Embassy of the Republic of Cuba Visits UNC-Chapel Hill
June 18, 2019
His excellency José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to the U.S., visited the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Friday, May 24, 2019. He was accompanied by Miguel Fraga, first secretary of the embassy; Lorena Patterson, program director of Go Global NC’s Latino Initiative; and Saul Berenthal, partner at Cleber LLC.
The ambassador’s visit to the area was organized by Go Global NC and he visited UNC-Chapel Hill to learn about Carolina’s initiatives and collaborations in Cuba, as well as to discuss possible future connections in dentistry and health. Ambassador Rodríguez and First Secretary Fraga met with executive vice chancellor and provost Bob Blouin, as well as representatives from UNC Global, the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA), the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the School of Dentistry and the Study Abroad Office in the College of Arts and Sciences.
UNC-Chapel Hill has a long history of engagement in Cuba, inaugurated by the visit of 15 Cuban students to Chapel Hill in 1960 on a U.S. Department of State program. Currently, ISA runs the Cuba Program, which is committed to developing initiatives fostering knowledge of Cuba through research collaborations, including a relationship it maintains between Davis Library and the Biblioteca Nacional ‘José Martí’ in Havana. Faculty at the Gillings School have collaborated for more than 25 years with researchers at Pedro Kouri National Institute of Tropical Medicine on HIV prevention and cancer care. Until 2017, Carolina students were also able to study abroad at the University of Havana, and the College’s Study Abroad Office is investigating new opportunities for Carolina students in Cuba.
“The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a leader in Latin American studies in the U.S. and has a long history of research and collaboration with scholars and organizations in Cuba,” said Raymond B. Farrow III, associate provost for global affairs and interim chief global officer. “International partnerships like the ones we maintain in Cuba are a key element in Carolina’s global mission and an important way for our students and faculty to participate in a global community. We’re pleased to have welcomed Ambassador Rodríguez and the Cuban embassy to our University.”