Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

Former US Ambassador to Cuba to Offer “Personal Reflections” at Conference

Former Ambassador to Havana, Jeffrey DeLaurentis. Photo: Georgetown University

Jeffrey DeLaurentis began his 27-year State Department career as a consular officer in the United States Interests Section in Havana 1991. Twenty-five years later — after two more diplomatic postings to Cuba, including one as head of the US Interests Section, and major Latin America-focused assignments in Washington — US president Barack Obama tapped him to become his country’s first ambassador to Cuba in more than five decades.

Reopening shuttered embassies in both countries was supposed to signal a diplomatic re-set in relations between Washington and Havana. It was short-lived. Thanks to the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the refusal of the Republican-controlled Senate to confirm DeLaurentis’ appointment, he was never able to serve as more than acting ambassador. He left his position and the State Department in July 2017.

Who better than DeLaurentis to try to make sense — from an American perspective — of the rollercoaster ride the US-Cuba relationship has been, and continues to be?

DeLaurentis will be one of the keynote speakers during “The Cuban Revolution at 60,” a major symposium featuring world-renowned Cuba scholars, policymakers and policy analysts. Registration for the conference — taking place at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, from October 31 – November 2 ­ — is now open.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

DeLaurentis, in fact, won’t be the only keynote speaker who has played a key role in contemporary US-Cuba relations. Josefina Vidal, now Cuba’s ambassador to Canada, served as Cuba’s chief negotiator with the Americans during the recent thaw, and will offer reflections on what happened then, and what isn’t happening now.

Dr. Alon Friedman, a ground-breaking neuroscientist at the Dalhousie University Brain Repair Centre who recently led a multidisciplinary study into the so-called “Havana Syndrome” for Global Affairs Canada, will also discuss his findings at the conference.

Forty academics will participate in a series of panels assess the successes and challenges of the Cuban economy, Cuba-US relations, Cuba’s international relations, climate change and ecological challenges facing the island, as well as social change, including issues of race, gender (in)equity, health and sexual diversity.

All sessions are open to the public, and free. For more information: http://www.cuba60.ca

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Related News:

News

Cuba’s ambassador to Canada described it as “the most important [academic event] held outside Cuba” to consider the state of the Cuban Revolution after...

News

On the early afternoon of June 16, 2017, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the United States ambassador-designate to Cuba, sat in his office in Havana and watched...

News

Nova Scotia’s long relationship with Cuba will be celebrated on Friday, Nov. 1, with the dedication of a recently planted tulip tree (liriodendron tulipifera)...

News

Dizziness, blurred vision, memory loss, problems focusing… Something serious seemed to be affecting US diplomats in Havana in late 2016 and 2017. But what?...

error: This content is copyright protected.