U.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration January 2011 E-News 

In this issue of U.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration E-News

  • Norma Vasallo Tour
  • Maestra Tour
  • Spring Delegation to Cuba
  • Cuba Travel Opportunities Improve!

Announcing U.S. Tour in March/April, 2011 for
Cuban Scholar Norma Vasallo Barrueta

Professor Norma Vasallo, Chair of Women’s Studies at the University of Havana, has been granted a U.S. visa after a long delay and will come to the U.S. in March/April, 2011 for a 4-5 city tour including Edinboro, PA, Baltimore, MD, Washington, D.C. and Bloomington, Indiana.  Further details of Vasallo’s tour will soon be available on our website.

Dr.  Vasallo is a leading Cuban scholar and educator in the fields of social psychology and global feminisms, and a prolific author.  With the co-sponsorship of the Federation of Cuban Women, Dr. Vasallo is the convener the biennial International Conference, “Women in the 21st Century,” which this year will take place May 16-20, 2011 at the University of Havana.  Through plenary talks, panels and workshops, conference participants will engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange experiences around the themes of gender, feminisms and women’s studies.  U.S. Women & Cuba Collaboration’s next delegation will attend this conference.  Please see the article below.

Dr. Vasallo’s original national tour scheduled for October-November last year was cancelled due to the delay of the U.S. visa.  It is our hope that we will be able to reschedule a full national tour in the fall of 2012 when Dr. Vasallo will attend the Latin America Studies Association Conference scheduled in San Francisco, CA.

U.S. Maestra Tour
with Filmmaker Catherine Murphy
and Cuban Feminist Norma Guillard
Scheduled for March 12-April 9, 2011

On this 50th anniversary of the Cuban literacy campaign, U.S. Women & Cuba Collaboration, the Literacy Project and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom will feature the U.S. premiere of the documentary, “Maestra” (Teacher), in a nationwide tour featuring the film’s Director/Producer, Catherine Murphy, and Cuban educator and feminist, Norma Guillard.  Guillard is featured in “Maestra” as she reflects on her experiences coming of age as a 15 year old volunteer in the 1961 Cuban literacy campaign, and the significance of that campaign to opening the doors for the advancement of women and girls under the Cuban revolution. 

The “Maestra” Tour will travel to Miami, FL, Louisville, KY, Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD/Washington, D.C., Jackson, MS, Bozeman, Montana, Seattle, WA and the Bay Area/San Jose/Santa Cruz in California and will include community events, speaking engagements at universities and conferences, and media interviews.  The tour is co-sponsored in local areas by a diverse group of organizations.  Please check our website for continued updates on the itinerary and events in your area.

Both Murphy and Guillard bring a wealth of knowledge on the social transformation process carried out in Cuba over the last 50 years, the key participation of women in that process and the continued advancement of the status of women under the Cuban revolution and under the leadership of the Federation of Cuban Women. 

Guillard is a social psychologist from Santiago de Cuba and is one of the first Cuban women of her generation to call herself a feminist.  She works primarily on the issues of gender, race, sexual orientation, and issues of diversity and identity in a Cuban and Caribbean context. 

Murphy studied and lived in Cuba for over ten years helping to develop the community garden system in Havana.  She continues to spend time in Cuba doing research and recently served as part of the team that facilitated the Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center residency in Cuba.  Murphy served as Marsalis’ personal translator.

2011 Women’s Research Delegation to Cuba:
“Women’s Human Rights,
Racial Justice and Social Welfare”

The U.S. Women & Cuba Collaboration is pleased to announce out 2011 Women's Research Delegation to Cuba, tentatively set for May 14-25, 2011.  We are program consultants to this tour which is being organized by Marazul Charters, Inc.  Part of the delegation's itinerary will include participation in the VII International Conference, "Women in the 21st Century," at the University of Havana (May 16-20).  Delegation members are encouraged to submit proposals for panels, round table discussions and individual presentations.

Marazul Charters has a long history of arranging travel programs in Cuba and is licensed as a Travel Service Provider (TSP) by the U.S. Treasury Department.  They will be tracking recent changes to U.S. government guidelines for legal travel to Cuba, and will be advising us about changes in licensing for travelers. This delegation is designed for women whose work would be enhanced by educational exchange and site visits in Cuba concerning the program's themes of Women's Human Rights, Racial Justice and Social Welfare.   While in Cuba, the research program will be coordinated by Cuba’s international solidarity organization, ICAP, and by the Federation of Cuban Women, an organization that represents 85% of Cuban women and girls 14 years and older. 

Besides the international women’s conference, an exciting trip to other cities outside Havana will be planned to explore the enormous gains in the status of Cuban women as a result of the Cuban revolution.  Site visits in the past delegations have included health clinics, schools, art and music schools, schools of social workers, Latin America School of Medicine, museums, community gardens, cooperative farms and cultural performances. 

Applications and a detailed itinerary will be available soon through our website.  There will be room for 20-25 women. 
Cuba Travel Opportunities Improve!
January 14, 2011: New Cuba travel regulations were announced by the White House today, enabling expanded U.S. citizen travel to Cuba. The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) offers this understanding of what President Obama's changes will do:
  • Expand purposeful travel by providing general licenses for religious, educational/academic, and cultural travel to Cuba;
  • Provide specific licenses for people-to-people travel similar to the licenses that were provided from 1999-2003;
  • Allow for non-family remittances of $500/quarter for private entrepreneurial activities, cultural activities, etc. – such remittances may not be provided to senior members of the Cuban government or members of the Communist Party; and
  •  Expand charter flights from the United States to include all U.S. international airports (i.e. all U.S. international airports may apply to have charter flights depart from their site).
See the White House Press Release for further details.
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Cindy, Jan, Kamilah and Victoria

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