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Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

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The Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs is headed by Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, who is responsible for managing and promoting U.S. interests in the region by supporting democracy, trade, and sustainable economic development, and fostering cooperation on issues such as citizen safety, strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, economic and social inclusion, energy, and climate change. More about WHA»

Regional map of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Citizen Safety
Date: 10/27/2010 Description: Policeman and policewoman in Mexico City. - State Dept Image
Social Equity
Date: 10/27/2010 Description: Garifuna women holding award for entrepreneurship in Honduras - State Dept Image
Economic Opportunity
Date: 10/27/2010 Description: Smiling woman working in textile factory. - State Dept Image
Clean Energy
Date: 10/27/2010 Description: Solar panels generating electricity. © Dept of Energy Image

Charting a New Course on Cuba

The United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. More»

Secretary Kerry in Havana, Cuba

Secretary Kerry (Aug. 14): "Thank you for joining us at this truly historic moment as we prepare to raise the United States flag here at our embassy in Havana, symbolizing the re-establishment of diplomatic relations after 54 years." Full Text» DipNote» Photos» Trip Page»

Remarks to Canadian Youth Ambassadors

Deputy Secretary Higginbottom (August 6): "We share a common border, history; we’ve got family ties that span the border.  But one of the most important things that really binds our countries together is our shared values: embracing diversity, civic engagement, freedom, democracy."  Full Text»

Press Availability With Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez

Secretary Kerry (July 20): "Today, with the opening of our embassies and the visit of the foreign minister, we are taking an historic and long overdue step in the right direction. To keep moving forward, both governments must proceed in a spirit of openness and mutual respect. I can assure the world, including the people of Cuba, that the United States will do its part." Full Text»

Secretary Kerry on Cuba

Secretary Kerry (July 1): "Later this summer, as the President announced, I will travel to Cuba to personally take part in the formal reopening of our United States Embassy in Havana. This will mark the resumption of embassy operations after a period of 54 years." Full Text»

U.S. Partnership with Brazil

Deputy Secretary Blinken (June 30): "Our partnership is strengthened by the range of regional and global priorities that we share – from advancing human rights to protecting the environment to promoting peace and security." 
Full Text»

Remarks at the General Assembly of the Organization of American States

Deputy Secretary Blinken (June 15): "We can all take enormous pride in the example that the Americas have set for the entire world. In this young century, the hemisphere has seen significant – even transformational – change from exclusive to inclusive societies, from authoritarian to democratic governments, from closed to open economies." Full Text»

Press Availability Following 4th Round of U.S.-Cuba Talks

Assistant Secretary Jacobson (May 22): "These are the first steps in the long process of normalization that will allow us to better represent U.S. interests and increase engagement with the Cuban people."  Full Text»

45th Annual Washington Conference of the Council of the Americas

Secretary Kerry (Apr. 21): "Governments in the region have embarked on innovative programs to reduce inequality and to spur sustained growth. Women don’t just participate in government; increasingly, they head governments. The Latin America and Caribbean of today is far different than it was a quarter of a century ago. Full Text»

Secretary Kerry at the Summit of the Americas

Secretary Kerry (Apr. 10): "The seventh Summit of the Americas may be just a single conference, but it reflects an energy and a determination and a set of hopes and aspirations that connects the present to the future in a way that could not be more uplifting or real. " Full Text» Summit Page»

Press Availability With Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

Assistant Secretary Jacobson (Feb. 27): "Without ignoring challenges that remain, we are committed to the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, which will allow us to more effectively represent U.S. interests and increase engagement with the Cuban people. Today’s discussion was an important step in that direction. " Full Text» 

U.S. Partnership with Costa Rica

Secretary Kerry (Feb. 20): "I can remember personally visiting Costa Rica in the earliest days when I was in the United States Senate – one of the first places I went. And then they were working hard to help lead the region out of the difficulties of war, and now they’re working hard on a continued basis to lift the region up economically, to try to help us deal with climate change, and they’ve become good partners in our agriculture initiative with respect to climate." Full Text» 

U.S. Partnership with Canada and Mexico

Secretary Kerry (Jan. 31): "The fact is that if any of us want to compete in the global marketplace today, we have to make it easier for trade and investment to take place across our borders. Exports to our NAFTA partners support nearly 3 million American jobs. To create more, we need to do more." Full Text» 

Remarks on Climate Change at COP-20

Secretary Kerry (Dec 11): "Now for Peru, climate change is personal. It will determine whether future generations will know Peru as we know it today, as we have known it, or whether today’s treasures are confined to history." Full Text» More»   

U.S. Engagement in the Western Hemisphere

Secretary Kerry (Dec. 10): "In country after country, the people of this hemisphere have established democracies that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms of their citizens. And today, you can safely say the torch has been passed to a new generation of leaders." Full Text»

U.S.-Canada Partnership

Secretary Kerry (Oct. 28): "Our two countries are NATO allies. We are leaders together in the fight against Ebola. We have stood shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East, and we are both champions in supporting internationally recognized human rights, and we are partners particularly in standing up for a sovereign Ukraine." Full Text»


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