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January

In their meeting on Feb. 10, the European Union foreign ministers are expected to approve the E.U. position for negotiations with Cuba about a new agreement between the two parties.

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The School of International and Public Affairs at FIU celebrated the launch of the Václav Havel Initiative for Human Rights and Diplomacy with a multimedia performance by the Czech theater troupe, Laterna Magika.

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February

Dr. Palous' opinion article was featured in Diario de Cuba.

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March

Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H. Res. 506, a bipartisan resolution authored by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which honors the life and legacy of Václav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic and lifelong democracy activist. The resolution also provides authorization for a bust of Václav Havel to be displayed in the United States Capitol.

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Dr. Martin Palous and Jiri Valenta comment on the current crisis in Ukraine and Venezuela.

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Dr. Martin Palous was featured in the Inter-American Dialogue's Latin America Advisor for the Featured Q&A "What Do the E.U. and Cuba Have to Gain From Stronger Ties?"

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May

Earlier this month, nearly fifty business leaders, former government and military leaders, and policy experts wrote an open letter to President Obama, entitled “Open Letter to President Obama: Support Civil Society in Cuba”, urging the administration to relax restrictions on Cuba travel, the lifting of the embargo, and increase support for Cuban civil society.

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A Conversation on the Economics of Transition in Cuba, the second event of the Knight Foundation-funded project “Preparing Miami for Democratic Transition in Cuba,” took place Wednesday, May 14 at the Biltmore Hotel. The evening drew an audience of 50 who responded to presentations by Dr. Jan Švejnar, the James T. Shotwell Professor of Global Political Economy Director, Center on Global Economic Governance at Columbia University, and Dr. Rolando H. Castañeda of the Association for the Study of t

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June

The Havel Initiative will host an interactive panel discussion on international human rights and Cuba at 9:30 a.m., June 28 in the MARC Pavillion on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP.

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July

On February 28, 2008 Cuba signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). As of today, February 16, 2012, however, its ratification is still pending. Moreover, Cuba’s prisons remain full of people sentenced for all sorts of political crimes (for alleged violations of public order and state security laws) and the internationally guaranteed fundamental human rights and freedoms of Cubans continue to be massively and systematically violated.

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November

This month, the Václav Havel Initiative for Human Rights & Diplomacy at Florida International University, had the pleasure of collaborating with a number of organizations for a week-long celebration in Washington, DC, commemorating Havel’s legacy and the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

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December

Cuban dissidents and human rights defenders are not alone in their struggle to overcome the totalitarian legacies of the communist rule imposed on the Cuban society more than 55 years ago. These advocates for democracy have always had partners or sympathizers, both within the international society of states and various internal non-state actors. They have been ready to speak up on their behalf, providing the emerging Cuban civil society with many forms of support and assistance.

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