National Summit on Cuba Archive

2002 National Summit on Cuba
2003 National Summit on Cuba
2004 National Summit on Cuba
005 National Summit on Cuba
006 National Summit on Cuba

The Cuba Project at the World Policy Institute held its first major conference in June 2000. The conference, "The Domestic Impact of Unilateral Food and Medical Sanctions: Case Study Cuba", became the basis for the future National Summit on Cuba as an educational event aimed at a national audience.

On June 15, 2000 members of Congress, former US officials, representatives from major food producing groups, specialists in international trade and executives from major US corporations met for a day long analysis of the consequences in the United States resulting from the embargo of food and medical sales to Cuba. Speakers included US Congressman George Nethercut, Jr. (R-WA), US Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO), US Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Tom Donohue, President and CEO United States Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Paula Stern, President of the Stern Group and former Chair of the U.S. International Trade Commission. The conference definitively established the broad national support for a policy of engagement with Cuba as a means of furthering U.S. interests and likely helped inform passage of the Trade Sanctions Reform Act of 2000 which allowed limited food sales to Cuba.

The first National Summit on Cuba was held in Washington, DC on September 17, 2002 with presentations from 48 speakers such as Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE); U.S. Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ); General Charles Wilhelm (ret), Former Chief Commander U.S. Southern Command; Sam Gibbons, former 34-year U.S. Representative from Tampa; Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federatio; William Reinsch, Chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council and USA Engage coalition of more than 600 prominent U.S. companies; David Frey, Kansas Wheat Commission; Gary LaGrange, Port of New Orleans, William C. Lane, Catepillar, Inc., Paul A. Volker, former Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserv; Burton Rubin, American Society of Travel Agent; Ian Vasquez, Cato Institute; Jose Miguel Vivanco, Human Rights Watch; Phil Peters, Lexington Institute; Dr. Max Castro, University of Miami; Reinero Arce, Cuban Council of Churches; Dan Fisk, US Department of State; Tommy Irwin, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture; Joe McClash, Manatee County, Florida; Whitney Addington, MD, American College of Physicians; Sam Dryden, Emergent Genetic; Lissa Weinmann, World Policy Institute and more

The second National Summit was held at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL (just outside of Miami) on October 4, 2003. Leaders representing a broad spectrum of industries and constituencies across the United States convened with Cuban-Americans from South Florida to explore alternative policy approaches to Cuba, in front of an audience of 400 participants. This growing segment of the Cuban-American community in Florida seeks to end the 43-year political stalemate between the two governments in order to promote Cuban national reconciliation and Cuban American's honest participation in a changing Cuban society. 

Chosen for his leadership role in charting a new course for the Soviet Union and the world at large, Mikhail Gorbachev delivered the keynote address at the Summit. Gorbachev shared his personal vision of how to heal a community torn apart by a policy that many view as an anachronistic and a painful legacy of the Cold War. Reflecting on his experience, Gorbachev advocated a new approach of diplomatic and economic engagement with Cuba that would advance U.S. interests and empower Cuban citizens. 

Understanding of the historic nature of the event, President Jimmy Carter contributed a letter to the participants to initiate the day of in-depth analysis of U.S.-Cuba relations. Participants included: General John Sheehan, USMC (Ret.), Former Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Command Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, The Hon. William D. Rogers, former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American relations, William Ratliff, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. José Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch, Robert Bach, Ph.D., Senior Visiting Fellow, Inter-American Dialogue, Former Executive Associate Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Programs, INS, Thomas Wenski, Bishop of Orlando, Former Bishop of Miami, U.S. Representative William Delahunt (D-MA), U.S. Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Phil Peters, Vice President, Lexington Institute, former U.S. Department of State Official under President Reagan, Bradley Belt, Executive Director, Association of Travel Related Industry Professionals. Participants from the Cuban-American Community included Patricia Gutiérrez Menoyo, Cambio Cubano, Silvia Wilhelm, Puentes Cubanos, Alfredo Duran, Cuban Committee for Democracy and Tony Zamora, Time is Now Coalition.


Download from The New Scool's Archive of Webcasts for Special Events at Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev's speech at the 2003 National Summit on Cuba in Miami. Mr. Gorbachev provides a unique historical perspective on Cuba and offers his views on how US policy toward Cuba can be improved. Introduced by Michael Putney, ABC News Anchor, Miami.

Download from The New Scool's Archive of Webcasts for Special Events at Cuban Americans debate changes in Cuba, the exile community and new developments in US policy. Apanel discussion with: Camila Ruiz, Washington Director, Cuban American National Foundation; Ignacio E. Sanchez, Partner, Piper Rudnick LLP; Member of board of directors/executive committee, Cuban Liberty Council; Antoinio R. Zamora, Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP; President, US/Cuba Legal Forum and Chairman, Time is Now Coalition. Moderated by Lissa Weinmann, Director, World Policy Institute Cuba Project.

Video Presentation of selected speakers:

John Ashcroft U.S. Attorney General, speaking as Senator from Missouri June 15, 2000:

Alfredo Duran, Attorney, Miami, President Cuban Committee for Democracy, Founder and Former President of Bay of Pigs Veterans Association:

Senator Chuck Hegel (R-NE), Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce under President Reagan:

Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Member of the House Cuba Working Group:

General Charles Wilhelm (ret), Former Chief Commander U.S. Southern Command:

Paul A. Volcker, Former Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve, Advisory Council member, Americans For Humanitarian Trade With Cuba:

Tom Donohue, President U.S. Chamber of Commerce June 15, 2000:


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