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Cuban Delegation Comes to Campus

by Julia Summer, Public Affairs
posted Mar. 11, 1998

A distinguished delegation of up to 20 prominent Cubans will participate in an historic public dialogue with their counterparts in various academic disciplines and professions at Ber-keley March 19-21.

The dialogue, to be conducted in plenary and concurrent sessions, will probe such vital issues as U.S./Cuba relations and foreign policy, health, the environment, agriculture, trade unions, tourism, urban planning and development, education, filmmaking, literature, sports, religion, the media, race and economics.

“Since the end of the Cold War, relations between the United States. and Cuba have deteriorated,” says Ling-Chi Wang, chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and a prime mover behind the conference. “The need for better understanding between our two countries has never been more urgent and compelling.”

The conference will open with a cultural performance – “The Spirits of Havana ’98” – at Berkeley Community Theater Thursday, March 19, at 8 p.m. On the program are jazz artist Jane Bunnett, singer/songwriter Carlos Varela, an Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble featuring Pancho Quinto; and writer Alice Walker and Cuban poet Nancy Morejon reading their poetry. Tickets ($20 general, $15 student) are available at BASS, Round World Records in San Francisco and La Pena in Berkeley.

Panel discussions March 20 and 21 will be led by, among others: Dean Richard Buxbaum of International and Area Studies; Fernando Remirez de Estenoz, first deputy, minister of foreign affairs and chief, Cuban Interests Section, Washington, D.C.; Congressman Esteban Torres of Los Angeles; Jorge Perez Avila, physician and director of the Havana AIDS Sanitarium; Gerardo Chijona, filmmaker (“Adorable Lies”); Alberto Juantorena, former Olympic track star and vice president of Cuba’s National Institute of Sport; and Ed Penhoet, president and CEO of Chiron Corporation.

A conference schedule and registration form is available at 506 Barrows Hall and on the web at

Other Berkeley faculty instrumental in organizing this conference are Julio Ramos, chair of Spanish and Portuguese; Nancy Scheper-Hughes, professor of anthropology; Lydia Chavez, acting associate professor of journalism; Richard Walker, chair of geography; and Percy Hintzen, chair of African-American studies.

Conference registration fee is $20; all events are free to students with ID.

For information, call the Department of Ethnic Studies at 643-0796 or email LULYFL@uclink2.

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