(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
MARIA R. DOMÍNGUEZ
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
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
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
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
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 L. GONZÁLEZ REY
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
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
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
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
CARLOS ALBERTO MONTANER
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.
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
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
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
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
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 IVÁN OCHAETA ARGUETA
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
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
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
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
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
Patricia is Argentine. Her
undergraduate degree is in social work and her master's in social
JOSÉ MIGUEL VIVANCO
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
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, www.cubasource.org). 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).