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Jimmy Carter Trip Reports Archive: 2001-2005

Oct. 18, 2005
Jimmy Carter's Trip Report: Liberia and Ghana, Oct. 8-15, 2005
Our earliest visit to Liberia was in 1978, which happened to be the first time an American president went to sub-Sahara Africa. We chose Nigeria and Liberia because Nigeria was and is the largest and most influential African nation and because Liberia was founded by freed American slaves in the early 19th century.

Sept. 20, 2005
President Carter's Africa Trip Report: Sept. 8-17, 2005
The purpose of our trip was to visit Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and London to assess the status of our health, education, economic development, and democracy programs in these African nations and to make plans for the future.

May 19, 2005
Ethiopia Trip Report: May 11-17, 2005
The Carter Center has had a long and deep involvement in Ethiopia, beginning in 1988 when I responded to a joint request from the International Red Cross and the UN High Commissioner on Refugees.

Jan. 12, 2005
President Carter's Trip Report on the Palestinian Presidential Election
On January 6, I arrived in Jerusalem to join other observers representing The Carter Center and National Democratic Institute (NDI) in observing the Palestinian election of their president. At the airport I first met with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who seemed to take the most conservative and negative stance on issues. I then had a pleasant conversation with Shimon Peres. Although he will not have a specific cabinet post as compensation for Labor's support of the Likud party, Shimon will be one of the deputy prime ministers and responsible for the resettlement of Israeli settlers who will be removed from Gaza as part of Sharon's withdrawal plan.

Dec. 6, 2004
President Jimmy Carter: Mozambique Election Trip Report, Nov. 28 - Dec. 4, 2004
Our purpose in going to Mozambique was to observe the election for president and parliamentary members on December 1 and 2. The Carter Center has been involved in the country for about eight years to monitor previous elections, to assist with long range planning, and to conduct a Global 2000 agriculture program involving maize and rice.

Aug. 19, 2004
President Jimmy Carter: Venezuela Election Trip Report, Aug 13-18, 2004
After leaving Georgetown, I arrived in Caracas in the evening of 8/13 and was briefed by Ambassador Shapiro, Jennifer McCoy, Francisco Diez, Rachel Fowler, and other staff members of The Carter Center. I gave them an assessment of my visit to Guyana, and they reported high tensions in Venezuela with the approach of the referendum revocatorio scheduled for 8/15. The next morning I met with OAS Secretary General Gaviria, with presidents Alfonsin, Betancur, Carazo, and Duhalde, and then our Carter Center staff to discuss our common approach to our monitoring duties. Excluding the presidents, our group then met with President Chavez for about two hours.

Aug. 19, 2004
President Jimmy Carter Visits Guyana, Aug. 11-13, 2004
After arriving in Georgetown, I had a briefing from Jason Calder, David Carroll, other Carter Center staff, and U.S. embassy staff, and then met with President Bharrat Jagdeo for about 90 minutes. The main issues that I raised and his comments are summarized below.

July 9, 2004
President Carter's Trip Report on Indonesia , June 30-July 7, 2004
This mission to Indonesia happens to be the fiftieth election monitored by The Carter Center in different parts of the world, all of them in nations that were facing some kind of crisis or problem in their democratic institutions - either a form of dictatorship making a transition to democracy or an established democracy under serious threat.

June 4, 2004
President Carter's Trip Report on Venezuela, May 29-June 1, 2004
The Carter Center has been deeply involved in Venezuela election processes for the past six years, having monitored the contest for president in December 1998 in which Hugo Chavez was elected. Subsequently, we observed the referendum that approved a new constitution and then a new election in July 2000 in which Chavez was reelected and governors, members of parliament and local officials were also chosen. Subsequently, in April 2002, a temporary coup removed the president from office for about 48 hours, and domestic turmoil persisted after that political crisis.

Feb. 9, 2004
Africa Trip Report: Feb. 2-7, 2004
In many ways, this fairly rapid visit to Togo, Ghana, and Mali has been typical of our excursions to Africa during the past two decades. We almost always make brief visits to a number of countries, have access to the highest officials, and have either problems to resolve, a new project to undertake, or an election to monitor.

Jan. 30, 2004
Venezuela Trip Report: Jan. 25-27, 2004
Except for nations ripped apart by civil war, for several years Venezuela has been the most divided country in which The Carter Center is involved, and there are few evident means by which this division can be healed from within. We have been deeply involved in electoral and other matters in Venezuela since the general election of 1998, when Hugo Chavez was elected overwhelmingly as president, defeating candidates from major parties that had become almost totally discredited among citizens.

Dec. 23, 2003
President Carter's Bolivia Trip Report: Dec. 16-21, 2003
Bolivia is a small landlocked country in South America that has been torn apart by poverty and political strife. Following public disturbances and harsh responses in February and October of this year, during which about 60 demonstrators were killed, President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (known as 'Goni') was forced to resign and leave the country two months ago, after being elected in 2002. With about 65 percent of the population, the indigenous people have demanded greater participation in the political process and a more equitable share of the country's wealth.

Dec. 3, 2003
President Carter's Geneva Trip Report
For a number of months, we at The Carter Center have been monitoring and sup-porting the peace initiative between some of the same negotiators who participated in the final Clinton effort at Camp David and later in Taba, Egypt. They concentrated their efforts when all peace talks were terminated between the government of Israel and Palestinian authorities.

Sept. 16, 2003
President Carter's Japan and China Trip Report
Rosalynn, John Hardman, Melissa Montgomery, and I departed for Tokyo on Wednesday September 3. The primary purposes of this trip were to promote the development of agriculture in Africa and to further political democratization in China, to build upon the ongoing projects of The Carter Center in these important arenas.

Jan. 22, 2003
President Carter's Trip Report: Venezuela
Visit to Caracas, Venezuela: January 20-21, 2003. After three days of fishing for Peacock Bass on the Orinoco River in Southern Venezuela, we returned to Caracas. It was the fifty-first day of a nationwide strike, with constant demonstrations, some violence on the streets, and devastating consequences to the economy and social structure of the nation, with oil production reduced drastically.

Oct. 21, 2002
President Carter's Jamaica Trip Report
The Carter Center has monitored more than three-dozen elections in nations around the world, including those in Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We accept this responsibility only when the elections are apparently too controversial to generate full confidence among the citizens. Sometimes, as in the case of Indonesia, it is the first move from an authoritarian government to a democracy.

July 12, 2002
President Carter's Trip Report on Venezuela
The Carter Center has been deeply involved in Venezuela during recent years, having monitored two national elections, the drafting of a new constitution, and the referendum for public approval. We also have attempted to reduce tension in this sharply divided country, with the charismatic and unorthodox President Hugo Chavez confronted by a phalanx of opposition forces concerned about his revolutionary policies. The Carter Center received an invitation from the government of Venezuela, dated June 4, 2002, requesting we visit the country and facilitate a process of dialogue.

May 21, 2002
President Carter's Cuba Trip Report
Having received several verbal invitations from President Fidel Castro to visit Cuba, I accepted an official one in January, and we made arrangements for the trip through the Cuban Interest Section in Washington. Our key request was for me to speak directly to the Cuban people, preferably in the evening and with live television coverage, and this was granted.

March 2, 2002
Africa Trip Report: March 2002
Rosalynn and I and Carter Center staff flew from Atlanta via Frankfurt and Cairo, and at the latter stop received a briefing on Egypt's perspective of the Sudan situation. Egypt has been working in concert with Libya, and their primary goal has been a united Sudan. This pleases Khartoum and contradicts the Sudan People's Liberation Movement's (SPLM) position of retaining the right to independence for the south if their other primary goals are not realized.

Nov. 26, 2001
Trip to Mexico City
The primary purpose of this brief trip was to attend an Inter-American conference on onchocerciasis, a tropical disease that The Carter Center has been targeting for about 12 years.

Nov. 2, 2001
Trip to Nicaragua
For 100 years, the United States' relations with Nicaragua have always been interesting and filled with drama. For me, they began during my term as president. In 1977, Nicaragua was controlled completely by a dictator, Anastazio Somoza, who enjoyed a firm working relationship with the U.S. government and some very influential American corporations. We condemned Somoza's human rights abuses with some effect.

Sept. 1, 2001
China, Mongolia Trip
At the invitation of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, for the last four years The Carter Center has helped monitor and improve elections in the small villages of China. Best estimates are that there are 800,000 of them, within which 900 million peasants live. For the first time in the history of China, about 600 million of these villagers are now experiencing at least some aspects of real democracy.

July 31, 2001
Washington, D.C., Bangladesh, and South Korea
Bob Pastor of Emory University and I flew from Americus to Washington and joined Bob Michel and Phil Zelikow at the White House to give President Bush and his staff a summary of the Federal Election Commission recommendations. Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world. Smaller than Georgia, its population is 130 million, amounting to about 2,400 people per square mile. Its recent political history is tortured, beginning with a successful struggle for independence from Pakistan in 1971. I then went to Seoul, South Korea, and drove about two hours south to Hoseo University, in Asan, which is near one of our six Habitat building sites and where we had a room.

June 4, 2001
Uganda & Kenya
This trip was made possible by the generosity of Richard Blum, who offered his G-4 for transportation. After refueling stops in the Azores and Marakesh, we arrived in Uganda to assess our Guinea worm eradication efforts, river blindness treatments, agriculture projects, and the peace process between Uganda and Sudan.

April 20, 2001
United Arab Emirates
After being awarded the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, I decided to go to Dubai to accept the $500,000 award for The Carter Center.

April 5, 2001
Monitoring this election was a labor of love. Rosalynn and I have been involved with Peru for many years, beginning in 1948 when I was in submarine school in New London Connecticut.

March 16, 2001
Guyana Trip Report: March 2001
Rosalynn, John Hardman, Chuck Costello, and Nancy Konigsmark accompanied me from Albany, Georgia, to Georgetown, Guyana, on Friday, March 16, on J.B. Fuqua's Challenger. Michael Ashcroft provided the funding that made it possible for us to participate as election monitors.


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