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Contemporary Cuba Speakers Series: "What's Next for U.S.-Cuba Relations?" with Derek Mills, J.D.


Featuring Derek Mills, J.D.

Just five years ago, in March of 2016, Barrack Obama visited Cuba as the first sitting president to do so since 1928. This historic event culminated a diplomatic process that included an easing of certain elements of the embargo that allowed for more US investment, travel to the island by US citizens, and an updated immigration policy. This move towards normalization came to a halt and impressive reversal during the Trump administration, justified by Cold-War ideologies and a series of mysterious sonic episodes and health incidents affecting members of the diplomatic corps and other US citizens while on the island. Finally, on January 11, 2021, Cuba was once again added to the list of State Sponsors of terrorism which complicates any return to Obama-era normalization. In this talk, Mr. Mills will share his thoughts on how the Biden administration may approach a renewed relationship with the Island considering the much changed political and social landscape in both Cuba and the US.

After graduating from Tulane, Professor Mills served as a Judge Advocate General Corps attorney with the U.S. Navy and subsequently as a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service of the Department of State.  He has completed overseas assignments to Iraq, South Sudan, Haiti, and as an embedded officer with the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).  His most recent Washington assignments have been with the Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure and overseeing the administrative review of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  From 2015 to 2017, he served at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, departing upon its evacuation.  At Schar, Professor Mills teaches in the International Security program and directs graduate student programs in Cuba and in Haiti.             

Stone Center for Latin American Studies

For more information on this event, please visit https://tulane.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0tcuyuqz0iGdYLQUx08ldMn8WcJmRjtQc6