Cuba — Fear and Loathing?

cubaDr. David Richards, assistant professor of international relations, will give a talk on “Cuba — Fear and Loathing? Reflections on Travel to Cuba,” on April 11 at 4:30 p.m. in Hopwood Auditorium.

Dr. Richards and nine LC students spent spring break in Cuba as part of a study abroad program aimed at understanding the politics behind the still limited-access to this island nation. A tenth student was from the Tri-College Consortia Agreement with Sweet Briar College.

The students, who will also share photos and reflections, are enrolled in a course taught by Dr. Richards and Dr. Nichole Sanders, associate professor of history, which focuses on the relationship between the United States and Cuba, especially during the past 50 years under the Castro regime.

“This was a great time to visit Cuba,” Dr. Richards said. “Cuba is very much in transition these days from the old, Soviet style society, to a more globalized one. In a decade, much of what made Cuba unique in the world may be gone. It was also a chance for students to get a firsthand look at a state and a people who have often been viewed in very negative terms in the United States.”

In the last three years, academic travel has been permitted under the Obama administration, but it is still difficult to plan for such a voyage, said Alex Akulli, director of LC’s Center for Global Education. “If you’re not a faculty member or a student getting credit, it is very difficult to go to Cuba directly from the US,” he said.