I awoke this morning having had the oddest dream, that the Presidents of Cuba and the US had spent an hour on the phone and decided to normalize relations between the nations. Then I remembered that it actually happened. Most of us have been waiting a lifetime for this joyous event to occur.
Many of us had expected Pres. Obama to make some gesture of change prior to the upcoming Summit of the Americas, but it is fair to say few of us expected the breadth of actions that were taken. To his credit, the President decided not to take half steps. He just “Did It”, or in the words of Matt Cooper of Newsweek, “finally ended the Cold War”.
It will take weeks and months for events to unfold in both countries, and we will need time to evaluate real opportunities for change. However, any way you look at it, the future seems extraordinarily bright and opens up many exciting possibilities.
Fortunately, we at the “Socially Responsible Enterprise and Local Development in Cuba ” project have been at work for 6 years with international colleagues in locating a strong network of Cuban counterpart institutions and individuals. We look to this group of Cuban social economy leaders to guide us in providing resources that will help Cuba retain the achievements of the revolution while bringing the economy into the realm of 21st century sustainability.
I will keep you posted on important developments in our world of socially responsible enterprise engagement, something often overlooked in the mainstream media. For now, below you will find two useful links that outline the actions taken by the US government.
– Eric Leenson, 18 December 2014
- Engage Cuba
- Center for Democracy in the Americas: Cuba Section
- International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five
- CubaNow.Us: Informing, Connecting & Inspiring a New Conversation [Sign Up for Email Listserv HERE]
Articles in the NY Times
- Growing Momentum to Repeal Cuban Embargo, by New York Times Editorial Board (03 Aug. 2015);
- What’s Next for Cuba and the U.S.?, by New York Times Editorial Board (20 July 2015);
- Lift the Cuba Travel Ban, by New York Times Editorial Board (20 June 2015);
- Engaging with Latin America, by New York Times Editorial Board (10 April 2015);
- Cuban Expectations in a New Era, by New York Times Editorial Board (07 April 2015);
- Washington and Havana Break the Ice, by New York Times Editorial Board (30 Jan. 2015);
- Cuba Turns Off Critics’ Open Mike, by New York Times Editorial Board (30 Dec. 2014);
- Shifting Dynamics for Cuba’s Dissidents, by New York Times Editorial Board (27 Dec. 2014);
- Cuba’s Promising New Online Voices, by New York Times Editorial Board (23 Dec. 2014);
- Cuba’s Gay Rights Evolution, by New York Times Editorial Board (21 Dec. 2014);
- Mr. Obama’s Historic Move on Cuba, by New York Times Editorial Board (18 Dec. 2014);
- Cuba’s Economy at a Crossroads, by New York Times Editorial Board (21 Dec. 2014);
- A Cuban Brain Drain, Courtesy of the U.S., by New York Times Editorial Board (16 Nov. 2014);
- In Cuba, Misadventures in Regime Change, by New York Times Editorial Board (9 Nov. 2014);
- A Prisoner Swap with Cuba, by New York Times Editorial Board (2 Nov. 2014);
- The Shifting Politics of Cuba Policy, by New York Times Editorial Board (25 Oct. 2014);
- Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola, by New York Times Editorial Board (19 Oct. 2014);
- Obama Should End the Embargo on Cuba, by New York Times Editorial Board (11 Oct. 2014);
- That Which Can Never Be Forgotten, Fidel Castro’s response to NYT Editorial (14 Oct. 2014).
- “What Can Cuba Do?”, by Revista Temas contributor Rafael Betancourt (April, 2016). Also available in [Spanish];
- Cuban Remix, by Stanford Social Innovation Review contributors Julia Sagebien and Eric Leenson (Winter, 2015);
- Opportunities and Challenges for Agricultura Trade with Cuba, by Michael V. Beall, President and CEO of NCBA-CLUSA (April, 2015);
- Cuba’s Multi-level Strategy at the Summit of the Americas, by Richard Feinberg, Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Latin America Initiative (April, 2015);
- A Cuban Economic “Update” with an Emphasis on Worker and Producer Cooperatives: 498 Enterprises Approved So Far, by the International Organisation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives (September, 2014);
*Historical Footnote on the New York Times and Cuba
Herbert Lionel Matthews (January 10, 1900 – July 30, 1977) was a reporter and editorialist for the New York Times who grew to notoriety after revealing that Fidel Castro was still alive and living in the Sierra Maestra mountains, though Batista had claimed publicly that he was killed during the 26th of July Movement’s landing.
“When the world had given us up for dead, the interview with Matthews put the lie to our disappearance”.
– Che Guevara, January 1958
Castro ‘smuggled’ Matthews, in early 1957, into the Sierra Maestra in eastern Cuba” to cover the ongoing and subsequent revolution against Batista. Supposedly Che Guevara later commented, “The presence of a foreign (American-preferred) journalist was more important for us than a military victory”.
Reflecting conservative displeasure at Matthews’ role, the conservative magazine National Review published a caricature of Castro over the caption “I got my job through the New York Times”. The caption was the tagline of contemporary advertisements published by the Times touting its classified ads section.