On April 12-13, the IDU, our global alliance of the centre-right, was excited to hold a highly successful two-day conference in Santiago, Chile. Our outstanding agenda included His Excellency Sebastian Piñera, President of the Republic of Chile as our honoured guest and conference dinner speaker, Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero, Minister of Women and Gender Equity Isabel Plá, President of the Argentinian Senate Frederico Pinedo, Chairman of the UK Conservative Party Brandon Lewis, as well as elected members and party executives from around the region and world.
The conference focused on the success of the conservative movement in Latin America, comparing its record with the suffering and deprivation Nicolás Maduro’s socialist dictatorship has unleashed in Venezuela. The IDU was particularly honoured and grateful to host Delsa Solórzano, a member of the National Assembly and chairperson of the Justice and Peace Commission in the National Assembly of Venezuela. Risking arrest to leave her country to attend the conference, Ms. Solórzano argued the free world has a responsibility to defend freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and a basic quality of life. Solórzano’s impassioned words resonated with our audience and underscored the need to the National Assembly of Venezuela (the only democratic institution the socialist dictatorship hasn’t destroyed) and the country’s legitimate interim president, Juan Guaidó.
Chile, by contrast, is a model of stability and growth, a shining example of what can be accomplished under democratic centre-right leadership. Our host country is not alone. A growing emphasis on free people and markets, the rule of law, and more accountable government is turning the tide in a number of South American countries. IDU members have much to learn from the region. Latin America will remain a focus of the IDU’s work. Together with our friends in IDU’s regional organization Uniónde Partidos Latinoamericanos, we will continue to strengthen and build centre-right partnerships throughout the region.