2011 will forever be remembered as the year revolution went viral. The world watched as citizens across the Middle East unseated dictators that had ruled for decades—grabbing the brass ring of freedom and opportunity so long denied them. For the people of Chile, it was a familiar story. In his book, The Southern Tiger: Chile’s Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos provides a first-hand and timely account of Chile’s own transformation from dictatorship to one of Latin America’s most stable nations and leading economies—an experience that holds key lessons for the rest of the region as it strives towards modernity.
On January 23, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings hosted the launch of The Southern Tiger: Chile’s Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future featuring President Ricardo Lagos. He was joined by Brookings Distinguished Senior Fellow Thomas Pickering, former U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs and ambassador to the United Nations, and Arturo Valenzuela, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, who provided an assessment of Chile in the wider context of Latin American politics. Senior Fellow Kevin Casas-Zamora, interim director of the Latin America Initiative, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.