Emily Chow

LAWGEF Promotes US-Cuba Scientific Cooperation through Commemorative Hemingway Delegation

The Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF) has been continuing the legacy of the “Old Man in the Sea,” Ernest Hemingway, and his research conducted in Cuba on shared maritime resources with the United States. This week a delegation including the grandsons of Ernest Hemingway, Patrick and John, will be traveling to Cuba to not only commemorate their grandfather but to promote U.S-Cuba scientific cooperation and ocean resource management that their grandfather started about eighty years ago. In 1934, Ernest Hemingway invited representatives from the Philadelphia’s National Academy of Sciences to travel on his beloved boat, the Pilar, to conduct marlin research in the Florida Straits. At that time there was no embargo on Cuba, and this type of scientific exchange could happen frequently. After 50 years of broken diplomatic relations and in a world with natural resources becoming more scarce now is the time to promote scientific exchange with our geographical neighbors rather than isolate them. Below is a piece that was published by the Philadelphia Inquirer written by two of LAWGEF’s delegation participants John Hemingway and Robert McCracken Peck, senior fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, about the importance of being part of this delegation to Cuba and what it may mean for the future of U.S-Cuba relations.

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From Miami: Cuban Americans Call for Change in Outdated Cuba Policy

The buzz in Miami on March 15th could probably be heard all the way in Cuba. Last weekend, Cuban Americans for Engagement (CAFE), FORNORM (Foundation for the Normalizations of Relations with Cuba), Generacion Cambio Cubano and Cuba Educational Travel hosted a conference to highlight the growing majority of Cuban Americans that are in favor of normalizing relations with Cuba.

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Obama and Castro Shake Hands and Bring Positivity to the State of U.S.-Cuba Relations

Yesterday at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in South Africa a small but significant gesture took place between President Barack Obama and President Raúl Castro: they shook hands. While this normally wouldn't have been such a noteworthy action of civility, it has highlighted the need to address the current state of broken relations between the United States and Cuba. The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) supports this development and encourages further steps by both countries to move us along the path towards engagement and normalization.

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The UN Voted to Condemn the U.S. Embargo for the 22nd Time

For the twenty-second time, the United Nations General Assembly voted to bring an end to the United States' economic embargo on Cuba. The truth is that we're not too shocked that this happened again. The world has consistently been against us for our out-dated policies towards the island nation.

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Diana Nyad Makes the Swim from Cuba to U.S: An Inspiration to All

Diana Nyad has finally made it. Last Monday she swam onto the shores of Key West, FL, from the Hemingway Marina in Cuba. The 110 mile trek took 64-year old Nyad 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds. You can watch her arrival to Key West here. This is quite the monumental moment for Nyad who has been dreaming about completing her swim since she was 8 years old. This was her fifth attempt at voyaging the Florida Straits, and she claimed that it would be her final attempt even if she didn’t make it this time.  

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What Cuban-American Lawmakers Don't Understand About Cuba

75_support_travelOn July 17th
, 2013 the House Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Services bill that included language proposed by Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) that would negatively impact two key points in President Obama’s plan to promote engagement and people-to-people contact with the Cuban people.

As Cuban Americans for Engagement (CAFE) explained in their press release, “Section 124 would effectively dismantle the "people-to-people" licensing program, allowing American citizens to travel to Cuba for educational purposes, by defunding the program. These licenses have allowed U.S. citizens to legally visit Cuba and experience the island first-hand, ending their reliance on the skewed portrayals of Cuban reality by either the U.S. government or the corporate-controlled media.”

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Latin America Says Goodbye to Leader Hugo Chávez

In light of the passing of Venezuela's President, Hugo Chávez, we think the following statements are well worth reading 

Representative Jose Serrano: '"His focus on the issues faced by the poor and disenfranchised in his country made him a truly revolutionary leader in the history of Latin America. He understood that after 400 years on the outside of the established power structure looking in, it was time that the poor had a chance at seeing their problems and issues addressed. His core belief was in the dignity and common humanity of all people in Venezuela and in the world."...

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