«Sponsored by World Policy Institute Puentes Cubanos Cuban Committee for Democracy Fundación Amistad The Time is Now Coalition Cambio Cubano ...»
National Summit on Cuba
October 4, 2003
A Compendium of Commentary
World Policy Institute
Cuban Committee for Democracy
The Time is Now Coalition
Americans For Humanitarian Trade With Cuba
The National Summit on Cuba Compendium
Cuba Project, World Policy Institute
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 Cosponsoring Organizations
2 Supporting, Individuals, Organizations and Staff
3 Overview in the Context of Events of 2003 6 Introductory Remarks: Lissa Weinmann, Project Director, Cuba Project, World Policy Institute 7 Open Letter to the National Summit On Cuba: President Jimmy Carter 8 Points of View from the New Generation of Cuban-Americans Moderator: Silvia Wilhelm, Puentes Cubanos 9 Elizabeth Cerejido, Exhibitions Coordinator, Florida International University Art Museum 11 José Latour, Immigration Attorney, Journalist, Musician, Former U.S. Diplomatic Officer 13 Cynthia Barrera, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Miami School of International Studies Producer of Maria Elvira Confronta 15 Mayda Prego, Attorney, Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, Miami 16 Questions and Answers: The New Generation 18 Florida - A Changing Political Equation?
Moderator: Alfredo Duran, Cuban Committee for Democracy 18 Pat Collier Frank, Hillsborough County Commissioner 20 Kenneth Lipner, Ph.D., Department of Economics, University of Miami, former Economic Development Coordinator for Miami’s Downtown Development Authority 22 Joe McClash, Manatee County Commissioner 24 Alvaro Fernández, Florida Director, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project 25 Rob Schroth Schroth & Associates, Pollster for Miami Herald 26 Annie Betancourt, former Florida State Representative (ran for national office against current U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz Balart on a pro-change platform toward Cuba) 28 Questions & Answers: A Changing Political Equation 29 Our National Interest, Our National Security Moderator: Lissa Weinmann, Cuba Project, World Policy Institute 29 General John Sheehan, USMC (Ret.), Former Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Command, Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic 32 The Hon. William D. Rogers, former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American relations (1974-1977), Vice Chair, Kissinger Associates 34 William Ratliff, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University 38 Ken Lindeman, Senior Scientist and Cuba Program Director Environmental Defense 40 Mayor Michael C. Dow, Mobile, Alabama 42 Questions and Answers: Our National Security, Our National Interest 46 The Human Dimensions of U.S. Policy Moderator: Luly Duke, President, Fundación Amistad ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS47 José Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch 50 Holly Ackerman, Amnesty International 51 Robert Bach, Ph.D., Senior Visiting Fellow, Inter-American Dialogue, Former Executive Associate Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Programs, INS 54 Thomas Wenski, Bishop of Orlando, Former Bishop of Miami 56 Donna Hicks, Ph.D., Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University 57 Peter G. Bourne, M.A., M.D., Chairman, Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba 60 James Early, Ph.D., Director of Cultural Heritage Policy, Smithsonian Institution 62 Questions and Answers: The Human Dimensions of U.S. Policy 64 Impetus for and Implications of Open Travel to Cuba Moderator: Antonio Zamora, The Time is Now Coalition, U.S. Cuba Legal Forum, Bay of Pigs Veteran, Former Counsel to the Cuban American National Foundation 64 U.S. Representative William Delahunt (D-MA) 67 U.S. Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) 68 Phil Peters, Vice President, Lexington Institute, former U.S. Department of State Official under President Reagan 70 Bradley Belt, Executive Director, Association of Travel Related Industry Professionals 72 Questions and Answers: Open Travel 74 The U.S., Cuba and the International Community: A Multilateral Perspective Moderator: Patricia Gutiérrez Menoyo, Cambio Cubano 75 Joaquín Roy Ph.D., Jean Monnet Professor, Director of the EU Center, University of Miami 78 John Mcauliff, Executive Director, Fund for Reconciliation and Development 82 The Hon. Mark Entwistle, former Canadian Ambassador to Cuba 84 Questions and Answers: The International Community 85 Closing Remarks Dr. William Leogrande, Ph.D., Dean, School of Public Affairs, American University 87 Mikhail Gorbachev Keynote Address Introduction: Michael Putney, ABC Network News Anchor, Miami 87 Mikhail Gorbachev 94 Questions and Answers 97 Excerpts from Mikhail Gorbachev’s Press Conference 100 Cosponsor Information 108 Biographies of Speakers 130 Editorial: The Last Wall by Mikhail Gorbachev and Selected Press Clips 1
WORLD POLICY INSTITUTE CUBA PROJECT STAFFLissa Weinmann, Summit Coordinator ♦ John Loggia, Assistant Summit and Communications Coordinator Michele Wojcik, Assistant Summit Coordinator ♦ Emily Myers, Summit Intern ♦ Tucker Hall, Public Relations, Tampa, Florida
OVERVIEW IN THE CONTEXT OF EVENTS OF 2003 The National Summit on Cuba: Florida was held at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida on October 4, 2003. Diverse leaders from 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 forty-three year political stalemate between the two governments in order to promote national reconciliation and 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.
NATIONAL SUMMIT ON CUBA: AN ANNUAL EVENTThe Miami National Summit on Cuba was the second in what has become an annual gathering of American and international leaders from all sectors representing various points of view on U.S. – Cuba relations. The Summits are held in various cities, and organized by the World Policy Institute’s Cuba Project in conjunction with different cosponsors depending on the orientation of the event. The Summits’ guiding mission, whatever the city or roster of cosponsoring organizations is to examine and illuminate how our policy of unilateral economic and diplomatic embargo on neighboring Cuba affects the U.S. economy, our national security, the well-being and human rights of the Cuban people and U.S. leadership internationally, among other areas.
The first Summit, held at Washington DC’s National Press Club in 2002, was cosponsored by the World Policy Institute, the USA Engage Coalition of more than 650 U.S. corporations (many household names) and the American Farm Bureau Federation and Americans For Humanitarian Trade With Cuba. The Summit assembled an impressive ‘grass tops’ array of 44 speakers and delegations from 28 states including elected officials, corporate representatives, port and transportation officials, farmers, local trade groups and chambers of commerce as well as a broad array of human rights and religious leaders. Approximately 400 Cuban Americans participated in the second day of the Summit, organizing various Congressional panels on changes within that important community.
The Florida Summit was meant to inform a policy review the Bush Administration had announced was taking place in 2003. The review came in the wake of a Cuban government crackdown on political dissidents which appeared to arrest a trend toward more political and economic openness on the island.
4 THE CONGRESSIONAL CONTEXT IN 2003 During 2003, tension grew between the Administration and Congress, as well as within the Republican Party itself.
Despite growing bipartisan momentum to lift the ban on U.S. citizens’ ability to travel to Cuba, the Bush administration in 2003 greatly tightened restrictions on legal travel to Cuba by cutting-off all people-to-people exchanges.
Several votes in early September 2003 reflected the House of Representatives support for broad relaxation of the Cuba embargo.
Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) sponsored an amendment that would cut the appropriation for the Department of Treasury to enforce the travel ban. That amendment won by a vote of 227-188.
Representative William Delahunt (D-MA) sponsored an amendment that would have prohibited Treasury from enforcing any cap on remittances to Cuba. That amendment passed 222-196.
Representative Jim Davis (D-Tampa) sponsored an amendment that would have restored the people-to-people travel that President Bush had cut earlier that year. The House passed that amendment by a 246 to173 vote.
On October 23, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-SD) introduced the same amendment that passed the house which would, again, have eliminated Treasury’s ability to enforce the travel embargo by withholding the Congressional appropriation to do so. The amendment passed by a 59 to 36 vote. The Senate roll call on that vote is included later in this compendium.
The normal procedure when the Senate and House pass exact language is that it is included in the final bill, and it was fully expected that the Cuba language would therefore be included in the final Treasury Appropriations bill which would then be sent to the President for signature.
Congressional leaders in 2003 summarily removed the Cuba language. The move was widely viewed as a shocking and unusual measure that angered Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. It is generally accepted that the leaders did this to avoid sending the bill to the President as he had said he would veto the important spending provision if it contained language that loosened the embargo on Cuba.
THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT OF U.S. CUBA POLICY IN 2003 The Summit underscored how the international and human rights community has been caught in the crossfire of U.S.-Cuba politics. While chagrined at the turn of events in Cuba, the international community steadfastly refuses to follow suit with economic isolationism, making any efforts to form a multilateral policy toward Cuba necessarily predicated on U.S. steps toward diplomacy and principled engagement with Cuba.
Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and ‘Velvet Revolution’ head Vaclav Havel in 2003 were joined by other Eastern European leaders in denouncing both the crackdown in Cuba and U.S.
policy toward Cuba.
The two main human rights groups (Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch) spoke at the Summit. They reiterated the view of political dissidents in Cuba in explaining how current U.S policy impedes the cause of political freedom and human rights in Cuba. Both groups called for steps toward diplomatic engagement between the U.S. and Cuba, encouraging the U.S. to take the first step by recognizing American citizens’ human right to travel freely to Cuba.
The Organization of American States refused in early 2003 to entertain a U.S. resolution condemning Cuba for the political crackdown, arguing that the measure was illegal since, because the U.S. bars Cuba’s membership in the OAS, Cuba had no standing therefore no ability to defend itself within the regional body. The U.S. subsequently lost its important seat on the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.
A 2003 resolution from the European Union condemning Cuba’s human rights abuses also condemns U.S. policy toward the island. The United Nations has annually condemned the embargo as an abrogation of international law for 10 years running. The last vote in 2003 was 157 to 3.
THE CUBAN-AMERICAN CHANGE AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION REACTIONNumerous polls conducted in 2003 showed that a majority of Americans and Cuban-Americans in South Florida believe the U.S. government should embark on a new policy, which can enhance their ability to participate in an evolving Cuba as well as begin to address the interests of the Cuban people as they themselves, express them. The community is increasingly and now openly discussing what can be done to speed the reunification of the Cuban family for the benefit of current and future generations on both sides of the Florida Straits.
Days after the Florida Summit, despite the obvious change of heart within the Cuban American community and the urgings of President Gorbachev for President Bush to “Tear down the wall of this embargo,” President Bush reiterated his support of the embargo in a Rose Garden event on October 10, 2004.
In his speech that day to a group of 100 Cuban American embargo supporters (which excluded representatives of the Cuban American National Foundation which by then had become viewed as too moderate since they had earlier in the year advocated dialogue with Cuban government representatives except for the Castros), President Bush announced the formation of a Presidential Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. The President’s comments are included later in this compendium.
6 The Commission would be composed of the heads of various U.S. government agencies and include no private sector participation. In 2004, the Bush Administration would adopt many of the Commission recommendations to cut family travel to Cuba, limit remittances and appropriate some $56 million in U.S. government funds to help speed a rapid and peaceful political transition in Cuba.