Embargo & Engagement: Insights from the Cuban Ambassador - Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California
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Embargo & Engagement: Insights from the Cuban Ambassador

Mar. 12—Amb. Lianys Torres Rivera, Cuba’s ambassador to the US, will shed light on one of our closest yet most controversial and closed-off neighbors in this in-person only program, Q&A and reception.

March 12, 2024

6:00—8:00 PM PT

110 The Embarcadero, Taube Family Auditorium, San Francisco, CA 94105

Commonwealth Club World Affairs

Fraught relations between neighbors are not unique. But with the stakes elevated on the international stage, and separated by just 90 miles, the US and Cuba showcase one of the most strained and enduring neighborhood disputes. In the region where the Cold War almost turned nuclear-hot, is there any way to contend with a complicated history and still make nice?

Join Commonwealth Club World Affairs for an unprecedented evening as we welcome the Cuban ambassador to the US on her first visit to the West Coast. In our exclusive public program, Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera will shed light on one of our closest yet most controversial and closed-off neighbors: the Republic of Cuba. Mike Cerre, Special Correspondent for PBS Newshour, will moderate the live fireside chat.

Ambassador Torres Rivera will share a perspective from Havana: What is the story behind record-breaking recent Cuban migration to the US? Is there any hope for moving beyond the US embargo of Cuba, now in its seventh decade and controversially expanded in the 1990s to sanction worldwide companies trading with the island? More than 30 years on since the fall of the Soviet Union—but in an era of rising geopolitical tensions—what can a relationship between the leader of the free world and our closest Communist neighbor look like?

As ambassador to the US and a key negotiator in the bilateral discussions on bolstering US engagement with Cuba during the Obama administration, Ambassador Torres Rivera will share insight into the process of renewing relations, the backsliding that followed and where we stand now. Hear how the US-Cuba relationship could evolve as we look ahead to this pivotal election year and explore if California-Cuba collaborations could ignite. Come prepared with your questions for this very rare opportunity to speak directly with Cuba’s highest official in the US.

This program is in person only. “Program + Reception” ticket includes a delectable array of traditional Cuban cuisine served buffet style and an open bar with beer, wine and soda for one hour following the program.