Who we are
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit independent research and information organization, based in Washington DC. It was established in 1975 by former director Larry Birns to promote the common interests of the hemisphere, raise the visibility of regional affairs, and increase the importance of constructive inter-American relationships.
COHA encourages the formulation of rational and constructive U.S. policies toward Latin America. COHA seeks to be a progressive voice against US illegal interventionism in the hemisphere. The organization defends human rights throughout the region (whoever the perpetrators), and seeks to be a reliable source of information and analysis in media, policy and academic circles.
COHA offers expert analysis of current affairs across the hemisphere, providing policy recommendations and engaging in ongoing debates surrounding a wide range of issues such as poverty reduction, economic policy, environmental protection, and social inequality.
COHA pursues social justice and the development of fair societies for the common-good and the well being of all human beings throughout the hemisphere, based on progressive values.
COHA is committed to exposing corruption, corporate greed, violence against innocent citizens and exposing military terror and political plunder, among other crucial topics.
COHA’s philosophy is to stand in solidarity with those in the hemisphere seeking to end poverty, enrich democracy, promote social equality, and protect our shared environment.
COHA subscribes to no specific political credo nor does it maintain partisan allegiances. It nevertheless subscribes to the general ethical principles of defending human life and the biosphere and advocating for democratic institutions.
COHA stands in solidarity with community-based efforts throughout the region to actualize the richest expression of democracy—one that is fully inclusionary, direct, participatory, and transparent.
COHA stands against all unilateral and illegal international economic and political sanctions implemented by the U.S., as these are in violation of international law, are against constant mandates by United Nations, and cause harm to the lives of millions of families in the Hemisphere and beyond.
COHA does not subscribe to the ideology of U.S. exceptionalism because it pretends to define the U.S. democracy and market system as a model for the world. The U.S. political, electoral and socio-economic system needs deep reforms in order to address serious social and economic inequalities, racial and gender discrimination, and the political capture of government by narrow corporate interests.
COHA supports the full expression of human identities in sexual orientation, expression, and gender. COHA is feminist and is fully committed to working to advance the recognition of the equal rights of all people.
COHA opposes free trade agreements that harm the peoples of the continent, and it is critical of neoliberal agendas that create permanent economic struggles and impoverished millions of families.
COHA opposes the irrational, ineffective, corrupt, and wasteful U.S.-led war on illegal drugs.
COHA supports U.S. immigration reform, believing in the rights of people everywhere to access places where they can work and provide for their families.
COHA believes in the progress and development of new ideas generated at the grassroots level in Latin America.
COHA stands shoulder to shoulder with those struggling to overcome extreme social and economic inequality, and not with those who seek to fortify oligarchic, patriarchal, and trans-national corporate interests.
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