Right after finals week the Political Science Department is headed to Cuba! Department Chair Dr. Chuck Moran and I will be leading a group of students, alumni, and friends of the university to the island nation.
We will depart on May 20 and stay in country until May 28. While there we will spend time in Old Havana and Trinidad, as well as visit the Escambray Mountain Range.
Cuba is of great interest to students of political science because of its revolutionary past and its promising future. It is of course the location of the Cuban Revolution led by Che Guevera and Fidel Castro.
From an American political perspective, few figures loomed so large over the height of the Cold War. These men grew into symbols of both the specter of anti-capitalist socialization and the international boogeyman of communist expansion.
Cuba was where JFK’s failed Bay of Pigs debacle took place, as well as the backdrop for the Cuban Missile Crisis. No closer has humanity come to destroying itself than those tension filled days in October of 1962.
For now Cuba stands as a country in transition from a closed economy to a blossoming member of the world community. While the small nation’s fate is not yet written, and the winds of change might at least temporarily stall forward progress, it seems as if the country is opening up its borders. Likewise, the world community is embracing Cuba. In a few years Cuba will likely have changed substantially into something quite different than what it is today. This is a once in a lifetime chance to visit a culture that only now opening its arms to its neighbors.
On a personal note, this trip is meaningful to me as a Rockhurst political science alum. While a student here I traveled to China, Hong Kong, Israel, and Russia with Dr. Moran and Dr. Frank Smist of the political science department. It is a joy to be making this voyage with students of my own as a member of the faculty. I invite anyone who has an interest in this joining myself and Dr. Chuck Moran on this journey to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Initial deposits are due on February 20th, so don’t delay!