Author Series: Amb. Vicki Huddleston

Date : Mar 20, 2018
Time : 6:00PM To 8:00PM
Place : Hemisphere Suites, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC

6:00pm-6:45pm Reception, 6:45pm-8:00pm Program. This event will be in the HEMISPHERE SUITES.


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On March 20, 2018, the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC hosted Her Excellency Vicki Huddleston for an Ambassador Series Program. Stephanie Fassler, the Director of International Affairs at WAC-DC, gave a brief introductory background about the history of U.S.-Cuban relations.

The ambassador began by discussing her time and experiences in Havana, as well as detailing her interactions with Fidel Castro. Ms. Huddleston began working in Cuba in 1989 as a Deputy Director representing the U.S., and eventually she became the Director of American Affairs in Cuba. During this time, she attempted to discuss U.S. policy with the Cuban government, but she had little success. She noted that U.S. foreign policy often revolves around strengthening policies, with the hopes that being harsh on rivals will get them to back U.S. interests. According to the ambassador, this approach backfired with Cuba. During one of her discussions with Castro, he accused the U.S. of withholding aid, and he refused to comply with U.S. policy on these grounds. Since Cuba could not gain positive relations with the U.S., they developed strong relations with the USSR, and later Russia and China, which continued into the 21st century.

Then, in 2015, President Obama reopened relations with Cuba, and the Cuban government agreed to this arrangement. However, under the Trump era, embargos have been strengthened once again, and there have been retractions in reforms. As a result, Cuban people have become dissatisfied with U.S.-Cuban relations, and the Cuban government is continuing to strengthen relations with Russia and China.

At the end of the event, Her Excellency concluded by stating that U.S.-Cuban relations can improve by encouraging open trade, diplomacy and understanding between the two countries, and that the U.S should try to get more involved in such endeavors to match or even surpass Russian and Chinese relations with Cuba.

This program brought in sponsorship with