Steering Committee

    Marifeli Pérez-Stable
    Jorge I. Domínguez
Pedro A. Freyre


Marifeli Pérez-Stable (Havana, 1949) has lived in the United States since 1960. Her first eleven years were spent in the placid world that privileged Cubans inhabited in the1950s. She has also lived in Miami, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Gainesville (FL), and New York City. She is happily back in Miami: "La Cuba que me es dada."

For her, Cuba has never been an emotionally neutral topic. Her academic work has always been more than a scholarly endeavor: it is a charge from the heart. From the early 1970s until the mid-1980s, she supported the Cuban Revolution. She is neither regretful nor apologetic. On the contrary, because during those years she frequently traveled to the island, she got to know Cuba quite well, and that knowledge continues to be a source of enrichment and insight. Knowing Cuban society first-hand also allowed her, gradually, to come to terms with the waning of the revolutionary project and the conclusive failure of socialism.

She was first drawn to the Cuban Revolution by the noble ideals of national sovereignty and social justice. Intellectually, she strove to find the roots of that extraordinary year, 1959, in the contours of Cuban history. But intellectual pursuits were only part of her search: she wanted to change things and be a part of Cuba. With other progressive Cuban Americans, she raised her voice in favor of the revolution and in opposition to the U.S. embargo; for doing so, she immediately became a pariah among other Cuban exiles.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, she started to see the Cuban government differently; because of her changed views, official Cuba considers her persona non grata. Marifeli still wants to change things and be a part of Cuba. In the recent past, she has been active in three Cuban projects in the diaspora: the Institute of Cuban Studies, the Cuban Committee for Democracy, and the journal Encuentro de la cultura cubana. These three institutions are living examples of Cubans constructing a democratic culture and practicing democracy. In the same spirit, she looks forward to the task force's work.

Her book The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy was first published by Oxford University in 1993; a second edition appeared in 1999. In 1998, Madrid's Editorial Colibrí issued a Spanish translation of the second edition. She is currently working on a reinterpretation of Cuban politics (1868-2000).
Marifeli is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Florida International University.



Jorge I. Domínguez is the director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard College Professor, and Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University. He received his BA from Yale University (1967) and his PhD from Harvard University (1972).

He has authored or edited more than two dozen books. Among them are: Cuba: Order and Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1978); To Make a World Safe for Revolution: Cuba's Foreign Policy (Harvard University Press, 1989); (with James A. McCann) Democratizing Mexico: Public Opinion and Electoral Choices (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); (editor, chapter author) Technopols: Freeing Politics and Markets in Latin America in the 1990s (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997); Democratic Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998); (co-editor, with Alejandro Poiré; chapter author) Toward Mexico's Democratization: Parties, Campaigns, Elections, and Public Opinion (Routledge, 1999); and (editor, chapter author) The Future of Inter-American Relations (Routledge, 2000).

Professor Domínguez was series editor for Crisis in Central America: A Four-Part Special Report produced for FRONTLINE (Public Broadcasting System, 1985). The series won the Peabody Award. He was also the chief editorial advisor for Mexico (PBS, 1988). He is a member of the editorial boards of Mexican Studies, Cuban Studies, Political Science Quarterly, Revista de Ciencias Sociales, and a contributing editor of Foreign Policy. He is a past president of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and the Institute for Cuban Studies (ICS), and a former board chair of the Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities.



Pedro A. Freyre is Legal Counsel in the Corporate Practice Group's Miami office. His practice focuses on advising Spanish and Latin American companies on establishing operations in the United States, advising US companies on establishing operations in Latin America, insurance regulation, Cuban embargo regulation, and mergers and acquisitions.

Until recently, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Mapfre Insurance Group in Florida. The company is a subsidiary of Sistema Mapfre, Spain's largest insurance group. Prior to that position, Mr. Freyre was general counsel and director of government and public relations for Dow Chemical Latin America.
In June 2000, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Mr. Freyre to the board of directors of the Florida Council for the Humanities. He is a member of the board of governors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the board of directors of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, and the steering committee of the Center for Transnational Studies at Florida International University. In addition, he is vice-president of the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board.

Mr. Freyre is a contributing author in International Transaction, a publication of the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Florida Bar. He has written articles in the Miami Herald, Nuevo Herald, and Éxito. He has appeared on Nightline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, the Fox Network's Paula Zahn Show, This Week in South Florida, and various other television shows. He has been an adjunct instructor in the Department of Political Science at Florida International University.

Mr. Freyre is chairman of FACE (Facts About Cuban Exiles), a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to providing information about the Cuban exile community. He is also chairman of the Free Cuba Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Freyre received his undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies (BA, 1971), magna cum laude, and his law degree (JD, 1974) from the University of Miami. He is a member of the Florida Bar, the Michigan State Bar, and the Cuban-American Bar Association. He is fluent in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.



Paloma Aguilar (Madrid, 1965) has a doctorate in political science and sociology from the Universidad Nacional de la Distancia (Madrid) and the Instituto Juan March de Estudios e Investigaciones (Madrid). During the 2001 fall semester, she was a Tinker Professor in the graduate program of the Department of Political Science at Madison University (Wisconsin).

Dr. Aguilar is a professor of political science and public administration at the Universidad Nacional de la Distancia. She is also a member of the Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ciencias Sociales (Instituto Juan March de Estudios e Investigaciones). She teaches a master's course on regime evolution and political change at the Instituto Universitario General Gutiérrez Mellado (Madrid).

Dr. Aguilar is the author of Memoria y olvido de la guerra civil española (Alianza Editorial, 1996), translated into English by Berghahn Books in New York. She is a co-editor of The Politics of Memory and Democratization (Oxford University Press, 2001), which Editorial Istmo published in Spanish. Dr. Aguilar's essays are published in numerous anthologies and in journals such as Democratization, West European Politics, and Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política.

Dr. Aguilar is interested in issues related to collective memory, the legacies of authoritarian regimes, nationalism's challenges to nation-states, and the creation of collective identities. Similarly, she has done research on democratic transitions, concentrating on the following topics: the legacies of political confrontation (civil wars, social polarization), their impact on building or reforming institutions (in terms of preventing a repetition of traumatic events), the demands for justice from society and political parties (e.g., trials for alleged violators of human rights; purges of civilian and military institutions; truth commissions; material and symbolic compensation for the victims or their families; reincorporation of exiles).



Roberto Álvarez served in the foreign service of the Dominican Republic from 1966 to 1970. Between 1970 and 1978, he worked at the Organization of American States, first as staff attorney in the legal department and later in the secretariat of the human rights commission. As principal researcher, he prepared the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)'s draft country reports on Chile (1976), El Salvador (1978), Nicaragua (1978), and Paraguay (1977). He also organized IACHR on-site visits to El Salvador (1978), Nicaragua (1977), and Panama (1977).

With a grant from the Inter-American Foundation, Mr. Álvarez carried out research (1979-1980) on legal aid to indigents and under represented groups in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean as well as on the promotion and protection of human rights in the area. From 1982 to 1984, he served as program associate in the Central American and Caribbean Program at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Mr. Álvarez has served as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, the Instituto Latinoamericano para la Prevención del Delito y el Tratamiento del Delincuente (ILANUD) of the United Nations, and the Ford Foundation on issues concerning the development of business, the strengthening of judicial systems and the rule of law, and the promotion and protection of human rights. He has also been a delegate on Amnesty International missions to Nicaragua and Sri Lanka.

Mr. Álvarez has been a professor as well as a guest lecturer on human rights and international law at several universities and academic centers, including American University and the Foreign Service Institute of the US State Department, both in Washington, DC; the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo; the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua; Rutgers University Law School in Camden, New Jersey; and the City University of New York.

He is the author of several books on human rights and international affairs, and writes frequently for Dominican newspapers and magazines, such as El Siglo, Listín Diario, Rumbo, and Gaceta Judicial.

Mr. Álvarez received a Master's degree in international relations from SAIS and completed all course work there toward a PhD in US foreign policy. He also holds a JD degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo and a Master's in Comparative Law from Georgetown University. He speaks English and Spanish fluently and has a working knowledge of Portuguese and French.

Mr. Álvarez is presently conducting independent research on issues relating to amnesty laws, impunity, and the historical memory of human rights violations in El Salvador and Argentina.



Juan Antonio Blanco majored in history and pedagogy at the University of Havana. In 1985, he received his PhD in historical sciences. He has taught at the University of Havana, Instituto Superior de Relations Internationale, and Instituto Superior Pedagogic. He has published in journals, such as Pensamiento Crítico, Cuadernos de Nuestra América, and Contracorriente (Cuba), Links (Australia), Human Rights Tribune (Canada), La Factoría (Spain), and Critika (Sweden). He founded and directed the magazine Acuario (Cuba) and was member of the editorial boards of Links, Human Rights Tribune, and the Mexican Institute of Technology's journal. He is the author of Tercer Milenio (1994) and has specialized in matters related to sustainable development and bio-ethics.

Between 1974 and 1992, he occupied a number of official positions in Cuba. Among them were: official of the MINREX's UN Department (1972-1975); head of MINREX's Department of Non-Aligned Countries (1976-1979); political counsel of Cuba's UN Mission (1980-1982); director of the UN Office of the President of Non-Aligned Countries in New York (1979-1982); economic counsel at the Cuban Embassy in Bolivia (1983-1984); and official for the US and policy-planning sections in the Americas Department of the Cuban Communist Party's Central Committee (1985-1992).

In 1993, he founded the Felix Varela Center and was its director until 1997. He participated in the Salzburg Seminar's sessions dedicated to the construction of global citizenship (1995). He has participated in numerous international events in Cuba and other countries such as: congresses of the Latin American Association of Sociology and the American Association of Caribbean Studies and seminars on the eradication of poverty organized in Chile by Norway's CROPP and sponsored by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the European Union. Representing a number of NGOs, he has attended UN events such as the Global Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, 1993) and the Summit of Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995).

Since 1997, he has been the director for international cooperation of Human Rights Internet (HRI), an international NGO based in Ottawa, founded twenty-five years ago and with UN consultant status. He serves mainly as the facilitator of joint actions between human rights and development NGOs within the United Nations. He coordinated the international forum of human rights NGOs Vienna+5, organized in Ottawa in 1998 by HRI and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and sponsored by the Canadian and Norwegian governments.



Siro del Castillo (Havana, 1943) attended Belen Jesuit School. At age 17 and still a student, he was arrested for his involvement in anti-Castro activities. Because of his youth, his sentence was set to end on his 21st birthday. From 1964 to 1970, Mr. del Castillo worked as an architectural designer for the National Institute of Tourism. In 1970, he resigned and was sent to a forced-labor farm. In March 1972, he finally obtained permission to leave the country.

During the Mariel boat lift, Mr. del Castillo assumed a variety of responsibilities: at Metro Dade County's processing center; Krome Refugee Camp for Cubans and, later, the Krome Haitian Camp; the US Department of State's Cuban-Haitian Task Force; and the Cuban Refugee Detention Camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Subsequently, he directed the Cuban resettlement project of the Little Havana Activities Center in New Orleans, which worked with the Cuban detainees at the Atlanta Federal Prison. Since then, he has continued to work on behalf of Cuban and other immigrants to the United States as well as in defense of human rights in the Caribbean. During the Cuban rafter crisis in 1994, Mr. del Castillo was named Assistant to the Ombudsman for the General at Guantanamo Naval Base. In 1994-1995, he traveled often to the base and worked with United Way to help prepare the refugees for life in the United States.

Mr. del Castillo has a long record of civic activism. Monsignor Agustín Román asked him to join his Task Force of Cuban Civic Organizations. He is on the boards of the Miami Mental Health Center and the Krome Stakeholders. He is a member of FACE (Facts About Cubans Exiles) and of several human rights organizations. He belongs to the Christian Democratic Party of Cuba and works on its human rights commission. In that capacity, he has addressed the UN Commission of Human Rights in Geneva. He is also active in the Miami Hispanic arts community. In addition, he has served as the Caribbean Commissioner for CLADEHLT (the Latin American Commission for the Rights and Liberties of Workers and Peoples).

In 2000, Mr. del Castillo received two prestigious awards. In February, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center honored him with the Liberty and Justice for All award. In September, FACE selected him for its Directors´ Award.

Mr. del Castillo is senior electrical designer at Manuel Perea P.E. Inc., Consulting Engineers. He is also an artist and has had his paintings exhibited frequently over the past two decades. He lives in Miami with his wife and son.



Elisa Vilano Chovel was born in Guanabacoa. In Cuba, she went to school at Santa Teresa del Niño Jesús. In June 1962, Elly left Cuba as part of Operation Peter Pan, a program sponsored by the US Catholic church which brought 14,000 unaccompanied minors to the United States. She was relocated to Buffalo, New York where she went to Bishop Newman High School and later Rosary Hill College.

Ms. Chovel married Captain Thomas Flanigan who not too long thereafter died in the Vietnam War. She became a widow at age 21. She later remarried, is presently divorced, has three children, and four grandchildren. She has been a realtor for 21 years and is currently at Esslinger, Wooten and Maxwell in South Miami.

She is the founder and president of Operation Pedro Pan Group. She served on the board of directors of Catholic Charities and is now a trustee. She has done volunteer work or served on the boards of the Miami Ballet Society, Miami City Ballet, Community Relations Board, Creced, Catholic Home for Children, and Boys Town of Florida. She received the JC Penney Golden Rule Award (1995) and was named Woman of Impact (2000) by the Coalition for Women's History of the Historical Society of Southern Florida.

In 1998, Ms. Chovel returned to Cuba for His Holiness Pope John Paul II's visit. She is frequently quoted or interviewed by the media and academics on her work with Operation Pedro Pan Group.



María Domínguez received her JD in the Charter Class of St. Thomas University School of Law (1987). Since 1991, she has been the executive director of the Human Rights Institute at St. Thomas University. Under her leadership, the institute has received numerous recognitions, including ARETE 2001 ("virtue" in Greek). She has a long-standing record of working on behalf of immigrants. During the 1980s and early 1990s, she was an attorney with the Pro Bono Project of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (South Florida). Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Domínguez was a social worker and an elementary school teacher.

In 1998, then-Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright appointed her public delegate to the U.S. delegation to the 54th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. In 2000, she was a witness on the hearing, "Children's Rights in Cuba," before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the US House of Representatives.

Ms. Domínguez serves on the board of numerous organizations, including One Nation Inc., Public Health Trust, FACE (Facts about Cuban Exiles), Dade County Health Policy Authority, and American Immigration Lawyers Association (South Florida). She also serves or has served on the Miami Area Refugee Task Force (1995-present), the Guantanamo Refugee Assimilation and Self-Sufficiency Project (GRASP) (1995-1998), the Miami Chamber of Commerce Immigration Core Group (1994-present), the Guantanamo Legal Defense Team (1994-1995), and the Governor's Interagency Work Group - Mass Immigration Contingency Plan (1993-1994), among others. She has published widely and has been interviewed often in the Miami media.

Ms. Domínguez's long record of public service has been duly recognized. She has received various awards, such as Jackson Health System's Long-Standing Dedication to Public Service throughout South Florida (2000), St. Thomas University's Hispanic Law Society Recognition Award (1997), FACE's Annual Excellence Award (1996), Miami Cuban Lions Club (1995), and the newspaper's La Estrella de Nicaragua Award for Professional, Civic, and Humanitarian Merits (1991). In 1995, the Human Rights Institute, which she directs, was bestowed the Peace and Unity Award by the St. Martin de Porres Association, a coalition of black Catholic leaders.



Until assuming the position of University Chaplain at American University in 1997, Reverend Eldridge spent more than twenty years working in the public policy arena as advocate and analyst on international human rights and humanitarian issues. In 1991, he established the Washington office of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and served as its director for six years. During the mid-1980s he worked in Honduras with a development agency and consulted on development and human rights issues. In 1974 he co-founded the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a public policy and human rights organization, and served as its director for twelve years. He lived in Santiago Chile from 1970-1973 where he worked for an agency of the United Methodist Church. Presently, he is also an adjunct professor in the School of International Service at American University.

Reverend Eldridge has published a number of opinion editorials in the Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Legal Times, and several longer articles for journals and books. He was interviewed about Honduras by Mike Wallace for 60 Minutes and by Bill Moyers for a PBS documentary, God and Politics.

Reverend Eldridge has a Masters in Theology from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and a Masters in International Studies from American University's School of International Service. He is married to María Otero, and they have three children. 



Mark Falcoff is resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, where he specializes in Latin American issues.

Mr. Falcoff received his MA and PhD from Princeton University and has taught at the universities of Illinois, Oregon, and California (Los Angeles) as well as at the US Foreign Service Institute.

He has served as principal specialist on Latin America for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well as director of a study group on Chile at the Council on Foreign Relations.

His books include: Small Countries, Large Issues; Modern Chile, 1970-1989: A Critical History; A Tale of Two Policies: US Relations with the Argentine Junta, 1976-83; Panama's Canal: What Happens When the United States Gives a Small Country What It Wants; and a collection of essays, A Culture of Its Own: Taking Latin Americans Seriously.

His new book, Cuba the Morning After: Normalization and its Discontents, will be published in mid-2003.

His articles and reviews have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, the New Republic, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Commentary.

Mr. Falcoff is a frequent lecturer at service schools, diplomatic academies, and before business and political groups at home and abroad. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.  



Damián Fernández is associate professor and chair of the Department of International Relations at Florida International University. He has published various books, including Cuba and the Politics of Passion and Cuba, the Elusive Nation: Reinterpretations of National Identity, co-edited with Madeline Cámara. He first thought about Cuba and the Politics of Passion after a trip to Cuba in 1979 when he was a senior at Princeton University. Twenty-one years later, it was finally published by the University of Texas Press. It took him that long to find the voice with which to speak and write about Cuba. A shy bookworm at heart who appreciates the musical genius of disco, he has had to face the public challenges that come with the territory of studying Cuban politics in Miami. He hopes someday to write (or, better still, live) a love story facing the ocean on the deck of his house in Melbourne Beach (or in Pinar del Río where he was born).



Lino Fernández (1931) was born in Esmeralda, Camagüey. He married Emilia Luzárraga in 1958 and has three children. He went to high school at Belén Jesuit School in Havana. He studied medicine at the University of Havana and clinical psychology at the University of Villanueva. He specialized in psychiatry at the San Juan de Dios Sanatorium and worked at Mazorra Hospital, both in Havana. He was a member of the Agrupación Católica Universitaria and the Catholic Psychiatric Institute.

In 1953, he was among the founders of the League of Revolutionary Action (LAR) and participated in the struggle against the dictator, Fulgencio Batista. In October 1959, he was a founding member the Movement for Revolutionary Recovery (MRR). On February 17, 1961, he was captured in Las Villas province where he had joined the armed struggle against the Castro government. He was a political prisoner in Cuba for 17 years.

In 1979, Dr. Fernández became an exile and now practices medicine in the United States. He specialized in general and geriatric psychiatry at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He is currently eligible for the US Board of Psychiatry. Since 1987, he has been a member of the American Society of Addiction Specialists. Between 1985 and 1990, he was medical director of the Drug Abuse Programs of the Archdiocese of Miami.

Since 1989, his principal political activities have been: the Center for Democracy in Cuba; the Committee in Support of a Plebiscite in Cuba; the Coordinating Committee of Cuban Social Democracy; the Cuban Democratic Platform, the Cuban Committee for Democracy; and Mesa de Reflexión de la Oposición Moderada.



I am not resigned to the idea that my generation be the one that breaks the link with the Cuban Republic, for which my ancestors fought for many years in the 19th century and then helped found in 1902. I dream of the day my family and I can reincorporate ourselves to Cuba. Meanwhile, during forty years, I have always tried to cooperate with any project that benefits Cubans, from here and there.

During thirty years, I worked for one of Florida's most important financial institutions, AmeriFirst Bank and eventually became its president. During my career there, the bank became the principal source of mortgages for the emergent Cuban colony at the end of the sixties and during the seventies. At the time, there were no Latin banks in Miami. The AmeriFirst provided jobs for hundreds of Cubans at all levels. At one point more than 60 percent of its executives were Cuban. I dare say that we played an important role in the economic success of our community, especially the high percentage of home ownership among our people.

In 1989, AmeriFirst Bank was sold, and I retired. I continued working on the board of directors of various companies and as a consultant, but I had more spare time to get involved in Cuban matters. It was then that I had the good fortune of learning about Institute of Cuban Studies, established a strong friendship with María Cristina Herrera, and got to know an excellent group of academics. I had and still have many close friends who do not share the Institute's ideas and perspective. I had hoped to be a bridge among Cubans of good will and, to some extent, I was. I established a working relationship with the Catholic Church, especially with the now deceased Cardinal John O'Connor of New York. With the help of good friends who occupy important positions in the US business world, I have made a modest contribution to the well-being of the Cuban people by sending medicine and food to the island.



Fernando González Rey has been a professor of psychology at the University of Havana. He was also dean of the School of Psychology (1985-1990) and university viceprovost (1990-1995). In 1979, he received his PhD in psychology at the Institute for General and Pedagogic Psychology in Moscow. He did postdoctoral work at the Institute of Psychology of the USSR Academy of Science (1986). He is a member of the editorial board of Revista Cubana de Psicología and Psicología y Sociedad. He was president of the Cuban Society of Psychologists (1986-1999).

He is author or co-author of a dozen books, among them are: La Psicología: Principios y categorías (Havana, 1986); Problemas epistemológicos de la psicología (UNAM-Mexico, 1994); Comunicación, personalidad y desarrollo (Havana, 1995); y Epistemología cualitativa y subjetividad (Sao Paulo, 1997).

Dr. González Rey has published more than seventy articles in Cuban and international journals. He has participated in numerous international congresses. He has taught mini-courses in Mexican universities - UNAM, Mérida, Guadalajara, and Las Américas, in Venezuelan institutions - Central University and Universidad de Los Andes -, at the University of Puerto Rico, the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Campinas and Sao Paulo, at the Universidade de Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro, UNICAMP in Campinas, the National University of Costa Rica, and at the Ecuadorian universities Central and Guayaquil. He has given seminars at the School of High Studies of Social Sciences (Paris) and at the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid).

He is currently a visiting professor at the University of Brasilia and at Madrid's Universidad Autónoma. He received the Inter-American Psychology Award at the Inter-American Congress of San Jose, Costa Rica (1991) and the Orden Carlos J. Finlay (1995), the highest distinction for scientific research given by the Cuban state. On three occasions, he won the Cuban Book Institute's Premio a la Crítica.

Since 1999, Dr. González Rey lives in Brasilia.



Carl-Johan Groth is a Swedish diplomat who retired from the Foreign Service in 1996 after a 37-year career. His first diplomatic assignments were in Madrid and Canberra (1960-1964). Subsequently, he was chargé d´affaires in Havana (1969-1972) and Santiago de Chile (1973-1976), in between he served for a short while as Consul General in Rio de Janeiro (1973), an later on as Ambassador to Pakistan (1979-82) and Denmark (1990-1996). He also served as assistant under secretary (political affairs) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1976-1979).

Ambassador Groth was Deputy Chief of Mission of the Swedish delegation to the International Organizations in Geneva (1983-1986). In this capacity he was the head of the Swedish delegation to the Human Rights Commission's Sessions in Geneva (1984-1986) and delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, with responsibility for certain HR resolutions (1984-1986). As assistant under secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he headed the Multilateral Division in the Department of International Development Cooperation and was responsible for economic, social, and humanitarian issues in the United Nations system as well as in the international development banks.

In 1991, Mr. Groth participated in the UN mission on Human Rights to El Salvador. In 1992, he was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cuba; this mandate closed in March 1998. In 1998-1999, he participated in missions as a consultant for the Raoul Wallenberg Institute's Human Rights Awareness Raising Program in Uganda.

Carl-Johan Groth is currently a senior advisor to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Southern Sweden.



In 1999, Juan E. Méndez joined Notre Dame Law School as professor of law and director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights. A native of Lomas de Zamora, Argentina. Professor Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights and has a distinguished record of human-rights advocacy.

In 1970, Professor Méndez earned his law degree from Stella Maris University, a Catholic university in Mar del Plata, Argentina. In his early law practice, he represented trade unions working for labor reform, but quickly became involved in representing political prisoners. As a result, the Argentine military arrested him, subjecting him to torture and administrative detention for 18 months. During this time, Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience.

After his release from detention, Professor Méndez moved to the United States where he worked for the Catholic Church in Aurora, Illinois to protect the rights of migrant workers. In 1978, he joined the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under the Law in Washington, DC. In 1982, a nascent Human Rights Watch asked him to launch its Americas program and open its Washington, DC office. For 15 years, he worked with HRW, concentrating his efforts on human-rights issues in the Western Hemisphere. In 1994, he became the organization's general counsel.

Since 1996, Juan Méndez has served as executive director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica where, among other things, he has had the opportunity to teach courses on human rights to police and military officers, lawyers, journalists, public officials, and others. He is a member of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (2000-2003), of which he is currently president (2002-2003).



Carlos Alberto Montaner (Havana, 1943) is a writer and journalist. He has taught and lectured at numerous institutions in Latin America and the United States. He has written some fifteen books, his collection of essays being the most renowned, among them: Doscientos años de gringos; La agonía de América; Libertad: La clave de la prosperidad; No perdamos también el siglo XXI, Viaje al corazón de Cuba, and Cuba: un siglo de doloroso aprendizaje. He is a co-author of Manual del perfecto idiota latinoamericano and Fabricantes de miseria. He has also published two novels, Tram and Paramount. His work has been translated into English, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian. Several dozen newspapers in Latin America publish his weekly column. The Spanish magazine, Cambio 16, considers him "the Spanish-language journalist with the widest audience." He has lived in Madrid since 1970. He is vice president of the Liberal International.



Eusebio Mujal-León is professor and former chair of the Department of Government at Georgetown University. He also coordinates the Working Group on Iberian Politics and Society and the Cuba XXI Century Seminar Series. He is vice president of the US-Spain Council, an organization of public leaders, businessmen, and academics whose objective is the deepening of cultural, economic, and political links between the two countries.

Professor Mujal-León received his BA in history (1971) and his JD (1974) from the Catholic University of America. His PhD is in political science (1980) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A specialist in West European and Latin American politics, he has written numerous articles and is the author or editor of several books. Among these are: Communism and Political Change in Spain (1983); Spain at the Polls - The General Elections of 1997, 1979, and 1982 (1985); European Socialism and the Conflict in Central America (1989); The USSR and Latin America (1989); The Cuban University under the Revolution (1989); and Die Sozialistische Internationale in den 80er Jahren (1995). He has researched Cuban politics and the prospects for democracy on the island. His article, "El postotalitarismo carismático y el cambio de régimen," appeared in Encuentro (Madrid) and a second one on regime change and the armed forces in Cuba was published by the Instituto da Defesa Nacional (Lisbon). Professor Mujal-León organized a conference, "Recent Experiences in Military Extrication - Lessons for Cuba," sponsored by the Arrabida Foundation.

He recently published "Charismatic Post-Totalitarianism - The Castro Regime in Comparative Perspective" in Problems of Post-Communism. His current research focuses on globalization and its domestic and regional political and economic consequences.

In 1990, Professor Mujal-León received the title of Caballero in the Orden de Isabel la Católica. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of the International Institute (Spain). He was a fellow at the Center of International Studies at Princeton University (1984-1986) and at the Smithsonian's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1989-1990). In 1994, he held a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Madrid. Professor Mujal-León travels and lectures frequently in Europe and Latin America.



Midway through the 20th century, Olga Nazario was born in the small town of Zaza del Medio (old province of Las Villas) amid a family of Arab small merchants and Cuban carpenters. She grew up in a political environment, hearing about the Partido Ortodoxo (Partido del Pueblo Cubano) and closely following the struggle against the Batista dictatorship. Several family members, including her mother, were rebels in the Escambray Second Front. In 1959, her parents moved to Havana, and there she enjoyed the first years of revolution.

She went into exile in 1961, and she remains an exile. She lived and studied in Miami. Friends and family were imprisoned and executed in Cuba. She bore witness to the violence in Miami during the 1970s. She did not specialize in Cuban studies to establish a distance between her career and her life and to avoid the polemics and polarization that burdened those who did. She dedicated herself to the study of Brazilian foreign policy. She is an unequivocal partisan of the US Democratic Party. Her hobby is traveling. Someday, she hopes to live in Cuba once again.

In 1984, she moved to Washington, DC to become a foreign-policy analyst at Radio Martí. She approached Cuban studies for the first time, monitoring and analyzing Cuban foreign policy and activities, principally in Africa and Latin America. She worked on human rights issues, reviewing hundreds of documents from Cuba. She staunchly but fruitlessly opposed the politicization of the radio station under the influence and pressure of Jorge Más Canosa and the Cuban American National Foundation. Radio Martí's research department was abolished, and she, of course, lost her job.

She has worked on issues dealing with corruption and civil society in Latin America and Africa at Casals & Associates in Arlington, Virginia.



Ronalth Ochaeta is Guatemala's ambassador at the Organization of American States (OAS). He was an advisor to the executive office of the Interamerican Institute of Human Rights (IIHR) and program officer for Colombia and Cuba. Mr. Ochaeta was co-founder and executive director of the Human Rights Office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala. Under his administration, the Project for the Recovery of Historic Memory was carried out. Among numerous positions, he has been a national and regional consultant on human rights. He is an expert on the international protection of human rights. In 1994, he was an assistant to the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights. That same year, Time magazine selected him among the 100 world leaders for the 2000 millennium Mr. Ochaeta is a lawyer and notary per his studies at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala, graduated in the XXIV class of the High Academy of International Law at the Hague, and obtained a master's degree in international law (Magna Cum Laude) at the University of Notre Dame.



Enrique Patterson (1950) was born in Holguín, Oriente. In 1977, he received his BA in Hispanic language and literature at the University of Havana. He also specialized in the history of philosophy. Between 1975 and 1981, he taught history of philosophy in the School of Philosophy at the University of Havana. In 1991, he was a founder and one of the authors of the Pilot Program of the Democratic Socialist Current. He is a human rights activist. He collaborates with the journals Encuentro and Proximo, both published in Madrid. He is a columnist for the Nuevo Herald. He hosts the program Desde el Parque on Radio Martí. He has lectured at US and Spanish universities. He has lived in exile since 1992. Currently he is president of the Institute of Cuban Studies  



Pedro Pérez Castro (Havana, 1936) lives in Venezuela. He studied industrial and naval construction, broadcasting, union-leadership training, international relations, and Christian-based union training. He headed the ovens section at Kli-Per Ceramic Industry (1955-1959), participated in the struggle against Batista within the July 26th Movement's trade union section (1956-1959), and became a union leader in the construction sector of the Central Organization of Cuban Trade Unions (1959). He later headed the construction section of the opposition Popular Revolutionary Movement (1960-1961). In 1961, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for his activities against Fidel Castro's government. He was freed in 1971 and subsequently worked as a naval constructor until 1980 when he left Cuba. While there, he represented former political prisoners during the dialogue the Cuban government sustained with the Cuban community abroad (1978-1979).

Currently, he is international relations secretary of Solidarity with Cuban Workers (STC); he was STC general secretary between 1982 and 1990. He closely follows and maintains close relations with independent trade unions and other democratic sectors of Cuba's civil society. He travels frequently within Latin America, Europe, and the United States.



Patricia Tappatá de Valdez coordinates the Program for Leadership in Philanthropy in the Americas (Center for State and Society Studies, Kellogg Foundation, Buenos Aires office). The program aims to generate a critical mass of leaders capable of playing a key role in promoting philanthropy in six Latin American countries and the US Latino community.

She is a founding member of Memoria Abierta (February, 2000), an alliance of eight human rights organizations. She directs the project Recordar that seeks the following: to collect, preserve, and make accessible the documentary, testimonial and state-based patrimony on the Argentine dictatorship and state terrorism; to promote public knowledge of what happened during the 1970s and 19880s; and to recuperate the memory of those years, making it a part of Argentine political and social identity.

She is secretary of the board of the Center of Legal and Social Studies (CELS) in Buenos Aires. CELS is a non-governmental organization created in 1979 that works to promote and secure the relevance of human rights within the democratic system. The center basically carries out its task from a legal perspective and through litigation in witness cases before national tribunals and international organizations.

She is a founding member of the International Coalition for Museums of Conscience at Historic Sites. In 1996 and 1999, she joined the board of directors of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) with offices in Capetown and Pretoria.

She was executive director of El Salvador's truth commission (1992), created by the peace accords signed by the Salvadoran parties, with support from the UN General Secretary and charged with investigating the grave human rights violations in El Salvador during the years of conflict.

She directed the Human Rights Department of the Social Action Episcopal Commission (Peruvian Episcopal Conference) between 1977 and 1987. In 1985, she was one of the founders of the National Human Rights Coordinating Committee in Peru and was a member of its first executive committee.

She headed the Political Representation Program of the Citizen Power Foundation (1991-1992 and 1993-1997). She is a member of the Commission in Favor of a Monument Honoring the Victims of State Terrorism (City of Buenos Aires legislature). The monument will be erected at Memorial Park on the bank of the Río de la Plata.

She has been a visiting professor at the universities of Buenos Aires, Torcuato di Tella, San Andrés, and Georgetown. She is a consultant on matters relating to human rights, memory, political representation, citizen participation, and non-governmental organizations in several Latin American countries. She has published essays and has been a contributor to anthologies on these topics.

Patricia is Argentine. Her undergraduate degree is in social work and her master's in social sciences.



Chilean attorney José Miguel Vivanco studied law at the University of Chile (1979-1983) and the University of Salamanca (1986). In 1990, he received a master's degree in law (LLM) from Harvard University. Between 1986 and 1989, Dr. Vivanco occupied posts, first, as judicial advisor and, later, as attorney for the executive secretariat of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS). In 1990, he founded the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and was its executive director until August, 1994. CEJIL is a regional NGO which represents cases of human rights violation before international organizations specializing in these matters (UN and OAS). Since September 1994, he has been the executive director of the Americas division of the Human Rights Watch. Dr. Vivanco is also an associate professor at Georgetown Law School and at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), both in Washington, DC. He has received recognition and fellowships for his work on human rights. He has published numerous articles and has given lectures in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.



Cristina Warren directs the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL)'s Research Forum on Cuba, a program designed to improve the quality of policy discussion in Canada on the immediate and longer-term issues facing Cuba and Canadian relations (For more information, Prior to joining FOCAL in 1997, she was a research associate with the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa. There she directed a project designed to strengthen the management capacity of a Salvadoran non-governmental organization that promotes women's rights. She has also worked as a consultant for the Canadian government and for a number of private-sector and non-governmental organizations. She holds a Master's degree in international business administration from York University (Toronto) and a Bachelor's degree in political science and history from McGill University (Montreal).




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