Alfredo Toro Hardy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alfredo Toro Hardy
Hardy in Madrid, 2008
Personal details
Born (1950-05-22) 22 May 1950 (age 67)
Caracas, Venezuela
Nationality Venezuelan
Spouse(s) Gabriela Gaxiola de Toro
Children Daniela Toro
Alfredo Toro
Bernardo Toro
Alma mater

Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas

University of Pennsylvania
Profession Diplomat, Scholar, Author

Alfredo Toro Hardy (born in Caracas on May 22, 1950) is a Venezuelan career diplomat, scholar and public intellectual and the current Ambassador of his country to Singapore. He has occupied some of Venezuela's top ambassadorial posts including Washington, London, Madrid and Brasilia, taught at several universities both in Venezuela and abroad, directed academic institutions in the field of foreign policy and written extensively on international affairs. According to renowned author and scholar Kishore Mahbubani: "About 12% of the world's population lives in the West and 88% live outside. Yet, the strong, diverse voices of the 88% are rarely heard. Alfredo Toro Hardy provides one such voice that needs to be heard". British historian and author Robert Harvey wrote: "One does not have to coincide with all of Toro Hardy's views in order to recognize that he is one of the most articulated and experienced voices not only from Latin America but from the developing world". Cambridge University scholar Geoffrey Hawthorn stated: "Alfredo Toro Hardy has a rare and distinctive voice. No-one can come away from his essays without seeing the world in new ways"[1][2]


Alfredo Toro Hardy graduated with a Law degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas in 1973. Between 1973 and 1975 he made postgraduate studies in France under a scholarship of the French Government. He acquired a diploma in diplomatic studies from the Institut International d'Administration Publique and a diploma in comparative law from Panthéon-Assas University in Paris, 1975. He received his M.S. from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1977 and his Master of Laws from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He took a course on international negotiations from Harvard University in 1984.[3][4]

Academic career[edit]

He was a Member of the Advising Committee of the Diplomatic Academy of London (2003–2008). A Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University (1986–1987) and at the School of International Affairs of the University of Brasilia (1995–1996), he served as well as on-line Professor at the Centre for Social Economy of the University of Barcelona (2005–2006). He has been a Fulbright Scholar (1986–1987) and a Bellagio Center Resident Scholar (September, 2011). He was a Member of the Nominations Committee of the Bellagio Center Policy Fellows Program for the period 2014-2016. Toro Hardy was elected by the Council of Faculties of the University of Cambridge as Simón Bolívar Chair Professor for Latin American Studies for the period 2006-2007, but had to decline due to his diplomatic career (holders of this prestigious chair have included leading Latin American figures such as Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Carlos Fuentes or Celso Furtado). Associate Professor at the Simón Bolívar University from which he retired in 1992, he also taught at the Central University of Venezuela. Alfredo Toro Hardy was the Director of the Centre for North American Studies and the Coordinator of the Institute for Higher Latin American Studies at the Simón Bolívar University from 1989 to 1992. He was the Director of the "Pedro Gual" Diplomatic Academy of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1992 to 1994. He remains an active lecturer on international affairs, having been invited as speaker by top universities and think tanks, including Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, University College London, Harvard, Brown, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Council on Foreign Relations or Chatham House, while participating in several international seminars. He is a member of the Iberian-American Network of Sinologist [1] and has integrated the academic councils of several electronic symposia on China organized by the Observatorio de la Política China (Spain) and the China Center for Contemporary World Studies (China)[2]. Toro Hardy has also been a member of Chatham House, Canning House and the Windsor Energy Group, among other similar institutions. Both the University of Pennsylvania and the Fulbright Program have included him in its "Notables List".[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]


He has authored eighteen books and co-authored fifteen, most of which on international affairs. He has also published numerous papers in academic journals, including the Cambridge Review of International Affairs. His book El Desafío Venezolano: ¿Cómo Influir las Decisiones Políticas Estadounidenses? pioneered within Latin America the study of the United States institutional permeability as a mean by the countries of such region to influence in their own benefit Washington's decision making process [3]. This work was originally published in 1988 by the Institute for Higher Latin American Studies of the Simon Bolivar University with a foreword by Miguel Angel Burelli Rivas, Director of the aforementioned institution. The book had subsequent updated editions in 1991 and 2005. His book The Age of Villages, with a foreword by Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Director of Chatham House, won the Latino Book Award in the category of contemporary history/political sciences at the BookExpo America celebrated in Chicago in 2003. His book Hegemonía e Imperio, with a foreword by British historian Robert Harvey, won the same prize at the same category at the BookExpo America celebrated in Los Angeles in 2008. In between the latter two books he published in 2004 ¿Tiene Futuro América Latina? with a foreword by Rubens Ricupero, Secretary General of the UNCTAD. In 2013 World Scientific published Toro Hardy's book The World Turned Upside Down: The Complex Partnership Between China and Latin America under its Series on Contemporary China. The forewords of this work were written by Geoffrey Hawthorn, Emeritus Professor on International Politics at the University of Cambridge and L. Enrique García [4], President and CEO of CAF - Development Bank of Latin America. In an extensive bibliographycal selection on South America, LibraryThing choose The World Turned Upside Down as one of the nine basic background readings to understand that region [5].

Toro Hardy's books have been endorsed by Kishore Mahbubani, Bernardo Kliksberg, Richard Gott, Zheng Yongnian, Moises Naim, James Dunkerley, Ramón J. Velásquez or Jorge Alberto Lozoya, among other important figures. On the same token they have been reviewed or commented by international media and academic journals such as Foreign Affairs, Financial Times, CNBC, Americas Quarterly, BBC, RT, Le Monde Diplomatique, Global-is-Asian or The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies. Alfredo Toro Hardy is a senior weekly columnist at Venezuela's leading newspaper El Universal, where he has been writing since 1992. Previously he was a weekly columnist at El Diario de Caracas for over a decade. His articles have also been published by some of the major newspapers and magazines from Latin America and Spain and they are customarily reproduced by blogs of different tendencies. He regularly contributes with the publications of IGADI, and frequently with those of Casa Asia [6], two of Spain's top-ten think tanks which specialize on international affairs. His brother Jose Toro Hardy is also a well known Venezuelan author with several published books on economics.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

Diplomatic and civil service posts[edit]

Jointly with his academic background Alfredo Toro Hardy is also a seasoned practitioner of international affairs who has been appointed to senior diplomatic positions. As such he is part of the small group of Latin Americans that has excelled in both aspects of this discipline. Among the diplomatic and civil service posts that he has held are following:

Between 2001 and 2007 he served as Venezuelan Representative to the International Coffee Organization based in London. During his time as Ambassador in Madrid he was in charge of the Venezuelan Pavilion at the Expo 2008, celebrated in Zaragoza, Spain, between June and September 2008. During the eighties and the beginning of the nineties he served as adviser to the National Security and Defence Council Secretariat and to the Presidential Commission for Borders Affairs in Venezuela. He began his civil service career in 1976 as Joint Legal Counsel of the Foreign Trade Institute of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [33][34][35]


Individual books:

  • Control of Restrictive Practices in Industrial Property Matters in the United States and Venezuela (Philadelphia, 1979)
  • Rafael Caldera (Caracas, 1983)
  • ¿Para qué una Política Exterior? (Caracas, 1984)
  • Venezuela, Democracia y Política Exterior (Caracas, 1986)
  • El Desafío Venezolano: ¿Cómo Influir las Decisiones Políticas Estadounidenses? (Caracas, 1988, 1991, 2005)
  • La Maldición de Sísifo: Quince Años de Política Exterior Venezolana (Caracas, 1991)
  • Bajo el Signo de la Incertidumbre (Caracas, 1992)
  • De Yalta a Sarajevo: De la Guerra Fría a la Paz Caliente (Caracas, 1993)
  • Las Falacias del Libre Comercio (Caracas, 1993)
  • Del Descalabro Mexicano a la Crisis Venezolana (Caracas, 1995)
  • El Desorden Global (Caracas, 1996)
  • La Era de las Aldeas / The Age of Villages (Bogota, 2002)
  • La Guerra en Irak (Caracas, 2003)
  • Irak y la Reconfiguración del Orden Mundial (Caracas, 2003)
  • ¿Tiene Futuro América Latina? (Bogota, 2004)
  • Los Estadounidenses (Caracas, 2005)
  • Hegemonía e Imperio / Hegemony and Empire (Bogota, 2007)
  • The World Turned Upside Down: The Complex Partnership Between China and Latin America (London/New Jersey/Singapore, 2013).


Co-authored books:

  • Los Libertadores de Venezuela, Caracas, Ediciones Meneven, 1983 (jointly with Ramón J. Velásquez, Alfonso Rumazo González, J.A. de Armas Chitty, Aníbal Laydera Villalobos, Pedro Grases et al.)
  • Venezuela Contemporánea, Caracas, Fundación Eugenio Mendoza, 1989 (jointly with Pedro Cunill Grau, Asdrúbal Baptista, Pedro A. Palma, Allan R. Brewer-Carías, Pedro Díaz Seijas et al.)
  • Petróleo, Liberalismo y Nacionalismo, Caracas, Fundación de Estudios del Futuro, 1991 (jointly with Rafael Caldera, Domingo F. Maza Zavala, Teodoro Petkoff, Ovidio Pérez Morales et al.)
  • Amazonas: Diagnóstico y Estrategia de Desarrollo, Caracas, Comisión Presidencial de Asuntos Fronterizos, 1992 (jointly with Ramón J. Velásquez, Alberto Lizarralde et al.)
  • La Frontera Occidental de Venezuela: Propuestas de Política, Caracas, Comisión Presidencial de Asuntos Fronterizos Colombo-Venezolanos, 1992 (jointly with Ramón J. Velásquez, Pedro Cunill Grau, Alberto Muller Rojas, Elsa Cardozo de Da Silva et al.)
  • Venezuela: Opciones para una Estrategia Económica, Caracas, Comisión Presidencial para la Reforma del Estado, 1993 (jointly with Edgar Paredes Pisani, Diego Bautista Urbaneja, Hector Silva Michelena, Armando Cordoba et. al.)
  • Ideas sobre el Porvenir de Venezuela, Caracas, Asociación Venezuela, Sociedad y Economía, 1993 (jointly with Asdrubal Baptista, Rafael Caldera, Enzo del Búfalo, Edgar Paredes Pisani, Ignacio Avalos et al.)
  • Encuentro y Alternativas: Venezuela, 1994, Caracas, Conferencia Episcopal de Venezuela/Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, 1994 (jointly with Mons. Mario Moronta, Arturo Sosa, S.J., Domingo F. Maza Zavala, Asdrúbal Baptista, Bernardo Mommer et al.)
  • MERCOSUR-NAFTA, São Paulo, Universidade de São Paulo/Parlamento Latinoamericano, 1994 (jointly with Raúl Alfonsín, Celso Lafer, Franco Montoro, Heraldo Muñoz, Paulo de Tarso, Marco Aurelio García, Rubens Barbosa et al.)
  • Democracia: A Grande Rovolucao, Brasília, Universidade de Brasília, 1996 (jointly with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Rafael Caldera, Juan Somavía, Heraldo Muñoz, Jeliu Jelev, Joao Claudio Todorov et al.)
  • MERCOSUR-Venezuela, São Paulo, Parlamento Latinoamericano/Embaixada da Venezuela no Brasil, 1995 (Co-editor. Jointly with Luiz Felipe Lampreia, Alvaro Ramos Trigo, Miguel Angel Burelli Rivas, Allan Wagner Tizón, Dorothea Werneck, Franco Montoro et al.)
  • Abriendo Caminos para la Historia, Caracas, Editorial Panapo/Embajada de Venezuela en Brasil, 1997 (Editor. Jointly with Rafael Caldera, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Franco Montoro, Roberto Requiao, Atila Lins, Carlos Fernando Mathias de Sousa et al.)
  • Gobernanza: Laberinto de la Democracia, Caracas, Capítulo Venezolano del Club de Roma, 2005 (jointly with Arnoldo José Gabaldón, Margarita López Maya, Mercedez Pulido de Briceño, María Ramírez Ribes, Heinz Sonntag et al.)
  • The Impact of Technology on Intelligence and Security, London, The Diplomatic Academy of London/University of Westminster, 2006 (jointly with Jurgen Mertens, Sir Michael Alexander, Margaret Blunden, Sir Timothy Garden, Michael K. Simpson, Colin Adamson-Macedo et al.)
  • Studies on the Relation between China and Latin America 2015 (Mandarin edition), Xuzhou, Jiangsu Normal University, 2016 (jointly with Zhu Lun, Xulio Ríos, Roger Cornejo, Roberto Mansilla Blanco, Gustavo Alejandro Girado et al.)

Academic papers:

More than thirty refereed articles on international affairs, many of which at the peer reviewed academic journal Política Internacional (Asociación Política Internacional, Venezuela), of whose Editorial Board he was a member during the eighties and the nineties. His papers have also been published by the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge, UK); Política Externa (Centro de Pesquisa em Relações Internationaes, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil); Journal of Jiangsu Normal University (Tsinghua Tongfang Knowledge Network Technology, China); Revista Diplomacia, Estratégia, Política, (Ministerio das Relações Exteriores, Brazil); Revista de Historia Actual (Grupo de Estudios de Historia Actual, Universidad de Cádiz, Spain); Jiexi Zhongguo: Análisis y Pensamiento Iberoamericano sobre China (Observatorio de la Política China, Spain); Tempo Exterior: Revista de Análise e Estudos Internacionais (Instituto Galego de Análise e Documentación Internacional, Spain); Revista Politeia (Instituto de Estudios Políticos, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela); Revista Ciencia Política (Tierra Firme Editores, Colombia); Boletín de la Academia de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales (Academia de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, Venezuela); IGADI Annual Report (IGADI, Spain), inter alia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ List of print references:
    • Alfredo Toro Hardy, Hegemonía e Imperio, Bogotá, Villegas Editores, 2007
    • Alfredo Toro Hardy, The World Turned Upside Down: The Complex Partnership between China and Latin America, London/New Jersey/Singapore, World Scientific, 2013
    • Alfredo Toro Hardy, The Age of Villages, Bogotá, Villegas Editores, 2002
    • Who's Who, London, A&C Black
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ List of print references:
  18. ^ List of print references:
    • Rafael Angel Rivas Dugarte, Quienes Escriben en Venezuela: Diccionario Abreviado de Escritores, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, 2006
    • Alfredo Toro Hardy, The World Turned Upside Down: The Complex Partnership between China and Latin America, London/New Jersey/Singapore, World Scientific, 2013
    • Richard Feinberg, "The World Turned Upside Down by Alfredo Toro Hardy", Foreign Affairs, New York, Vol. 93, Number 1, January/February 2014
    • David Pilling, "The Benefits and Perils of Riding China's Coat-Tails", Financial Times, July 31, 2013
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:694703/ada;jsessionid=39122A1E00007849B4D16E4E824C1F59?qu=Relaciones+industriales.&ic=true&ps=1000
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^

External links[edit]