US Brookings Institute Delegation Visits Cuba

HAVANA TIMES April 30 — Executives and academics from the Brookings Institution conducted an exploratory visit to Cuba to verify the changes promoted by President Raul Castro, reported AFP on Saturday.

Ted Piccone, senior fellow and deputy director for Foreign Policy at Brookings, explained that the group “had a variety of meetings with religious leaders, artists and farmers, including members of the Catholic Church.”

Piccone, a former adviser to the National Security Council, the US State Department and the Pentagon, suggested that the US “pay more attention to the evolution of the national and international economic policies of the island” and not to “politicize or interpose itself in the process of Cuba’s readmission (into the IMF and the World Bank).”

Alfi Fanjul Gomez-Mena (a sugar magnate whose family was one of the wealthiest in Cuba prior to 1959 and whose properties were expropriated by the revolutionary government) spoke at the meeting for reconciliation among Cubans.