Monday, October 25, 2004,
Cotter Union / 130 Pugh Center Commons Room

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<speaker>Patricia Gutierres-Menoyo</speaker>
<credentials>Patricia Gutierres-Menoyo is a founding member of Cambio Cubana, a prominent non-profit advocacy group founded in 1993 to promote change in Cuba by peaceful means while striving to make dissenting voices heard on a wider basis. Gutierrez-Monoyo and her father advocate a wide-ranging dialogue between Cuba and the Cuban-American community.</credentials>
<description>
Ms Gutierrez-Menoyo will address the Colby community on Monday the 25 of October at 7:00pm in the Pugh Center on the subject of US- Cuba Relations: An Update, where she will lecture on the status of Cuban American relations at present and the possibilities of change the coming elections will have on them.
At the age of 15, Ms Gutiérrez-Menoyo led an international campaign of behalf of her father, Eloy Gutiérrez-Menoyo. During the late 1950s insurgency against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, Gutiérrez-Menoyo commanded the Second Escambray Front, an independent guerrilla group. Soon after the triumph of the revolution, however, he turned against Castro and fled to Florida, where he helped found the exile paramilitary group Alpha 66. Arrested on a mission inside Cuba in 1965, he ultimately spent 22 years in Cuban prisons until his release in 1986.
In 2000, Ms Gutiérrez-Menoyo began to publish the Cuban Culture Collection series at her publishing company, Plaza Mayor, from authors both in and outside Cuba. The Cuban Culture Collection has published more than 24 titles to date in an effort to promote better understanding among Cubans, Cuban-Americans and anyone interested in Cuban culture today.
Cambio Cubano functions as the activist vehicle of Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, a veteran anti-Castro crusader who founded the group at age 58 after undergoing a remarkable personal odyssey. During the late 1950s insurgency against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, Gutierrez Menoyo commanded the Second Escambray Front, an independent guerrilla group. Soon after the triumph of the revolution, however, he turned against Castro and fled to Florida, where he helped found the exile paramilitary group Alpha 66. Arrested on a mission inside Cuba in 1965, he ultimately spent 22 years in Cuban prisons.
Released and exiled in 1987, Gutierrez Menoyo abandoned militant anti-Castro strategies and now sees a different path to Cuban change. "We advocate a future without revenge and without hatred that achieves the freedom of Cuba by peaceful means," he wrote in Cambio Cubano's charter statement. He advocates immediate negotiations with the Cuban government, arguing that continued U.S. sanctions are fruitless and harmful. "I am the first to recognize the need to open Cuba's politics," he says. "But the last thing I want to do is open the arteries of the people who live there by maintaining a cruel and foolish embargo."
Gutierrez Menoyo advocates a wide-ranging dialogue between Cuba and the Cuban-American community, and has done more than any other exile figure to commence such discussions. In September, 1994, he met with Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina in Madrid. This June he returned to Cuba for the first time since his release from prison. During his week- long visit, he held lengthy discussions with President Fidel Castro and other high-ranking officials, and met with dissidents on the island. Upon returning to the United States, he reported in an op-ed in the Washington Post that he found "a greater openness to new ideas on the part of Cuban officials." "If the Cuban government is now prepared to show tolerance and respect for the views of those like myself," he wrote, "then indeed a new beginning can be made and we can face the future with renewed hope."</description>
<cost>Free</cost>
<sponsor>Priscilla Doel</sponsor>
<contactphone>3122</contactphone>
<contactemail>padoel, naveille</contactemail>
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<audience>General Public</audience>
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Public event