Tired of all politics courses at GW being taught from the American perspective, one Venezuelan professor took it upon himself to create a course about Latin American politics from an entirely different viewpoint.
This spring, professor Robert Carmona-Borjas, a political refugee and Latin American political analyst, will offer students a chance to study Latin American politics through his cultural perspective. This unique approach has excited many Latin American students, even inspiring a Facebook group for the course with more than 60 members. Political Management in Latin America, which will be taught in the Graduate School of Political Management, will include 30 percent Georgetown students.
“My inspiration comes from the fact that I want to teach a class that will show how Latin Americans view how the world works,” Borjas wrote in an e-mail.
The class, which meets Tuesdays from 7:10 p.m. to 9:40 p.m., already boasts an impressive list of speakers, including Colombian President Alvaro Uribe; U.S. ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich; Leopoldo Lopez, a Venezuelan politician; Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutiérrez and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has also been invited.
“When professor Carmona-Borjas told me about the class, I was extremely extremely interested in helping him bring in people,” said junior Juan Arreaza.
Arreaza met Carmona-Borjas his freshman year when he worked as an assistant to the professor. He started the class’s Facebook group and has been encouraging his social network to sign up for the course.
Though the class is capped at 40, the Facebook group urges interested students to contact Carmona-Borjas directly. Carmona-Borjas plans to sign in those who want to take the course but are unable to register.
The class will analyze Latin American governments that have failed social policies, which have lead to anti-system political movements.
“This class was to expose what governments pre-Chavez did, with policies that weren’t covering all the citizens, that were alienating groups of people, creating a vacuum in society,” Arreaza said.
The class is aimed at any student interested in the topic, though many students in the Facebook group are from Latin America.
“The class is for everyone, because all political processes in the world are connected somehow,” Carmona-Borjas.
He said, “Many Latin American countries have forged ties with re-emerging powers and countries in pursuit of nuclear capability, ties that can endanger the interests of the United States in the region.”