The latest development of economic, political, social, and cultural events in the international arena provides a framework and a fresh opportunity to evaluate and resolve old differences and initiate new relationships between Cubans and Americans in the hope of increasing mutual understanding, good will, and cooperation. A new dialogue obviously is needed between American and Cuban officials in order to capitalize on the possibilities of change. In establishing this dialogue, academics and scholars can lead the way by exploring the barriers to communication as well as the challenges of development.
In consideration of its Convenio with the Universidad de La Habana, The University of Texas at Austin is proud to host this symposium, whose objective is to explore possible futures for economic and political relations between Cuba and the United States. The scholars at this conference will discuss the potential for U.S.Cuban relationships within the areas of trade, technology, financial flows, tourism, energy, infrastructure, economic development, and university exchanges. We intend to bring together statesmen, scholars, and business people, not to chart the directions of change but rather to lay out problems that need to be addressed, no matter what the parameters of change. After 50 years of conflict, neither country can move forward in normalizing relations without the cooperation of the other. Therefore, this symposium seeks to give voice to both Cuban and American visions of this process.