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U.S. Scholars Leave for Cuba to Share History, Experiences

U.S. Scholars Leave for Cuba to Share History, Experiences

(June 24, 1999)

A high-level delegation of Chicano/Latino academics, students, journalists and civic leaders will travel to Cuba July 11th though 18th for an historic exchange of ideas organized by Armando Navarro, professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside.

Scholars from both countries will meet for an unprecedented three-day conference July 13th through 15th at the Centro de Estudios sobre Estados Unidos, located at the University of Havana. "The Chicano/Cubano Experiences: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," will examine the historical, cultural, sociological and political differences and similarities between Cuban revolutionary experiences and those of Chicanos/Latinos in the United States.

Navarro said this visit, called "Encuento con Cuba," could help warm what has been a chilly relationship between the United States and Cuba. He said the 60-person delegation will be suggesting educational and cultural exchange programs between the two nations to set the stage for a renewed diplomatic and economic relationship.

"We have relations with Vietnam. We have relations with North Korea. We have relations with Communist China," Navarro said. "Where is the fairness in continuing to turn our backs on Cuba? We are concerned about bringing an end to the cold war, for the benefit of both this country and Cuba."

Included in the delegation are 25 faculty members from the University of California system, the California State University system, Pitzer College in Claremont, Brigham Young University in Utah, the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, Seattle, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Minnesota.

They will be joined by students, attorneys, school principals, journalists, artists, health care workers and activists, among others. They have scheduled a showing of the Spanish-language film, "Viva La Causa" for the evening of July 13th and a performance by activist and composer Sister Rosa Marta Zarate on the evening of July 13th.

Jorge Hernandez, director of the Centro de Estudios sobre Estados Unidos, will arrange for the U.S. delegation to meet with represenatives of the Cuban foreign affairs office and with members of the Cuban parliment. In addition, the U.S. delegation will tour schools, universities, hospitals and other community resources.

Navarro, conference organizer, will be available Tuesday, July 6, at (909) 787-4577 ext. 1822.

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