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UD's Maria P. Aristigueta addresses the Rotary Club of Wilmington on "The Role of Civil Society in Leading Change in Cuba."
9:21 a.m., Jan. 22, 2015--The well-publicized changes in the United
States policies toward Cuba have created a great deal of renewed
public interest in Cuba and its social structure.
As a researcher in the field, the University of Delawares Maria P.
Aristigueta, Charles P. Messick Professor of Public Administration and
associate director of the School of Public Policy and Administration,
recently presented a talk on The Role of Civil Society in Leading
Change in Cuba to the members of the Rotary Club of Wilmington.
Aristigueta noted that the situation in Cuba and the U.S. foreign policies related to Cuba are changing on a daily basis.
She focused her presentation on one aspect of the proposal outlined by President Barack Obama on Dec. 17, 2014: civil society.
Aristiguetas presentation was based upon her recent research
prompted by the policy developments, as well as her research regarding
civil society in Cuba conducted through a U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) grant in 2007.
Obama made it clear in his proposal that the promotion of civil
society in Cuba is a priority. The U.S. will focus on human rights and
democratic reforms in Cuba, and promote independence of Cubans so that
they no longer will need to rely on their government as they have in the
Aristigueta noted that Cuba is home to the longest-standing
totalitarian regime in the Western Hemisphere. As such, civil society
groups in Cuba are cautiously optimistic about the change in U.S.
policy, and want to ensure that four main conditions are met prior to
the U.S. re-establishing diplomatic relations with the country:
Many of the Rotarians in attendance for the presentation have visited
Cuba during two trips sponsored by the Rotary Club of Wilmington.
Rotarian and program chair John Potter has visited Cuba for humanitarian
work, and invited Aristigueta to speak about this pressing topic.
Originally published by UDaily
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