On March 14 an American Security Project-led delegation departed on a four day fact-finding trip to Havana, Cuba. The delegation included retired flag officers from across the services and was recognized by the Cuban government as a historic continuation of US-Cuba relations.
The trip, organized with ASP Board Member Scott Gilbert, is a component of ASP’s ‘Pathways to the Future of U.S. – Cuba Relations’ program. Gilbert served as Alan Gross’ attorney and was instrumental in securing his release from Cuban prison. He recently brokered the first US-Cuba import deal in 60 years, bringing artisanal Cuban charcoal to the United States.
The itinerary included meetings with senior officials from across the Cuban government; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade and Investment, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Energy. Conversations are expected to be wide ranging across areas of mutual interest to both Cuba and the United States. Of particular focus are several discrete areas already included in the ASP ‘Pathways’ Program:
- Cooperating on environmental protection
- Building a strong and resilient energy system
- Partnership in confronting regional challenges in the Caribbean like drug trafficking and organized crime
- Supporting US foreign direct investment into Cuba
- Military to military engagement and future security cooperation
American Security Project’s Chief Executive Officer, Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.) gave the following statement on the trip:
“The American Security Project is dedicated to the idea that America can become stronger, safer, and more prosperous by means other than military force. The rapprochement between Cuba and the United States has been a great lesson in how effective diplomacy can build national security in the 21stcentury. We anticipate this first trip will provide us with great insight on how pragmatically strengthening U.S. – Cuban relations supports U.S. national security strategy and builds confidence between the two nations.”
Delegation Members Can be Found Here
Point of Contact
Following the conclusion of the trip, requests can be directed to Maggie Feldman-Piltch at firstname.lastname@example.org.