Posted by: Idioma Extra | October 26, 2010

Tuesday´s News

Top U.S. Latin diplomat planning to visit here Wednesday

The main U.S. diplomat for Latin America is coming to Costa Rica Wednesday. He is Arturo A. Valenzuela, who holds the office of assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs.

The State Department made the announcement Monday and said that Valenzuela also would visit Managua, Nicaragua, Thursday and Friday. In each country, he will meet with government officials and political, business, and civil society leaders to discuss bilateral and regional issues such as our cooperation to promote democratic governance, citizen safety, inclusive economic opportunity, energy security, and climate change, the department said.

There probably is no relation between the visit and the near confrontation this weekend between the Nicaraguan army and heavily armed Costa Rican tactical squad members over the weekend. The dispute involved dredging in the Río San Juan. However, the topic is certain to come up.

Valenzuela held a diplomatic post under former president Bill Clinton and he is known to be a strong proponent of democracy.

He holds the job that Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., held under the George Bush administration. Shannon was a frequent visitor to Costa Rica. He moved on to become the U.S. ambassador in Brazil.

Valenzuela is the son of Methodist missionaries, and he was born in Chile. He is multi-lingual. He was a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, the same school that President Laura Chinchilla attended.

The State Department said that for regular updates on this trip, those interested can follow Valenzuela’s Twitter feed @WHAAsstSecty.

Word of the day
Pronunciation: \ˈdi-plə-ˌmat\
Origin:  French diplomate, back-formation from diplomatique
First Known Use: 1813 employed or skilled in diplomacy

More Vocabulary
Affairs: n. plural: commercial, professional, public, or personal business
Bilateral: adj. affecting reciprocally two nations or parties
Confrontation: n. the clashing of forces or ideas
Dredge: v. to deepen (as a waterway) with a dredging machine
Governance: n. government
Proponent: n. one who argues in favor of something
Tactical: adj. of or relating to combat tactics

Love those Phrasal Verbs!
Come up: to be referred to; arise

  • The subject kept coming up in conversation.

Below are some common phrases used when speaking on the phone in English. To learn more, consider Idioma Internacional’s AFD 550 Telephoning and Business Communication Course!

Giving more information
I’m calling from Costa Rica/New York/Paris.
I’m calling on behalf of (Mr. Williams).

Taking a call and offering help
ABD Incorporated, (Cristina) speaking. How may I help you?


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