After a decade of strong growth, the region faces a troubling combination of decelerating economies and rising social expectations. With seven out of 19 Latin American countries holding presidential elections in 2014, this year is monumental for shaping the course of Latin America’s political future. The results of these seven electoral processes confirm both their inherent importance for national situations and the political tendencies prevailing in this region: change (Costa Rica and Panama), continuity (Colombia, El Salvador and Bolivia) and uncertainty and volatility (Brazil and Uruguay). The governments elected during the present electoral cycle will have to meet the expectations and demands of citizens with fewer resources. Ambassador Valdés will talk about how these governments will respond and what the implications are for social, economic, trade and foreign policies in Latin America.