Experts listed in this section have no affiliation with the Cuba Study Group.

U.S. Policy Experts

Mr. Daniel Erikson
Inter-American Dialogue

1211 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suite #510
Washington, DC 20036


Daniel P. Erikson is Director of Caribbean Programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, the Washington-based policy forum on Western Hemisphere affairs. Erikson’s research focuses on the Cuban economy, the political and economic situation in Haiti, and the broader challenges facing U.S. foreign policy in the Americas. He manages a multi-year program on the Cuban economy and closely monitors political and economic developments on the island. Also an expert on Haiti, Erikson developed a series of high-level workshops to engage key U.S. and international policymakers in examining the political and economic challenges in that country. As co-director of the Dialogue’s U.S. Policy Task Force, he coordinated several initiatives designed to develop an improved framework for U.S. policy in the Western Hemisphere. In addition Erikson has provided advisory guidance in broader Latin American affairs to a diverse array of policymakers and organizations. The author of several studies and reports on Cuba and the Caribbean, Erikson is the co-editor of Transforming Socialist Economies: Lessons for Cuba and Beyond (Palgrave MacMillan 2005). He has published more than twenty articles on international affairs in publications including The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Encyclopedia Britannica’s Book of the Year, The Miami Herald, The National Interest, The Washington Post, and World Policy Journal. Erikson frequently speaks on radio and television and is often cited by the U.S. and international press. A former Fulbright scholar in Mexico, he holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University.

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Prof. H. Michael Erisman
Indiana State University

Department of Political Science
Terre Haute, IN 47809


H. Michael Erisman is Professor of Political Science at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. His main fields of interest are U.S. policies toward Latin America, political economy in the Caribbean Basin, and Cuban foreign affairs. Current research interests include projects dealing with Cuban-Venezuelan relations and the dynamics of the Cuban foreign policy-making process. Erisman is the author of Cuba’s Foreign Relations in a Post-Soviet World (University Press of Florida 2000), Pursuing Postdependency Politics: South-South Relations in the Caribbean (Lynne Rienner 1992), and Cuba’s International Relations: The Anatomy of a Nationalistic Foreign Policy (Westview 1985). He is the editor of The Caribbean Challenge: U.S. Policy in a Volatile Region (Westview 1984) and the co-editor of Redefining Cuban Foreign Policy: The Impact of the Special Period (University Press of Florida, forthcoming), Cuban Foreign Policy Confronts a New International Order (Lynne Rienner 1991), and Colossus Challenged: The Struggle for Caribbean Influence (Westview 1982). Erisman has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on Caribbean international affairs in general and Cuban foreign policy in particular. He is a member of the editorial boards of Cuban Studies and the Journal of Latin American Society and Politics.

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Dr. Mark Falcoff
American Enterprise Institute

1150 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036


Falcoff is a former professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a senior consultant to the 1983 National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, chaired by Henry Kissinger. Through August 2004, he was the author of AEI's monthly Latin American Outlook.

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Pedro A. Freyre
Akerman Senterfitt

Akerman Senterfitt
One S.E. 3rd Avenue, 23rd Floor
Miami, FL


Pedro A. Freyre was born in Havana, Cuba, on August 3, 1949. He came to the U.S. in October of 1960 together with his family. His father, Ernesto Freyre, was a leading Labor attorney in Cuba, representing major U.S. companies such as Hershey's Sugar Mill, Sears and Exxon. His brother, Ernesto Freyre, Jr. took park in the Bay of Pigs invasion and was captured by Cuban Military and imprisoned. The Senior Freyre was the Secretary of the Family Committee, which secured the aid of the U.S. Government and after a difficult and protracted negotiation process secured the release of all the prisoners in exchange for $62M worth of medicines. Pedro Freyre became involved in Cuba related matters in 1989 when he was a founding member of the Cuba Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, a committee which he has chaired or co-chaired since that time. The purpose of that committee is to monitor on-going political and economic developments in the island and brief the South Florida Business Community on current or future prospects for trade, commerce and investment with the island. Mr. Freyre was also chairman of Facts About Cuban Exiles, a non-partisan, anti-defamation organization based in Miami, whose mission is to promote and protect the good image of Cuban Americans. Mr. Freyre is a shareholder in the law firm of Akerman Senterfitt, and Co-Chairman of its Global Practice Group. Akerman Senterfitt is a leading Florida law firm with over 500 attorneys and consultants. In the course of his private practice, Mr. Freyre has focused significant time and attention to Cuba related matters, and in particular, with Cuban embargo regulations. He was written numerous Helms-Burton opinions for European entities considering investment in Cuba, and various memoranda in support of litigation in the European Union. Mr. Freyre has lectured extensively on the topic and has appeared in national TV shows such as "Good Morning America," "Nightline with Ted Koppel," and "The Paula Zahn Show." Mr. Freyre has also written articles on the subject of the Cuban embargo for The Miami Herald, and the Sun-Sentinel, and has been quoted several times in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. His article, Helms-Burton: The Dilemma of Hardwiring Policy, was published in the Trans National Law and Contemporary Problems Journal, in Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring 2004, the University of Iowa School of Law, as was another article he co-authored, "Cuban National Reconciliation: A Model for Healing the Cuban Nation" in Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall 2004 of the same publication.

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Prof. Guillermo Grenier
Florida International University

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University Park, DM 334
Miami, FL 33199


Professor of Sociology at Florida International University, Guillermo Grenier is an expert on Cuban American political and labor issues and interethnic relations in Miami. He is the co-author of The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States (Allyn & Bacon 2003) and Employee Participation and Labor Law in the American Workplace (Quorum Books 1992), the co-editor of Miami Now: Immigration, Ethnicity and Social Change (University Press of Florida 1992) and Newcomers in the Workplace: Immigrants and the Restructuring of the US Economy (Temple University Press 1994), and the author of Inhuman Relations: Quality Circles and Anti-Unionism in American Industry (Temple University Press 1988). In addition he has contributed several essays on Cuban American political culture to edited collections. In collaboration with the Center for Labor Research and Studies, the Institute for Public Opinion Research, and the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, Grenier has conducted six FIU Cuba Polls since 1991. A detailed survey instrument, the Cuba Poll is specifically designed to measure the attitudes of the Cuban-American community towards U.S.-Cuba policy and how these attitudes have an impact on the South Florida area.

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Vicki Huddleston
Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036


Vicki Huddleston is a Visiting Fellow at Brookings Institution and a commentator for NBC Universal. She recently completed fifteen months as the acting American Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has served as Ambassador to Mali and Madagascar, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa. She has had extensive experience with Cuba, having served as Chief of Mission at the United States Interests Section in Havana and as Director and Deputy Director of Cuban Affairs at the Department of State. In Ethiopia she advanced democracy by initiating a dialogue between the Government and opposition parties, and was instrumental in formulating American policy toward Ethiopia and Somalia. In Mali she advocated countering terrorist movements in the Sahara by helping isolated villagers build wells, schools and clinics. In Madagascar her environmental programs resulted in the establishment of Masuelo National Park. While Deputy Assistant Secretary she formulated policies that contributed to the peace settlement in Sierra Leone. As our chief diplomat in Havana she established an “Outreach” program that through engagement and contact help created the conditions for the “Cuban Spring” of 2002. While Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti she acted as operational liaison during the 1994 deployment of U.S. and multinational forces. In the late 1980’s, as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, she drafted the “Missile Technology Control Regime,” the principal legislation regulating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Prior to entering the diplomatic service Vicki worked for the American Institute for Free Labor Development in Peru and Brazil. She began her public career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. Upon retiring Vicki spent a semester as a Fellow at the Institute of Politics of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she organized a seminar on “Perceptions of U.S. Policy in Developing Countries”. She has been a featured speaker at Harvard’s Rockefeller and Kennedy Centers, the Commonwealth Club, and various World Affairs Councils. She has published opinion pieces and short stories on Somalia and Cuba. She has a M.A. degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from the University of Colorado, where she gave the first Distinguished Alumni plenary speech at its 57th World Affairs Conference. She has received the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the President’s Meritorious Service Award, and the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award.

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William M. LeoGrande
American University

Ward Circle Building
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016


Dean of American University’s School of Public Affairs, William M. LeoGrande is a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, with a particular emphasis on Central America and Cuba. He is the author of Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977 – 1993 (University of North Carolina Press 1998) and the co-editor of Political Parties in Central America (Westview 1992), The Cuba Reader: The Making of a Revolutionary Society (Grove Press 1988), and Confronting Revolution: Security Through Diplomacy in Central America (Pantheon Books 1986). Previously LeoGrande served on the staffs of the Democratic Policy Committee of the United States Senate, and the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Central America of the United States House of Representatives. A frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies, he has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow and a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, American Political Science Review, and the Latin American Research Review, among other journals.

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Arturo Lopez-Levy
University of Denver

2201 South Gaylord Street
Denver, CO 80208


Levy, a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS), did not always have such scholarly freedom in his native Cuba. “In a Communist System, there are severe restrictions to what you can say and what you cannot say,” says Levy. Consequently, when Levy expressed his opinion during the first Gulf War that Cuba should fight alongside the U.S. in order to entice its northern neighbor to lift the embargo against Cuba, he was punished. Levy’s course of study at the Havana School of International Relations was interrupted as he was relegated to a term of service in the Cuban army. After completing his term with the military, Levy completed his degree in Havana and then worked as a political analyst for the Cuban government, resigning from that post after a year. Though he had ambitions, at this point, to further his education in the U.S., the Cuban government retained Levy for seven years. Despite being accepted into the PhD program at Emory University in 1998, Levy could not get out of Cuba. “During that time, I did any work that I could to survive, and read every thing I could to prepare for the future” Levy says. Finally, Levy received permission to travel to Israel, and from there he came to the United States, earning his MA degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. He entered the PhD program in International Studies at GSIS two years later in 2003.

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Prof. Anthony P. Maingot
Florida International University

Department of Sociology
6891 SW 17th Street
Plantation, FL 33317


Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Florida International University, Anthony P. Maingot is a widely recognized authority on social issues in the Caribbean. A native of Trinidad, he has published numerous book chapters and journal articles placing Cuba in the context of the Caribbean. He is the co-author of The United States and the Caribbean: Transforming Hegemony and Sovereignty (with Wilfredo Lozano, Routledge 2005) and the author of The United States and The Caribbean: Challenges of an Asymmetrical Relationship (Macmillan 1994; revised version published in Spanish by the Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico in 2005) and the forthcoming Historical Dictionary of U.S.-Caribbean Relations (Scarecrow Press 2006). Currently the associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, Maingot is the former chairman of the Caribbean Studies Association, the founder and former editor of Hemisphere, and a former associate editor of Caribbean Review. Works by Maingot: "The Ideal and the Real in Cuban Political Culture: Identifying Preconditions for a Democratic Consolidation" in Cuba in Transition: New Challenges for U.S. Policy, edited by Jorge I. Domínguez and Sergio Díaz-Briquets. Miami: Cuban Research Institute, l993.

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Philip Peters
Lexington Institute

1600 Wilson Boulevard #900
Arlington, VA 22209


Vice-President of the Lexington Institute, Philip Peters has traveled extensively in Cuba, conducting research on economic and political issues. The Lexington Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization based in Arlington, Virginia which provides readable, original field research on Cuba's economy, and analysis and commentary on developments in Cuba, U.S.-Cuba relations, and U.S. policy toward Cuba. Peters’ published studies cover Cuba’s sugar industry, macroeconomic policy, small business, foreign investment, information technology, historic preservation, and other topics (see www.lexingtoninstitute.org). An analyst of U.S. policy toward Cuba, Peters serves as an advisor to the bipartisan Cuba Working Group that formed in the House of Representatives in 2002. He has testified before Congress and has led numerous Congressional delegations to Cuba to meet officials, dissidents, clergy, foreign investors and diplomats, entrepreneurs, farmers, and other average Cubans. Peters has also served as a State Department appointee of Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush and as a senior aide in the House of Representatives. He holds bachelor and master degrees from Georgetown University.

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Dr. Susan K. Purcell
University of Miami
Room 317C Jenkins
5250 University Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33124
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Julia E. Sweig
Council on Foreign Relations

1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036


Julia E. Sweig is the Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director of Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan organization that provides information and analysis regarding international policymaking issues. Sweig is the author of numerous scholarly articles and opinion pieces on Cuba, Latin America and American foreign policy. In 2004 Sweig's Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground (Harvard University Press 2002) received the American Historical Association's Herbert Feis Award for best book of the year by an independent scholar. During her stewardship of the Council’s Cuba program, Sweig directed two Council-sponsored independent task forces setting forth new directions for U.S. policy toward Cuba: the Roundtable on Cuba and U.S.-Cuba Relations and the Independent Task Force on U.S.-Cuban Relations in the 21st Century. Held in Washington D.C. between 1999 and 2001, sessions of the Roundtable addressed a range of policy issues such as the resolution of outstanding property claims, bilateral and regional security interests, and the integration of Cuba into the international financial system. In 1999 and 2001, the Independent Task Force released reports on U.S.-Cuban relations designed to promote a bipartisan consensus for a new U.S policy toward Cuba (see below). Sweig is currently directing a new project at the Council on the global phenomenon of anti-Americanism, which will result in the forthcoming book, Friendly Fire: Anti-Americanism Gone Global and What to Do About It (PublicAffairs 2006). In addition to her duties at the Council, she is a consultant for the Aspen Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of Foreign Affairs en Español, and a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.

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