Alfredo Toro Hardy

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Alfredo Toro Hardy
Hardy in Madrid, 2008
Personal details
Born (1950-05-22) 22 May 1950 (age 68)
Caracas, Venezuela
Spouse(s)Gabriela Gaxiola de Toro
ChildrenDaniela Toro
Alfredo Toro
Bernardo Toro
Alma materUniversidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas University of Pennsylvania
ProfessionAuthor, Scholar, Diplomat.

Alfredo Toro Hardy (born in Caracas on May 22, 1950) is a Venezuelan retired career diplomat, scholar and public intellectual. During his diplomatic career he occupied some of Venezuela's top ambassadorial posts, including Washington, London, Madrid and Brasilia. As an academic, he has taught at several universities both in Venezuela and abroad, directed institutions in the field of foreign policy and written extensively on international affairs. According to international relations best selling author Parag Khanna: "Alfredo Toro Hardy is the quintessential scholar-diplomat". Renowned author and scholar Kishore Mahbubani wrote: "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 stated: "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 wrote: "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]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born and raised in Caracas into a family that played an important role during the Venezuelan independence process and, which for several generations, has been active in public and intelectual life. This includes statesman and author Fermin Toro, Venezuela’s independence army first Commander in Chief Francisco Rodríguez del Toro and Fernando Rodríguez del Toro President of Venezuela during its First Republic. It also includes Maria Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alayza who was married to Simon Bolivar, founding father of several Latin American republics. His brother Jose Toro Hardy is also a well known Venezuelan author and public figure with several published books on economics. 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]

Alfredo Toro Hardy was Associate Professor at the Simón Bolívar University from which he retired in 1992, he also taught for many years at the Central University of Venezuela. He served as Director of the Centre for North American Studies and Coordinator of the Institute for Higher Latin American Studies at the Simón Bolívar University from 1989 to 1992. 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 (2004–2005). He was a Fulbright Scholar (1986–1987) and a Director of the "Pedro Gual" Diplomatic Academy of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1992 to 1994. Alfredo Toro Hardy was made a Member of the Advising Committee on diplomatic studies of the University of Westminster (2004–2008). He was also 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). In September 2011 and October 2017, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded Toro Hardy with a prestigious academic residency at its Bellagio Center in Italy, which over for almost six decades has included Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, leading academics, artists, thought leaders, policymakers, and practitioners recognized for their bold thinking. He was also a Member of the Nominations Committee of the Bellagio Center Policy Fellows Program for the period 2014-2016. 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 Sinologists 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). He is also a fellow of the Global Labor Organization and has 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][18][19][20]


He has authored twenty books and co-authored fifteen more, most of which on 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 that region to influence in their own benefit Washington's decision making process [2]. 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 prestigious 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, 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 [3]. In 2017, World Scientific published his book Understanding Latin America: A Decoding Guide. The forewords of the latter were written by Francisco Rojas Aravena, Rector of the United Nations University for Peace and Tommy Koh, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Centre for International Law of the National University of Singapore. World Scientific is in the process of publishing yet another book of his, entitled The Crossroads of Globalization: A Latin American View with a foreword by Klaus Zimmermann (economist), Editor-in-Chief of Population Economics and Past President of the German Institute for Economic Research. Toro Hardy's books have been endorsed by Kishore Mahbubani, Bernardo Kliksberg, Richard Gott, Zheng Yongnian, Moises Naim, James Dunkerley, Parag Khanna, Arturo Valenzuela, Michel Saloff Coste 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. On the other hand, his co-authored books have been writen jointly with distinguished personalites, including Rafael Caldera, Ramón J. Velásquez, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Heraldo Muñoz, Juan Somavía, Arturo Sosa or Sir Timothy Garden. [21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

Journals and media[edit]

During the 1980s and the 1990s, he was a member of the editorial board of the Venezuelan peer reviewed journal on international affairs Política Internacional, as well as of the economic analytical newspaper Economía Hoy. He has published numerous papers in academic journals from the Americas, Europe and Asia, while being 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 are customarily reproduced by blogs of different tendencies. He regularly contributes with the publications of two of Spain's top-ten think tanks: IGADI and Casa Asia. All along 1993 he presented a TV Series on international history at Radio Caracas Television. Entitled Factor Mundial, the series traced major world events between World War I and the collapse of the Soviet Union. [32][33][34][35]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Jointly with his international relations academic background, Alfredo Toro Hardy is also a seasoned practitioner of international affairs who was appointed to senior diplomatic positions. As such he is part of the small group of Latin Americans that have excelled in both aspects of this discipline. He began his career in 1976 as Joint Legal Counsel of the Foreign Trade Institute of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ending it in mid 2017 when he resigned to the foreign service as a result of events in his country. Among his postings were the following:[36][37][38][39]


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 (New Jersey, 2013)
  • Understanding Latin America: A Decoding Guide (New Jersey, 2017)


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. 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 papers on international affairs published on peer reviewed journals, including 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); Política Internacional (Asociación Política Internacional, Venezuela); 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); Universalia (Decanato de Estudios Generales, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela); inter alia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ":: Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States ::". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  2. ^ List of print references:
    • Alfredo Toro Hardy, Understanding Latin America: A Decoding Guide, London, New Jersey, Singapore, 2017
    • 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, Hegemonía e Imperio, Bogotá, Villegas Editores, 2007
    • Alfredo Toro Hardy, The Age of Villages, Bogotá, Villegas Editores, 2002
    • Who's Who, London, A&C Black
  3. ^ "Family tree of Alfredo Toro Hardy". Geneanet. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Franklin's Legacy: Penn diplomats, University of Pennsylvania University Archives". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  5. ^ "NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY AND UNIVERSAL CHALLENGES CHOICES FOR THE WORLD AFTER IRAQ" (PDF). The Bibliothèque Solvay, Brussels. June 2003. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  7. ^ "The World's View of America: A residential conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, UK". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  9. ^ "99-091 (Bromsen-Bolivar Room)". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  10. ^ "April 6, 2001". 11 October 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  11. ^ "VIII Seminario Internacional Nuestro Patrimonio Común, Sesiones del 5 de noviembre de 2008". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Press release" (PDF). 2 November 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Master's Tea with His Excellency Mr Alfredo Toro Hardy - Master's Teas - Tembusu College". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Seminar Series on the Practice of Diplomacy and International Affairs (SSPDIA) on "Energy Security- Emerging Challenges, Trends and Prospects" by Ambassador Alfredo Toro Hardy - RSIS". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  15. ^ "LASA 5 Brochure" (PDF). Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  16. ^ "VII Simposio Electrónico Internacional sobre Política China". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2015-02-12.
  18. ^ "Simposio Electrónico Internacional sobre Política China". Observatorio de Política China. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ List of print references:
  21. ^ 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
  22. ^ "El desafío venezolano : como influir las decisiones políticas estadounidenses in SearchWorks catalog". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Hegemonía e Imperio de Alfredo Toro Hardy" (PDF). Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  25. ^ "Capítulo Venezolano. CLUB DE ROMA". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  26. ^ "Venezuela Contemporánea 1974-1989 by Pedro Cunill Grau / Manuel F. Sierra / Asdrubal Baptista / Pedro A. Palma / Alfredo Toro Hardy / Allan Brewer-Carías / Pedro Díaz Seijas / Yajaira Freites / Maritza Jiménez / R. J. Lovera De-Sola: Fundación Eugenio Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela 9789806017443 Encuadernación de tapa dura - Guido Soroka Bookseller". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  27. ^ "JSP Page". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  28. ^ Venezuela; Comisión Presidencial para Asuntos Fronterizos Colombo-Venezolanos (27 November 1992). "La frontera occidental venezolana: propuestas de política". República de Venezuela, Comisión Presidencial para Asuntos Fronterizos Colombo-Venezolanos. Retrieved 27 November 2018 – via Open WorldCat.
  29. ^ "DEMOCRACIA: A GRANDE REVOLUÇAO - Hermes Zaneti - Livro". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  30. ^ "CID". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  33. ^ "Is there a future for Latin America?". Cambridge Review of International Affairs. 17: 155–166. doi:10.1080/0955757042000203704.
  34. ^ "Tempo exterior Nº 29". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  35. ^ "《Journal of Jiangsu Normal University(Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition)》-2016-01". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  36. ^ País, Ediciones El (19 December 2007). "El Rey, al embajador de Venezuela: "Encantado de tenerle aquí"". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  37. ^ "ABC (Madrid) - 19/12/2007, p. 21 - Hemeroteca". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  38. ^ "Inicio - Actividades y Agenda : Concierto ofrecido por la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana "Simón Bolívar"". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  39. ^ "Western Hemisphere Affairs". Retrieved 27 November 2018.

External links[edit]