On July 18, 2017, the symposium, “Agribusiness Challenges and Opportunities for the United States and Cuba” took place at AU’s Washington College of Law. This one-day symposium featured Cuban and US experts from a broad array of trade-related specialties. It provided a unique learning opportunity for those in business or government who are interested in future US-Cuba commerce, investment, and finance policy.
In April 2015 the UF Cuba Program hosted the visit of Dr. Dayma Echevarría, a sociologist with the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy, courtesy of the Cuba Program at Columbia’s Institute for Latin American Studies, where she was spending two months as a Visiting Scholar. She presented a seminar at the Center for Latin American Studies on “The New Cuban Economic Model and Labor Policy: Challenges for Gender and Social Equity.”
Three scientists from Cuba’s Instituto de Investigaciones de la Caña de Azúcar (Sugar Cane Research Institute - INICA), Dr. Guillermo Galvez, Dr. Ricardo Acevedo and Dr. Ignacio Santana visited UF in January 2015. During their two weeks in Florida, they met with scientists at the Gainesville campus, the UF Everglades Research and Education Center and the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station at Canal Point. They also met with research, production and management personnel at the Florida Crystals Corporation, including a tour of the Osceola Sugar Mill at Pahokee.
Through the Fundación Nuñez Jiménez and the Casa Fernando Ortiz, we have brought many historians of Cuba to UF, including in 2013, Dr. Reinaldo Funes, Cuba’s only specialist of environmental history and Oilda Hevia, a historian of slavery and black history in the colonial period. Dr. Ricardo Quiza, a cultural historian, and Dr. Abel Sierra, Cuba’s only specialist of the history of homosexuality, visited in 2014. Dr. Eduardo Torres-Cuevas, Director of the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, who is also the Director of the Casa de Altos Estudios Fernando Ortíz at UH has visited UF several times since 2011.
We have also hosted the visit of Jorge Macle, probably Cuba’s most important archivist, based at Cuba’s National Archive, and its former Vice Director of Research. Mr. Macle is also a longstanding member of Cuba’s national commission on monuments and historical legacies as well as a principal author of its 2001 landmark law allowing for the preservation and declassification of documents produced by the revolutionary government for the future use of researchers. By invitation of the UF Libraries, Mr. Macle will return to UF in summer 2015 in order to conduct seminars for UF librarians on the resources in Cuban archives and libraries.
In May 2013, the UF/IFAS research initiative on Cuban agriculture was able to arrange for University of Havana collaborators Drs. Lazaro Peña Castellanos, Anicia García Álvarez, and Armando Nova Gonzalez to give an unprecedented seminar at the U.S. Department Agriculture South Building (the main USDA facility) in Washington, DC, describing the progress that is being made and the constraints that are being faced as Cuba’s agricultural sector attempts to implement the more market-oriented policies adopted at the Cuban government’s 6th Party Congress in April of 2011. This seminar attracted a standing-room-only crowd that included high-level administrators in the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
In May 2011 Dr. Juan Llanes-Regueiro, Director of the UH Centro de Estudios Ambientales (Center for Environmental Studies) and Dr. Marta Rosa Muñoz Campos of FLACSO-Cuba spent 10 days at UF and attended the Southeast Climate Consortium meetings in Orlando. In December 2011, we hosted Dr. Jorge Angulo (director), Anmari Alvarez and Patricia Gonzalez, from the Centro de Investigaciones Marinas (Center for Marine Research) at the University of Havana.