daily La Jornada, where this article was originally published. He is a regular contributor to the Americas Program, online at

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Bank of the South: Toward Financial Autonomy
By Raúl Zibechi

It will be, above all, a different kind of bank: its members shouldn’t see it as a way of advancing their personal careers, its funds should not be destined to accumulate maximum earnings but dedicated to fulfilling the needs of the peoples and those who have historically been excluded.

Raúl Zibechi is a member of the Editorial Council of the weekly Brecha in Montevideo, Uruguay, a teacher and researcher focused on social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina, and adviser to social groups. He is a monthly collaborator of the Americas Program (

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