A Magazine Leads a Trip to Cuba
By RACHEL LEE HARRIS, New York Times blog
Readers of The Nation are getting the chance to travel like (and with) the journalists whose work they admire.
This week the magazine will host its first educational exchange trip to Cuba, guided by Katrina vanden Heuvel, the publication’s editor and publisher, and Peter Kornbluh, a frequent contributor and the director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University, who will serve as the group’s resident historian and scholar.
“The Nation for decades has covered Cuba in a way that I’d argue few publications have done or dared,” Ms. vanden Heuvel said in a telephone interview. “Everything from the beginnings of the economic embargo to the Bay of Pigs story; we’ve covered the current issues in U.S.-Cuban relations, the cultural and economic changes. So that is part of the backdrop to this trip, which is really trying to bring a group of people together as part of a good trip, for sure, but also an informed debate over policy.”
The group flew to Miami on Saturday to meet a charter to Havana on Sunday, at which point a itinerary of meetings with Cuban leaders began. The group will meet with city planners, architects, economic reformers, journalists, public health activists, historians, artists and small-business owners, Ms. vanden Heuvel said.
Among them will be Josefina Vidal, the director of North American Affairs for Cuba’s Foreign Ministry; Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raúl Castro and the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education; and Ricardo Alarcón, the former president of Cuba’s National Assembly and representative to the United Nations.
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Editor’s Note: Senior Foreign Ministry (MINREX) officer Josefina Vidal is a career spy with the Directorate of Intelligence (DI). She was thrown out of the US in 2003 as part of a mass expulsion of over a dozen of Havana’s spy-diplomats.