Debaters Explore U.S. Economic Policy towards Latin America

Every year, policy debaters throughout the country are given a new topic that forms the basis for their cases throughout the debate season. This year’s high school debate topic is Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico, or Venezuela.  Intrigued by the new topic, debaters in the Chicago Debate League are  researching and debating an array of economic, social, and political issues surrounding U.S. economic policy toward Latin America.

One of the most popular cases for students in the middle school league and beginner high school debaters involves proposals to address violence at the Mexican border.  Students are becoming immersed in issues such as terrorism, drug violence, immigration, and the political ramifications of policy changes for both the U.S. and Mexico.  Other cases popular with younger debaters include plans to promote democracy in Venezuela and to replace corn-based ethanol with imported sugar-based ethanol to address climate change.

More experienced debaters are tackling cases requiring in-depth knowledge and understanding of the political climate and historical events. Among the many plans under debate:  Cuba should be removed from the state department’s terrorism list; and the U.S. should lead an effort to promote a single North American currency. Teams spend hours gathering evidence of the political and economic costs and benefits associated with such proposals and others.

If you are interested in attending a Chicago Debate League tournament to see our students put in action their creativity, strategic thinking, and argumentation skills, please e-mail