Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA)
CDA has sponsored more than three dozen delegations to Cuba - consisting dominantly of Members of the U.S. Congress and their staffs - for research trips that help policy makers understand how U.S. policy has failed and how Cuba is moving forward and conducting normal trade and diplomatic relations with virtually every other nation on Earth.
We publish a weekly Cuba NewsBlast which we believe is an important source of news and information about Cuba and U.S. policy for journalists, policy activists, and concerned citizens. You can have the weekly NewsBlast delivered directly to your email by sending an email with "NewBlast" in the subject to Collin@democracyinamericas.org.
Vito Echevarría, a New York-based free-lance writer who graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Political Science, and attended courses at the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, FL, had always been curious about Cuba, and decided to finally see the place for himself in 1996, when he went there to cover the island's emerging biotechnology sector for América Economía, a Dow Jones business monthly magazine based in Santiago, Chile.
Noting that the American media was curious about anything having to do with Cuba, Vito found himself writing for various publications such as Wired, Business 2.0, The Industry Standard and other magazines about that country – from its emerging e-commerce scene, to the foreign investors seeking opportunities in Havana, as well as its culture & arts. In April 2000, The Industry Standard ran Vito’s article about the Canadian high-tech guru Robert Sajo and his friendly competitors, Toronto native Enzo Ruberto and British national Steve Marshall -- who were responsible for starting up a number of successful Cuba-related e-commerce ventures, such as CubaWeb.cu, GoCubaPlus.com, and RealEstateCuba.com
After outgoing U.S. president Bill Clinton legalized American food & agricultural exports to Cuba in 2000, Vito started writing about the U.S. agribusiness and food export firms conducting multi-billion dollar business with Washington’s long-time political nemesis – Fidel Castro. Perhaps it’s no surprise that he became a regular contributor to the Washington-based publication CubaNews, covering Cuba’s de facto transition from Marxism to state-controlled capitalism. Vito has published interviews and features with both American and foreign entrepreneurs involved with Cuba-related ventures, as well as with prominent members of the Cuban exile community, such as the Palm Beach, FL sugar baron Pepe Fanjul.
Along with his travels to Cuba, Vito has frequently visited the neighboring Dominican Republic. For a number of years, Vito has reported on the Dominican Republic’s economic and political news for the London newsletter Latin American Economy & Business (www.latinnews.com), meeting some of the country’s most influential individuals, such as Carlos Morales Troncoso (that country’s current Foreign Minister and one-time Vice President). Earlier this year, Vito interviewed Dominican millionaire and real estate developer Ricardo Hazoury about his multi-million-dollar real estate mega-project
Cap Canaand his current partnership in that venture with New York developer Donald Trump for the Wall Street magazine DealMaker.
In addition to CubaNews and the other aforementioned publications, Vito has also written for CNBC European Business Magazine (London), Trader Monthly magazine (New York), Ocean Drive Venezuela (Caracas), Hispanic Magazine (Miami), Vivenda Exclusive (Netherlands), Island Life (Barbados), European Cigar Cult Journal (Austria), and the New York Post and San Juan Star (P.R.) newspapers.
John McAuliff - Executive Director, Fund for Reconciliation and Development www.ffrd.org
Civil rights movement including Mississippi Summer Project of 1964; Peace Corps volunteer in Peru; President of Committee of Returned Volunteers; active in national leadership of Vietnam anti-war movement; director of Indochina Program in Peace Education Division of American Friends Service Committee from 1972 to 1982; founded Fund for Reconciliation for Development in 1985, promoting normalization of diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and, for past decade, with Cuba; graduate of Carleton College and the Institute for Policy Studies.
For an extended bio on John Please visit www.thehavananote.com
As a journalist, I became interested in Cuba through my acquaintance Brett Sokol from Miami. My first trip to the island was in 2001 and since then I have travelled to various parts of Cuba 9 times. I co-wrote an article in Miami Times concerning the fledgling internet industry in Cuba back in 2002 and since have become interested in how this sector has developed both during the Fidel era and now through Raul Castro. I continue to write freelance now for various publications in Florida and the United States.