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2010.04.23> For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Venezuela’s Ambassador to United States to Speak at Cumbre 2010

 

UPDATED INFORMATION -- Organizers of Cumbre 2010, the fourth annual Latino/Latin American Summit of the Great Plains, regret to announce that Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States, who had planned to attend the summit set in Omaha for Friday and Saturday, May 14-15, has had to cancel his visit due to a scheduling conflict. The ambassador will likely come to Omaha and visit the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) during the fall semester.

Omaha - Organizers of Cumbre 2010, the fourth annual Latino/Latin American Summit of the Great Plains, have announced that Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United States, will attend the two-day summit set for Friday and Saturday, May 14-15, at the Embassy Suites hotel in Omaha’s Old Market.

The ambassador will give a special address on Saturday titled “Development, migration and integration: a view from Venezuela." On Sunday, May 16, he will meet with the Venezuelan immigrant community and in a public forum with immigrant workers in South Omaha.

“Few people are aware that Venezuela was a major immigration country until very recently, but has now become a country of emigrants. The ‘promises of development’ have much to do with such exodus, a point the ambassador will surely address,” said Lourdes Gouveia, the director for the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). “While Florida and New York had been the traditional receiving states for Venezuelans, new gateway states such as North Carolina and Nebraska have become recent places of settlement for a small, but growing, number of Venezuelans.”

Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, a UNO political science professor and OLLAS assistant director, is looking forward to the ambassador’s address.

"This is a rare opportunity to gain a perspective on the global impact of migration and development in the world today,” Benjamin-Alvarado said. “While it is true that Nebraska is being impacted and influenced by these forces, these are global issues and the ambassador's address will give us insights that will help us to better understand the depth of these issues."

OLLAS is hosting Cumbre 2010, and the summit’s theme is “Human Mobility: The Promise of Development and Political Engagement.” The summit is co-organized with the International Network on Migration and Development (INMD) based out of Zacatecas, México, the Heartland Workers Centers of Omaha (HWC), and the National Association of Latin American and Caribbean Communities based out of Chicago.

Álvarez Herrera has been an ambassador to the United States since 2003. He has a degree in political science from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and a master’s degree in development studies from the University of Sussex. For many years he taught political science at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, which is an urban university that has a mission similar to UNO's.

Álvarez Herrera’s address is free and open to the public, like all of the other Cumbre sessions (with the exception of the luncheon keynote presentations.) Everyone is required to register by Friday, May 7, and luncheon keynote tables or individual tickets must be purchased in advance as space is limited. Visit www.unomaha.edu/ollas or call (402) 554-3835 to register and learn more. The Cumbre specific Web site is www.unomaha.edu/ollas/cumbre.php. The Cumbre's program information is also online at www.unomaha.edu/ollas/program.php. To read about the keynote presenters, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/news/releases/2010/03/31_cumbre.php.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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