The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies will host a panel discussion on “U.S. Policy Toward Cuba Under a New Republican or Democratic Administration” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21. Moderated by ICCAS Director Jaime Suchlicki, the panelists include Alfredo Duran, a Bay of Pigs veteran and former chair of the Florida Democratic Party, and Otto Reich, who served as a diplomat in numerous Republican administrations.
The forum, at Casa Bacardi, 1531 Brescia Avenue, Coral Gables, is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To attend RSVP at 305-284-CUBA (2822).
Suchlicki, the Emilio Bacardi Moreau Distinguished Professor, is also editor of “Cuban Affairs,” a quarterly electronic journal published by ICCAS, and the author of Cuba: From Columbus to Castro; Mexico: From Montezuma to the Rise of PAN; and Breve Historia de Cuba.
Duran, a Miami lawyer, former prisoner of war in Cuba for 18 months, and former president of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, has a longstanding record of participation in Democratic Party politics, including chairing the Florida Democratic Party from 1976-1980 and serving as a member on various DNC party committees and commissions. He has also served as a member of the Dade County School Board and as chairman of the Community Relations Board. He served on the Board of Directors of the Mercy Hospital Foundation, Inc., and was active in the NAFTA and Beyond Commission as well as other civic and community organizations. He is presently on the Board of Directors of the Cuban Committee for Democracy (CCD) and a member of the board of directors of the Center for International Policy.
Reich, president of Otto Reich Associates, LLC, of Washington, D.C., served as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela from 1986 to 1989. In the 1980s, Reich received three appointments from President Ronald Reagan. As Special Advisor to the Secretary of State from 1983 to 1986, he directed the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean, receiving the office’s Meritorious Honor Award.
From 1981 to 1983, he was assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in charge of U.S. economic assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean. He was the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2001 to 2002. He then became President George Bush’s Special Envoy for Western Hemisphere Initiatives, reporting to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the National Security Council. He left government service in June 2004.