Windham World Affairs Council
The Windham World Affairs Council will welcome Jourdy James Heredia, PhD, Assistant Director and Lead Researcher at the Global Economy Research Center in Havana, for a talk entitled “Building Socialism in Cuba Today” on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 at the Center Congregational Church, 193 Main St. Brattleboro. Refreshments and conversation start at 7 p.m.; The talk will begin at 7:30 and is free and open to the public, though donations are encouraged.
Heredia travels to Brattleboro with Witness for Peace New England with support from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation as part of a national tour. She will speak about the current economic situation in Cuba, historical and contemporary impacts of the U.S.’s 60-year, stringent, unilateral economic embargo on Cuba, advances Cuba has made in food security, and ongoing challenges in the construction of Cuban socialism given perennially hostile external circumstances.
The topic of this talk has particular resonance for Vermonters as it brings to mind the ongoing debate on the meaning of socialism as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders vies for the Democratic Presidential nomination as a “Democratic Socialist.” It also brings to mind our state’s special relationship with Cuba as a result of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy’s decades-long effort to improve bilateral relations. Leahy has traveled to Cuba many times and seen firsthand the benefits of Obama-era engagement (while maintaining the full embargo) for both Cuban and American people at large. Leahy has called the current administration’s policies, including further impeding Americans’ freedom of travel, a step back towards the Cold War.
A number of individuals in our area engage regularly with Cuba. Among them is artist and photographer Cathryn Griffith, whose book and exhibition, “Havana Revisited” documents the history, preservation and present uses of Havana’s most important buildings and urban spaces. WWAC will co-sponsor a screening of Griffith’s new 40-minute film “La Habana 500 Anos” on efforts to restore the historical colonial architecture for the city’s quincentennial on Sunday, Oct. 20, 5 pm at 118 Elliot as a closing event of this year’s Brattleboro Literary Festival.
Windham World Affairs Council is an all-volunteer council and member of the World Affairs Councils of America. More information about our events and an archive of our free monthly talks is available on our website:' https://www.windhamworldaffairscouncil.org'
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