69th Program Year – First Meeting
TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2017, 6:00 PM, TANOAN COUNTRY CLUB, 10801 ACADEMY BLVD NE
The Program: “Cuba: Myths, Lies and Contradictions.” Until President Obama’s opening to Cuba, powerful Cuban lobbies controlled U.S. policy toward the island. President Trump’s Cuba policy reversed Obama’s opening, returning our Cuba policy to a small clique of conservative Cuban Americans. The possibility of a normal relationship between our countries has evaporated, leaving key issues which bedevil our relationship—the embargo, Guantanamo Base, and settlement of expropriated property—unresolved. We have lost a unique opportunity to repair our relations with Cuba, instead Cuba will seek closer alliances with Russia and China.
Presenter: Ambassador Huddleston was the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2009-11. She is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa; U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and to Mali; Principal Officer of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and Chargé d’affairs ad interim in Ethiopia. She was Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti, and Director and Deputy Director of Cuban Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Defense, she was a Visiting Scholar at Brookings Institution. Ambassador Huddleston was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). She began her overseas career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. She also worked for the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) in Peru and Brazil. Huddleston earned a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins School Advanced International Studies and a BA from the University of Colorado. She has received U.S. Department of State awards, including a Distinguished Honor Award and a Presidential Meritorious Service Award. In 2008, she was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team for the U.S. Department of State. She has written opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post and is a former commentator for NBC-Universal. She is married to Bob Huddleston, a former USAID officer, and they have two children, Alexandra and Robert.
Sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories
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