Image - Lianys Torres Rivera and Cuban flag
Past Event

Ambassador of Cuba, Lianys Torres Rivera, on Embargo and Engagement

Fraught relations between neighbors are not unique. But with the stakes elevated on the international stage, and separated by just 90 miles, the United States and Cuba showcase one of the most strained and enduring neighborhood disputes. In the region where the Cold War almost turned nuclear-hot, is there any way to contend with a complicated history and still make nice?

Join Commonwealth Club World Affairs for an unprecedented evening as we welcome the Cuban ambassador to the United States on her first visit to the West Coast. In our exclusive public program, Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera, will shed light on one of our closest yet most controversial and closed-off neighbors: the Republic of Cuba.

Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera will share a perspective from Havana: What is the story behind record-breaking recent Cuban migration to the United States? Is there any hope for moving beyond the U.S. embargo of Cuba—now in its seventh decade and controversially expanded in the 1990s to sanction worldwide companies trading with the island? More than 30 years on since the fall of the Soviet Union—but in an era of rising geopolitical tensions—what can a relationship between the leader of the free world and our closest Communist neighbor look like?

As ambassador to the United States, and a key negotiator in the bilateral discussions on bolstering U.S. engagement with Cuba during the Obama administration, Ambassador Torres Rivera will share insight into the process of renewing relations, the backsliding that followed and where we stand now. Hear how the U.S.-Cuba relationship could evolve as we look ahead to this pivotal election year in the United States and explore if California-Cuba collaborations could ignite. Come prepared with your questions for this very rare opportunity to speak directly with Cuba’s highest official in the United States.

"Program + Reception" ticket includes a delectable array of traditional Cuban cuisine served buffet style and an open bar with beer, wine and soda for one hour following the program.

March 12, 2024

Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Lianys Torres Rivera

Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera

Chargé D'Affairs, Embassy of Cuba in United States

Image - Mike Cerre

Mike Cerre

Special Correspondent, "PBS Newshour"—Moderator