Cuba

Video from our Cuba event

Yesterday, NDN held a forum entitled After Fidel: A New Day for America's Relations with Cuba and Latin America? The video is up so you can see the presentations of our panelists, which included: NDN's own Joe Garcia (moderator), Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Miriam Leiva, Julia Sweig, Janice O'Connell, Sergio Bendixen. Afterwards, Q&A followed. To view the video, just click the thumbnail below.

Pictures from today's Forum

Thanks, everyone, for coming to this morning's event. I thought it was very successful and wanted to share some pictures with you. Below are two and the rest are here.

 

Finding a middle ground

Check out this article in The Hill which features a quote from me on how easing travel restrictions on Cuban Americans is a good way to find middle ground with them:

Garcia said Democrats need to find common ground with Cuban-Americans, noting that easing travel restrictions is a way to do that. Lifting the entire travel ban would be overreaching, he said. “We’ve got to do this incrementally,” he said.

Bipartisan efforts on Cuba

The Miami Herald has a great article on how Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) are leading the charge to change policy towards Cuba, recognizing that previous obstacles are now reduced with a Democrat-controlled Congress. (NDN's Joe Garcia reflected on the efforts of Congressman Delahunt here.)

For information on how these travel restrictions are viewed in the community, check out NDN's poll of Cuban Americans. Also, be sure to check out After Fidel: A New Day for America's Relations with Cuba and Latin America? an NDN forum to be held next Wednesday, February 7. For more information or to RSVP, click here.

Update: New Congress emboldens Cuban Democrats

Following up on the article that ran in the Miami Herald, here's the interview I did on the Jim Defede Show.

Also, I am quoted in an article from today's El Nuevo Herald discussing legislation introduced by Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-MA). The bill, entitled "The Cuban-American Family Rights Restoration Act," would allow Cuban Americans to visit family and loved ones in Cuba, without restrictions. As I say:

"Cubans themselves must be the agents of change. Almost five decades of status quo politics have only served to divide families and ensure the stability of the regime."

For information on how these travel restrictions are viewed in the community, check out NDN's poll of Cuban Americans. Also, be sure to check out After Fidel: A New Day for America's Relations with Cuba and Latin America? an NDN forum to be held next Wednesday, February 7. For more information or to RSVP, click here.

New Congress emboldens Cuban Democrats

Be sure to read this article from the Miami Herald that takes a look at how Democratic Cuban-Americans, like me, are engaging our community. I'm quoted, saying:

Joe Garcia, vice president of the New Democrat Network, said the Bush administration hobbled the Republican Party by ``selling itself out to the ultra-right.''

''What I think you are going to find from Democrats is they are going to look to engage the Cuban-American community for the solution,'' Garcia said.

NDN conducted the poll discussed in the article. To view it, visit our website. Also, if you're in DC next week, be sure to come to our forum, After Fidel: A New Day for America's relations with Cuba and Latin America? And if you have a chance, log on to Jim Defede's website later today to hear an interview I did this morning.

Out with the old, in with the...same?

The Economist has a great article on the transition of Cuba, noting the contrasting views here in Washington about how to deal with the island.

Also, The New York Times has a relevant article on how the emerging politics of Latin America is cause for concern, regardless of Fidel Castro's health. As the article points out at the end:

Perhaps we were kidding ourselves when we imagined that when Castro died, the yearning in many parts of the world for a figure like Castro would die as well. If Hugo Chávez proves nothing else, it is that such dreams are alive and well.

Both of these articles reveal much consideration and thought on behalf of our government. If the issues above concern you, come to NDN's upcoming event on Post-Castro Cuba: A New Day for American Relations with Cuba and Latin America.

Post-Castro Cuba: A New Day for American Relations with Cuba and Latin America?

With Fidel Castro’s health failing, questions about Cuba’s future are being asked throughout the world.

To take a look at whether the imminent end of the Fidel era means a new day for America's foreign policy for this hemisphere, NDN’s Hispanic Strategy Center has put together a panel of experts including Congressman Bill Delahunt and Director of the Latin America Studies Council on Foreign Relations Julia Sweig.  

Joe Garcia, Director of NDN's Hispanic Strategy Center, will also be discussing the results of a poll NDN has recently conducted, the first on Cuban-Americans since Castro handed over power to his brother, which has insight into the views of this important community.

Post-Castro Cuba: A New Day for American Relations with Cuba and Latin America?

Wednesday, February 7th

8:30am-10:00am

Phoenix Park Hotel

520 North Capitol Street, NW 

Click here to RSVP.  Please contact Tracy Leaman at tleaman@ndn.org or 202-842-7213 with any questions.

Cuba, the Embargo, and Fidel

Professor Nina Khrushcheva from the New School has an insight-filled essay in the Miami Herald today, which places the potential death of dictator Fidel Castro in recent historical context. 

When the end comes, change in Cuba could be as vast as any that greeted the end of the last century's great dictators. Stalin, Franco, Tito, Mao: All were mostly alike in their means and methods, but how they passed from the scene was very different, and these differences can shape societies for years and decades to come.

Meanwhile, some American lawmakers are looking to chip away at the decades-old embargo against the communist island nation:

Congressional Cuba specialists Rep. James McGovern (D., Mass.) and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, (R., Mo.) predict a flurry of legislation this year to liberalize relations with Havana. Among the priorities: relax restrictions on travel and cash remittances to the island, and ease licensing requirements for exports of agriculture and medical devices. Both lawmakers say they doubt they could get free-standing legislation through both houses and signed by the president. So they plan to try to add pro-liberalization amendments to the farm or appropriations bills.

Cuba: the waiting game

The Financial Times had an interesting article on Cuba over the weekend that addresses issues similar to those found in a poll that NDN conducted in October of the Cuban Exile community.

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