Our Woman in Havana: Past Experiences and Future Assessments

 June 7, 2018

 Vicki Huddleston

Miguel Díaz-Canel is the president of Cuba. For the first time in almost 60 years a Castro does not lead the country. Raul Castro, however, remains the first secretary of the Communist party and the power behind Díaz-Canel. What does this mean for the future of US-Cuban relations?

In her recent book Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba Vicki Huddleston, one of America’s top Cuba-hands and Chief of the US Interests Section in Havana from 2000-2002 who later served as Ambassador to Madagascar and Mali, discusses her experiences as America’s de facto Ambassador to the island nation during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W Bush and assesses the changes she has witnessed over the past 18 years in the island’s history, economics and politics as well as the continuing troubled relationships between Washington and this island only 90 miles off the US coast.

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, a Santa Fe resident and SFWAF Board Member, is an American diplomat with lengthy expertise in foreign, defense, and development policy. She was a senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense and led American diplomatic missions in Mali, Madagascar, Cuba and Ethiopia. In Haiti she was Chief of Party for a USAID Value Chain project. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and as a Congressional Fellow worked on the staff of former Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

Vicki’s opinion pieces on Cuba, Mali, and Ethiopia have appeared in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post. Before Our Woman in Havana, she co-authored Learning to Salsa – New Steps in Cuban Relations. She has recently spoken at the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC, the Miami Book Fair, DACOR-Washington, DC and the American Foreign Service Association. Autographed copies of her book are available at Collected Works, 202 Gallisteo Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501.

This program will be in the Santa Fe Community College Board Room (room #223).

(more…)