Cuba: Time for Change?

TRAVERSE CITY - In the wake of President Obama's move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, Elaine Diaz Rodriguez, a Cuban blogger, journalist and professor at the University of Havana, will present, "Cuba: Time for Change?" at the next International Affairs Forum lecture, set for 6 p.m. Feb. 19 in Milliken Auditorium.

Diaz Rodriguez is currently a Nieman Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She was in Miami when Obama announced in December that he would seek to  restore relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of a U.S. embargo against the island nation.  She said that “the symbolism of the action, after so many years… meant a lot to me… I think this is the first day of the rest of our lives, at least for me as a Cuban. It will never be the same.”

Among other topics, Diaz Rodriguez will discuss what a post-embargo Cuba might look like, and what an opening to Cuba would mean to the U.S. economy, to travelers from the U.S., to the Cuban people, to the U.S. standing in Latin America.

Diaz Rodriguez brings a keen insight into current Cuban society and the capacity of digital communication to promote public discussion and consensus building in Cuba and possibly a path to normalization.

IAF lectures are rebroadcast on UpNorth TV public access cable television three times a week, and available online for streaming on demand. Board members also produce “Beyond the Headlines,” a roundtable-style interview program that focuses on current foreign affairs issues and airs on UpNorth TV.

The IAF is affiliated with NMC and the World Affairs Council of America. All lectures are held in the Dennos Museum Center's Milliken Auditorium on the NMC campus at 6 p.m., with a reception prior to the lecture from 5:15 to 6 p.m. Admission is free to all students and educators, and $10 for others. Subscriber tickets for the entire season are available; visit or call (231) 995-1700 for more information.

RELEASE DATE:  February 5, 2015


Karen Segal
International Affairs Forum co-chair
(231) 715-6064


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