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Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs


Our Mission

Everyone working in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs is dedicated to helping keep Americans safe and increasing our economic prosperity. We do that through partnerships with the governments and people of the Americas. Our engagement advances fair and reciprocal trade, sustainable economic development, and poverty reduction; combats drug trafficking, transnational crime, and illegal immigration; and supports democracy, the rule of law, and good governance to strengthen our national security and our economy. We do this because we know that a hemisphere whose countries and citizens are secure and prosperous will in turn help keep Americans safe, create markets for U.S. products, and support opportunities for U.S. businesses.

The Latest

Key Topics

Protecting U.S. Citizens at Home and Abroad

We rely on strong partnerships with governments, civil society, and the private sector throughout the Americas to fight transnational criminal organizations. When we disrupt illicit networks and cut off trafficking routes that lead to the United States, we keep Americans safe at home. By providing governments training and technical assistance to deny transnational criminal organizations, gangs, and terrorists the permissive environment they need to operate, we help protect our own borders and keep Americans safe and secure while abroad. In addition, we work with partners to counter threats posed by external state and non-state actors.

Learn more about our work to protect U.S. citizens Protecting U.S. Citizens at Home and Abroad

Fostering Inclusive Economic Growth

We advance the U.S. government’s fair and reciprocal trade agenda and foster growth by seeking to level the playing field and ensure access to foreign markets for U.S. firms. We promote transparent, fair business practices and good governance to eliminate corruption. Education, English-language access, and people-to-people exchanges are at the core of our economic-related public diplomacy engagement in the Americas, because educated workers invest in their local communities, stimulate economic growth, and foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Countries with strong economies and educated citizens provide opportunities for U.S. businesses, which create more jobs for American workers.

Learn more about our work to grow the U.S. economy Fostering Inclusive Economic Growth

Defending Freedom

Working through regional forums like the Organization of American States and alongside leaders throughout the hemisphere, we defend freedom and democracy and seek to end impunity. We champion the Inter-American Democratic Charter and support the democratic aspirations of people oppressed by the authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

Learn more about our work defending freedom in the region Defending Freedom

The Caribbean

The United States maintains diplomatic relations with nations across the Caribbean. Building on the successful U.S.-Caribbean 2020 Engagement Strategy, the United States continues to work with our Caribbean neighbors through the pillars of prosperity, health, resilience, security, energy, diplomacy and education.

Learn More The Caribbean

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future