Museum Program Discusses Cuba
On July 31, he did -- as Fidel reportedly lies ill from intestinal bleeding.
Latell, former CIA section chief for Latin America and author of "After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader," will lead a who's who of Cuba experts during the fourth Raleigh International Spy Conference (www.raleighspy conference.com), set for Wednesday to Friday, Aug. 23 to 25, at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. The event, titled "Castro and Cuba: The Inside Story," brings together world-renowned experts that include former intelligence officials, scholars and commentators.
"I'd say our timing was pretty good," says conference founder Bernie Reeves, editor and publisher of Raleigh's Metro Magazine (www.metronc.com). "With Fidel turning 80 on Aug. 13, the interest in Castro and Cuba has increased in diplomatic, military and intelligence circles. Cubans who fled to the United States want their country back, and the CIA has a keen interest since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Cuba is the next big thing and Castro's illness accelerates events."
During the spy conference, presented by Reeves and the N.C. Museum of History the experts will interpret recent events in Cuba and explore what lies ahead.
"The conference speakers will be discussing tomorrow's history today -- it doesn't get more relevant than that," says Elizabeth F. Buford, director, N.C. Museum of History and Division of State History Museums.
Joining Latell, currently a senior research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, are the following speakers for the fourth annual Raleigh International Spy Conference:
-- Gene Poteat -- former CIA science and technology operative who participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He will disclose new information, including revelations from his firsthand experiences about what really happened when the United States and the Soviets came close to nuclear war in Cuban waters.
Poteat, retired from the CIA, is currently president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
-- Tim Naftali -- author and scholar at the University of Virginia and expert on the Cuban Missile Crisis who had "unusual" access to KGB materials from the Havana residentura from 1959 to 1963. Naftali's new book on Nikita Khrushchev, written with Aleksandr Fursenko, is due out in October 2006 and contains new information about Castro and the Soviet Union.
-- Don Bohning -- Latin America editor for the Miami Herald from 1967 to 2000 and author of "The Castro Obsession: U.S. Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-1965." He will discuss Castro from the Bay of Pigs onward, based on personal observation and a career covering Cuba for the Miami Herald.
-- Humberto Fontova -- Cuban-born columnist and author who emigrated to the United States in 1961. He received his master's degree in history from Tulane University and writes books and articles about Castro's influence on the American Left. He is author of "Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant."
-- Art Padilla -- former vice-president of the University of North Carolina system and professor of business management at N.C. State University. An expert on leadership styles, Cuban-born Padilla will deliver a background presentation on Cuban culture and an examination of Castro's "destructive" leadership style.
To register for this important event, access www.raleighspy conference.com or call the Spy Hotline at 919-807-7917.
The conference fee is $250 per registrant. Reduced registration is $175 for seniors (55 or over) and $145 for educators, students and the intelligence community.
The fee includes all six sessions, the keynote address and admission to the evening gala on Thursday, Aug. 24.
Additional gala tickets are available to conference attendees for $35 per person.
Hotel information is available at www.raleighspyconference. com.
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