U.S.-Cuba Relations: A Discussion


A panel of experts will discuss opening relations with a country that supports terrorism and has a tremendous impact on our South Florida community.



Frank Calzon is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to promoting human rights and a transition to democracy on the island. Calzon, a Cuban native, is regularly featured in such national newspapers as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He has appeared on such television broadcasts as the PBS The News Hour and on several MSNBC, CNN, and FOX programs. He also has testified before congressional committees and has been a guest speaker at more than 30 universities in this country and abroad.


Jim Cason was first elected Mayor of Coral Gables in 2011 and was re-elected again two years later with 71 percent of the vote. A 40-year career diplomat for the State Department, he served as head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana from 2002 to 2005 – the closest thing we’ve had to an ambassador.


Alfredo Duran is a Cuban-born lawyer in Miami and veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion who has long been an advocate for dialogue to bring about change in Cuba. A former president of the Bay of Pigs veterans association, he was expelled from the group in 1993 for advocating peaceful dialogue with Cuba. He is a former school board member in Miami-Dade, a former chair of the Florida Democratic Party, and is presently a director of the Cuban Committee for Democracy.


Ricardo Herrero is the Executive Director of #CubaNow. Previously he served as Deputy Executive Director of the Cuba Study Group, a non-partisan, non-profit organization comprised of Cuban-American business and professional leaders dedicated to promoting civil society development in Cuba. His views and articles have appeared in publications such as USA Today, TIME, Reuters, AP, El Pais, The Miami Herald, The Huffington Post, The Hill, and The Washington Times. He has also appeared as a guest on various news outlets including CNN en Español, Noticias Univision, Telemundo, Fox News, Al-Jazeera America and Voice of America.


MODERATOR: Tim Padgett, WLRN-Miami Herald News

Tim Padgett is WLRN-Miami Herald News’ Americas Editor, covering Latin America and the Caribbean from Miami. He has covered Latin America for more than 25 years, first for Newsweek in Mexico City, then for Time as its Latin America bureau chief, from 1996 to 2013, in Mexico and later Miami, where he also covered Florida and the U.S. Southeast.



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