Dr. Nelson Valdes, UNM (Retired Professor)
June 14, 2015 (Sun), 3:00 – 5:00 p.m
ABQ Museum of Art & History

Dr. Valdés will provide us with a much needed explanation of the Obama administration’s policy towards Cuba, and more importantly will answer the question of what will come next, both in terms of U.S. policy and Cuban leadership. In his lecture, Dr. Valdés will take us over the rough and complex terrain of Cuba’s past and present, and especially its relations with the United States. He will remind us that for America, Cuba has never been exclusively a foreign policy issue but a domestic one as well. He will briefly discuss the Castro brothers, the revolution they created and led, and the people who are now in line to come to power in Cuba when they are gone.  There are numerous issues in the bilateral relationship.  The issues touch on history, political, cultural, social, and economic demands from both sides. Moreover, there are numerous lobbies in the United States also competing in defining the relations with Cuba. He will conclude his sure-to-be-controversial presentation with a discussion of where Cuba may go in the years ahead and what needs to be done in order to have mutually beneficial relations between our two countries.​

Dr. Nelson Valdes a leading American expert on Cuba, was born in that country in 1945 and arrived in the U.S. as one of the 14,068 children brought here in what would later be called “Operation Peter Pan.” Dr. Valdés received his B.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New Mexico. He taught at Glasgow University in 1972 and at the University of New Orleans from 1973 to 1976.  From 1976 to 2008 he was a professor in the sociology department of UNM.  He taught at Rollins College in 1991 and at Duke University in 2003 and 2004. Dr. Valdés was the creator and founder of the Latin American Data Base at UNM (the first computerized data base on that region at any university) and served as its director for 16 years. Dr. Valdés began traveling to Cuba in 1977 and in 1978 was part of a delegation that negotiated the release of over 2000 prisoners from Cuban jails.  He has organized over 40 research tours to the island and in 2003 took 150 New Mexican business people to Cuba.  He is the author of many works on Cuban history and politics.  He has lectured in Cuba and is on the board of editors of the leading social and cultural science journal in Havana.

Supported by Sandia National Labs and Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group