WHO: American University experts

WHAT: American University experts are available to comment on the passing of Fidel Castro and the future of the Communist regime and its relations with the United States.

WHERE: In–studio, on campus, via email or via telephone

Background: Fidel Castro, the revolutionary leader who ruled Cuba for more than fifty years, has died at the age of 90. The American University experts listed below are available to comment on his legacy and the future of U.S.-Cuba relations.

Fulton Armstrong is a senior fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS). He directs the Center’s blog, AULABLOG; contributes to the Cuba Initiative and to an in-depth examination of security programs in Central America. Before joining the Center, he followed Latin American affairs for almost 30 years in a number of U.S. government positions. He served as a senior professional staff member responsible for Latin America on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from July 2008 to October 2011, and was the U.S. Intelligence Community’s most senior analyst for Latin American from 2000-2004. He also served two terms as the Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council.

Philip Brenner is professor of international relations in American University’s School of International Service, director of the graduate program in U.S. foreign policy and national security, and affiliate professor of history. A specialist in U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, he has been engaged in research and writing about Cuba and U.S.-Cuban relations since 1974. His latest book is A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Reinventing the Revolution (2014), which he co-edited with William LeoGrande. Brenner is completing a book on the history of Cuba: Cuba Libre: A 500-Year Quest for Sovereignty. He has personally interviewed Fidel Castro on three occasions.

Eric Hershberg, director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and professor of government at American University, focuses on the comparative politics of Latin America, and on the politics of development. His current research project is analyzing the state of democracy in South America, social sector reforms in the Andean region and conflicts over accountability for human rights abuses under military regimes in the Southern Cone countries. He is also the former president of the Latin American Studies Association.

William M. LeoGrande is a professor of government in American University's School of Public Affairs who has written widely in the field of Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on Cuba. He is a renowned expert on Cuban politics and U.S.-Cuban relations. LeoGrande is coeditor of both The Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution under Raúl Castroand of Political Parties and Democracy in Central America. He is also the coauthor of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana and author of Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977 to 1992. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Latin American Research Review, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Newsweek, Le Monde and other journals and newspapers.


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