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Rutgers Law School and the World Policy Institute to Hold National Summit on Cuba

U.S. policy, economic, race, and human rights issues on the agenda

October 05, 2006 – 

Some of the most critical questions about the future of Cuba, U.S. foreign policy towards the island, and the role of the Cuban-American community will be addressed when Rutgers School of Law–Newark, in conjunction with the World Policy Institute at the New School, holds the “National Summit on Cuba: New Jersey, 2006” from 8:30 am to 6 pm on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Law School.

The summit, which is held in a different major city each year, will feature keynote addresses by New Jersey elected officials who help shape national policy towards Cuba; five panel sessions with expert speakers representing a diversity of opinion on the island, audience Q&A after each session, and members of the Rutgers law faculty serving as moderators; and the New Jersey premiere of “Those I Left Behind,” a new documentary by Cuban-American filmmaker Lisandro Perez-Rey, who will introduce the film.

Keynote speakers are U.S. Senator from New Jersey Robert Menendez ’79 (invited) and Congressman Donald Payne from New Jersey’s 10th district. Session topics and speakers are:  

  • Overview of Current U.S. Cuba Policy, with Caleb McCarry, Cuba Transition Coordinator, U.S. State Department, and Philip Peters, vice president, Lexington Institute.
  • The Current State of the Cuban Economy, with Emily Morris, the Economist Intelligence Unit, London, and Kirby Jones, president, U.S.-Cuba Trade Association.
  • On Race and Cuba, with Pedro Pérez-Sarduy, co-author of “Afro-Cuban Voices on Race and Identity in Contemporary Cuba,” and Sujatha Fernandes, Queens College, CUNY, and author of “Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures”; and Carlos Seiglie, professor of economics, Rutgers University.
  • Human Rights in Cuba and the U.S., with Daniel Wilkinson, Esq., deputy director of the Americas, Human Rights Watch; Ann Sparanese, American Library Association; and Jeffrey Fogel ’69, senior staff attorney, New York Civil Liberties Union.
  • Cuban-American Town Hall Discussion and Debate on “Those I Left Behind” and Community’s Views on Cuba, with Sgt. Carlos Lazo, Washington National Guard, U.S. Army; Aidil Oscariz, Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights; and Antonio R. Zamora, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, Miami office, and president of the U.S./Cuba Legal Forum.

Rutgers law professors who will serve as moderators are Robert Holmes, David Dante Troutt, Tanya Hernandez, Carlos Gonzalez, and Twila Perry. Welcoming remarks will be delivered by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Lissa Weinmann, senior fellow, World Policy Institute; Rutgers–Newark Provost Steven J. Diner; and Law School Dean Stuart L. Deutsch. The Rutgers Race and the Law Review, a student-run journal, is also a sponsor of the summit and will host a reception following the day-long event.

The complete schedule is available here. A $25 registration fee covers lunch and refreshments throughout the day. For students with a valid I.D., the registration fee is $10.