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Posted March 07, 2010 by publisher in US Tourism to Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

Here are the upcoming Cuba conferences that we know about. Feel free to submit your Cuba conference, seminar or event.

March 9, 2010

Conference to Demand the Elimination of Restrictions on Academic and People-to-People Travel to Cuba in Washington DC

The Center for International Policy and The Emergency Coalition to Defend Educational Travel are pleased to invite you to a Conference to Demand the Elimination of Restrictions on Academic and People-to-People Travel to Cuba

March 9, 2010, 9:30 a.m. until 12 noon

In the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club

529 14th St. NW; Washington D.C. 

In 2003, the Bush administration cancelled the provisions created by President Clinton in 1999 “to reach out to the Cuban people” through structured people-to-people educational, cultural, and humanitarian travel.  And, in 2004, it imposed such severe conditions on the academic programs in Cuba offered by accredited U.S. colleges and universities as to make them virtually impossible to continue.  Exchange programs at most colleges and universities were closed down and remain so today. 

Both these measures stand in blatant violation of the Free Trade in Ideas Act of 1994, which states that: “It is the sense of the Congress that the president should not restrict travel for educational purposes between the United States and any other country.” 

But they not only violate the Free Trade in Ideas Act, they are decidedly counterproductive if we wish to encourage dialogue between U.S. and Cuban scholars, hopefully leading to a better understanding between our two peoples.  They also undermine our standing as a nation that respects academic freedoms. 

The purpose of this conference, therefore, is to call for the immediate elimination of those restrictions.  They are a legacy of the Bush administration and should not be continued by President Obama. 


Wayne Smith, ECDET Chairman will talk about the Implications and Consequences for U.S.-Cuban Relations and for the U.S. Itself

Robert Muse, of Muse and Associates and ECDET Counsel

William LeoGrande, Dean, School of Public Affairs, American University

Vic Johnson, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Senior Advisor for Public Policy

A number of those who plan to attend have asked for the opportunity to speak.  That will be provided.  Indeed, we invite comments and suggestions from all as to how best to proceed in bringing about the end of the Bush restrictions. 

RSVP .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (202) 232-3317 and ask for Amanda Sewell


March 13, 2010

Cuba and the USA: Time for a Change Conference in New Britain Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University*, New Britain, Connecticut

Vance Academic Building Room 105

Saturday, March 13, 2010, 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

As the second decade of the twenty-first century begins, relations between Cuba and the United States remain frozen in the time of the Cold War of the previous century. Perhaps there is room for optimism, however, that this situation can change. The objective of this day-long conference is to present information and analysis and an opportunity for discussion on the key issues in Cuba-US relations.

9:00–9:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:30–11:00 The Campaign to End the Embargo and the Travel Ban. Panel presentation. Ellen Bernstein, Associate Director, Pastors for Peace; Travis Wheeler, Cuba Policy Congressional Liaison, Latin America Working Group; Prof. James Russell, Eastern Connecticut State University; Merri Ansara, Common Ground Education and Travel, Easthampton, MA.

11:00–11:15 Short Break

11:15–12:30 The Current State of U.S.-Cuban Relations—the Cuban Perspective. An invitation has been extended to a representative of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C., to give a keynote address via teleconference since the U.S. State Department restricts Cuban diplomats’ ability to travel.

12:30–1:30 Lunch Break (you may bring a bag lunch; a list of nearby eating options will be available)

1:30–2:30 Cuba and Haiti—solidarity between the peoples of the Caribbean in aftermath of the January earthquake. Panel includes Prof. Leslie Desmangles, Trinity College; Lillian Holloway, MD, graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine.

2:30–3:30 The Case of the Cuban Five. Nancy Kohn, International Committee to Free the Cuban Five and Nalda Vigezzi, co-chair, National Network on Cuba.

Sponsored by: Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba; International Studies Program; Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; Department of Sociology; Center for Public Policy and Social Research; CCSU Youth for Socialist Action; July 26 Coalition (Boston); Pioneer Valley Cuba Solidarity Committee; Greater New Haven Peace Council; Promoting Enduring Peace.

The conference is open to the public and free of charge. For more information contact Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba, 860-930-5615, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .

Directions to Central Connecticut State University


March 24-26, 2010

U.S. - Cuba Travel Summit in Cancun Mexico

Wednesday, March 24

2:00 - 6:00pm Advance Registration: Lobby Level, Hotel Melia Gran Cancun Mexico
4:30 - 6:00pm Pre-Event Workshop: “Doing Business in Cuba: Lessons Learned” by Kirby Jones, President, Alamar Associates
6:30 - 8:00pm Opening Reception to meet Cuban Officials
8:00pm Private Sponsors Dinner for Sponsors and Cuban officials

Thursday, March 25

8:30 - 8:40am Welcome by Kirby Jones, Alamar Associates
8:40 - 9:00am Keynote Address by Head of Cuban Delegation
9:00 - 9:15am View from U.S. Travel Sector - Lisa Simon, President of NTA and Bob Whitley, President USTOA
9:15 - 10:00am Introduction and Overview of Cuban Tourism - Miguel Figueras, Senior Advisor to Minister of Tourism
10:00 - 10:45am Presentations by Cuban Travel Enterprises - Panelists: Gaviota, Cubanacan, Gran Caribe
10:45 - 11:15am Break
11:15 - 12:00pm Presentations by Cuban Travel Enterprises - Panelists: Havanatur, Habaguanex/San Cristobal, Palmares
12:00 - 12:30pm Remarks and Q&A with Senator Byron Dorgan, Sponsor of S428 via teleconference
12:30 - 2:00pm Lunch
2:00 - 2:45pm Opportunities for Trade and Investment in Cuba - Speaker: Cuba Ministry of Trade and Foreign Investment
2:45 - 3:15pm Experiences of Foreign Companies in Cuban Tourism Sector - Panelists: Foreign hotel operators in Cuba
3:15 - 4:00pm Break
4:15 - 5:30pm Breakout groups with Cuban specialists - Resort development, ecotourism, marinas, airlines, cruise ships, culture and museums, scuba diving,
6:30 - 7:30pm Reception

Friday, March 26

bi-lateral private appointments will be scheduled throughout the day
9:00 - 9:45am Experiences of U.S. companies in Cuba - Michael Zuccato, President, Cuba Travel Services, Bob Guild, Vice President, Marazul, Kirby Jones, Alamar Associates
9:45 - 10:30am Status of Efforts to Lift Travel Restrictions
10:30 - 11:15am Break
11:15 - 12:00pm U.S.-Cuba Bi-lateral Relations - Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations
12:00 - 2:00pm Lunch
12:30 - 2:00pm Continuation of break-out sessions with Cuban specialists
4:00 - 4:30pm Break
4:30 - 5:30pm Final Plenary Session and Q&A with Cuban officials
7:00pm Dinner and Reception, “Night in Havana” at La Bodeguita del Medio


June 10-13, 2010

Cuban Art and Culture Conference in Provincetown Massachusetts

Thursday June 10, 2010 - Opening Reception at Galería Cubana
357 Commercial Street (508) 487-2822

7:00pm to 9:00pm - Cuba? Cuba. Cuba!—Welcome to Cuba in Provincetown.

Friday June 11, 2010 - Cuban Culture Day
at the Crown and Anchor - Paramount Room
247 Commercial Street (508) 487-1430

SESSION - OPENING REMARKS - 9:00am to 9:15am - Welcome and opening remarks by Host Rob Sequin - Publisher, Havana Journal, Inc.

SESSION - US CUBA RELATIONS UPDATE 9:15am to 10:15am—Recent past and near future update on US Cuba relations presented by Mavis Anderson of the Latin America Working Group and Merri Ansara of Common Ground Education and Travel. We hope to have a call in or maybe even an appearance by Congressman Delahunt.

MORNING BREAK - 10:15am to 10:30am—Music provided by Cuba.fm. Check out the Cuba information tables. Cash bar for refreshments opens for the day.

SESSION - NETWORKING - 10:30am to 12:00pm—Most people come to conferences and trade shows in order to network with like-minded people and to develop life long personal and professional relationships. We open the mic to each attendee so everyone can give a very short self introduction. This allows all attendees to learn more about each person in the room. We think you will be pleasantly surprised and impressed. Lunch follows immediately so let the networking begin! (We may take a break, start lunch then restart introductions.)

LUNCH - SAME ROOM - 12:00pm to 1:00pm—Now that you know who’s who in the room, you can introduce yourself and have lunch with people who share your Cuba passion and interests.

SESSION - HUMANITARIAN AID IN CUBA - 1:00pm to 2:00pm—Rick Schwag of the Caribbean Medical Transport and Costa Mavraganis of the Cuba AIDS Project will talk about their humanitarian work in Cuba. A look at the kinds of work that can be done and obstacles created by the US and Cuban governments.

MOVIE IN CABARET ROOM - LUMINOUS SHADOWS MOVIE - 1:00pm to 2:00pm—Documentary featuring the art and artist in Eastern Cuba, shot on location.

SESSION - HISTORY OF HAVANA - 2:00pm to 2:45pm—Dick Cluster, author of History of Havana, will present a photo slideshow of the entire history of Havana.

MOVIE IN CABARET ROOM - 2:00pm to 2:45pm— Salud the film - Documentary about Cuban healthcare

AFTERNOON BREAK - 2:45pm to 3:00pm—Music provided by Cuba.fm. Check out the Cuba information tables. Door prize giveaways of Cuba books, music and other interesting items.

SESSION - LIFE IN HAVANA - 3:00pm to 4:00pm—Panel of Cuba experts who will offer knowledge and insight into life in Havana such as Cuban cars, tourist attractions, restaurants, casas particulares and more. Author Jeanne Lemkau of the book Lost and Found in Cuba (soon to be released) and others to be announced.

MOVIE IN CABARET ROOM - 3:00pm to 4:00pm—“Sacrifice Fly” movie - Cuban baseball documentary looks at life in Cuba through the eyes of a championship Cuban baseball team. Filmed on Cape Cod and in Cuba.

SESSION - LEGAL TRAVEL TO CUBA - 4:00pm to 5:00pm—The panel will talk about eligibility, OFAC approved Cuba travel service providers, lodging in Cuba and more. US Director of Cross Cultural Studies, Jerry Guidera will talk about his organization’s academic travel to Cuba programs that he ran from 1996 to 2004. Former Judge Maria Lopez is on the Board of Directors at the Cuban Artists Fund and has hosted legal trips to Cuba.

SESSION IN CABARET ROOM - CUBA BY SEA - 4:00pm to 5:00pm—Peter Swanson from CubaCruising.net will talk about sailing the “Great Bahamas-Cuba Loop: A Post-Embargo Cruising Strategy”. Other boat captains to be announced.

END OF SESSIONS - 5:00pm—Hang around for end of day networking and visit the information tables. 

Saturday June 12, 2010 - Cuban Art Day
at the Crown and Anchor - Paramount Room
247 Commercial Street (508) 487-1430
Cuban Arts Marketplace
at MacMillan Pier
260 Commercial Street - (508) 487-7030

CUBAN ARTS MARKETPLACE AT MACMILLAN PIER - OPENS FOR THE DAY - 10:00am to 7:30pm—In the big tent at MacMillan Pier featuring a wide variety of Cuban art and related vendors offering their unique Cuba merchandise for sale to the public.

AUCTION PREVIEW OPENS - 10:00am in Cabaret Room—View the auction lots of Cuban art, memorabilia, posters and the like. Auction starts at 4:15 today.

SESSION - ERNEST HEMINGWAY ARCHIVES - 10:15am to 11:15pm—Susan
Wrynn is the curator of the Ernest Hemingway Collection and the JFK Library in Boston which is home to the most comprehensive body of Hemingway materials available in one place. Susan will give a talk on the preservation and restoration of Hemingway’s home in Cuba, Finca Vigia, and his volumes of documents in the archive.

SESSION - HISTORY OF CUBAN MUSIC - 11:15am to 12:15pm—Jauretsi Saizarbitoria, Director of the Charlize Theron produced East of Havana (documentary about Cuban rap music) will give a presentation describing how political changes throughout Cuba’s history launched movements of new genres of Cuban music. Rumba came from slavery times, the nueva trova folk era in the 1960s and Cuban rap evolved during the “Special Period”.

LUNCH AT CARIBBEAN CORNER - 269 Commercial Street - 12:15pm to 1:00pm—Cuban lunch menu designed especially for our Cuba conference with a special menu of Cuban sandwiches, arroz con pollo and Cuban style barbecue. (Complementary to Full Conference Pass holders.)

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - 1:00pm to 1:45pm—We are currently talking with several world class Cuba experts for the keynote. Announcement to follow soon.

SESSION - CUBAN ARCHITECTURE - 1:45pm to 2:45pm—John H. Pilling, Boston architect and organizer of the Havana Urban Design Charette, will talk about this recent architectural gathering in Cuba. Cathryn Griffith will talk about her new book Havana Revisited, An architectural heritage currently on exhibit at Harvard.

AFTERNOON BREAK - 2:45pm to 3:00pm—Music provided by Cuba.fm. Check out the Cuba information tables. Door prize giveaways of Cuba books, merchandise vintage Cuban memorabilia and more. Auction preview ongoing in Cabaret Room.

SESSION - THE CUBAN ART SCENE - 3:00 to 4:00pm—Did you know that it’s legal to buy art in Cuba? Did you know the Cuban government will let you export it and the US government will let you import it? Listen to the experts tell you how to break into the Cuban art market or how to expand your collection. Information about Cuban artists and movements, valuations and styles of Cuban art. Michelle Wojcik of the Galería Cubana and Sandra Levinson of Cuban Art Space will talk about collecting, buying and selling vintage and contemporary Cuban art.

CONFERENCE OPENS TO THE PUBLIC - NO CHARGE - 3:45—Doors open to the public for Cuban art and memorabilia viewing and auction.

CUBAN ART AND MEMORABILIA AUCTION - 4:15pm to 5:30pm—Cuban art, memorabilia and other lots. See the Auction page for more information about lots for sale and how to consign items to the auction.

END OF AUCTION - 5:30pm—Auction check out, closing remarks, end of day networking and information table viewing.

CUBAN DANCE PARTY - 9:00pm to 1:00am

Two salsa dancers from Havana Club Salsa will show the crowd how to salsa dance from 9:00pm to 10:00pm then a well known Latin and Cuban music DJ from Boston will make you dance all night long and right on Provincetown’s waterfront. (nightclub to be announced soon)

Sunday June 13, 2010 - Cuban Movie Day
at the Provincetown Art House Theatre
214 Commercial Street (508) 487-9222
Theater One

11:00am - Lost Son of Havana - Running time is 1 hour and 42 minutes - Not Rated but suitable for all ages - 2009

IMDB - After 46 years in exile, former major league baseball star Luis Tiant returns to Cuba, where he encounters unexpected demons and receives unexpected gifts from his family.

1:00pm - East of Havana - Running time is 1 hour and 22 minutes - Not Rated but suitable for all ages - 2004

Charlize Theron documentary about Cuban rap music - The Director of East of Havana, Jauretsi Saizarbitoria, will introduce the film and be available after the showing to answer questions from the audience. The New York Times says this film is “the real deal”.

3:00pm - Buena Vista Social Club - Running time is 1 hour and 45 minutes - Not Rated but suitable for all ages - 1999

Wikipedia - The film documents how Ry Cooder, long-time friend of Wenders, brought together legendary Cuban musicians to record an album (also called Buena Vista Social Club), and to perform a concert in the United States. Although they are geographically close, travel between Cuba and the United States is restricted due to the political tension between the two countries, so many of the artists were travelling there for the first time.

5:00pm - Dirty Dancing - Havana Nights - Running time is 1 hour and 26 minutes - Rated PG-13 - 2004

IMDB - On the eve of Cuba’s revolution, a young American woman discovers a passion for dance and for her sultry Cuban partner, Javier played by Diego Luna. As the two prepare to take their place in a prestigious national dance competition, their bodies align in a sensual harmony that mirrors the growing bond between them. They dominate the dance floor with a sizzling style and rhythm all their own.
Theater Two

12:00pm - Havana - Running time 2 hours and 24 minutes - Rated R for brief nudity, mild profanity and sexually suggestive situations - 1990

IMDB - Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack (Robert Redford) visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, Roberta and her Cuban husband, the revolutionary Arturo, are arrested and tortured. Jack has to make a choice between the beautiful woman and the biggest poker game of his life.

3:00pm - Love and Suicide - Running time 1 hour and 29 minutes - Not rated but suitable for all ages - 2008

Shot on location in Havana, Cuba. This is a love story of a man who goes to Cuba and discovers the one thing between love and suicide. A bilingual feature length film that pulls you right into life in Havana. American tourist Tomas (Kamar De Los Reyes) finds himself in the moment between ending his life or forgiving his past. This moment brings Tomas to Havana, Cuba. An island of spiritual freedom from material wants.

6:00pm - Strawberry and Chocolate - Running time 1 hour and 48 minutes - Rated R for brief strong sexuality, and for language - 1994
IMDB - Filmed entirely on location in Havana Cuba the story of Diego, a cultivated, homosexual and skeptical young man, falls in love with a young heterosexual communist full of prejudices and doctrinary ideas. First comes rejection and suspicion, but also fascination. Fresa y chocolate is the story of a great friendship, that is, a great love between two men, which overcomes incomprehension and intolerance.

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