CA Lawyers for the Arts in Cuba!

Jan 14 - 23, 2017

From $ 3915

JOIN CALIFORNIA LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS IN CUBA!

Price: $ 3915
Single supplement: Add $ 950

Pick your passion--Latin jazz, salsa dancing, delicious seafood, vintage cars, historic preservation, tropical baseball, contemporary art, Hemingway trails, environmental restoration, religious fusion, colonial history, comparative law or international relations---and you can find your bliss in Cuba.

CLA's excursions to Havana began in 2012 before we imagined that "normalization" of political relationships with the United States and Cuba was a possibility. Now that the Obama administration has changed the political and economic landscape, we are on the cusp of exciting changes that we hope will improve the lives of the Cuban people. CLA's international travel program aims to foster understanding through meaning ful educational and cultural experiences abroad. Attorneys may receive continuing legal education credit for this excursion.

Destinations

What's included

* Full Transportation while in Cuba
* Cuban Visa
* US Licensing assistance
* Accommodations for 7 nights at Hotel Nacional
* Accommodations for 2 nights at a five stars Hotel in Matanzas (All Inclusive) (With the purchase     of Havana-Matanzas package) 
* Daily breakfast at hotels * 6 dinners (Two of the dinners at the hotel in Varadero)
* 8 lunches ( One of the lunches at the hotel)
*Tips (Guide and Driver, baggage handlers & restaurants)
* 6 Organizational visits (Museums or organizations)
* Full translation by professional Cuba ­based guide
* Legal activities as per itinerary
* Private presentation by El Folclorico Nacional de Cuba
* Lecture on Cuban Music by Prof. Alberto Faya and Maria Cordova
* Professional tour management in Cuba by our staff
* Our award winning Cuba Travel Tips publication and other traveler guidance

 

What's not included

*Airfare to Cuba (priced separately)
*Air from Home City to Miami
*Passports
*Trip Interruption Insurance

*Continuing Legal Education Fee

*Havana Departure tax of 28 USD
*Single room differential ($950)
*All other items not listed in “PROGRAM PRICE INCLUDES”
*Required membership in California Lawyers for the Arts for all participants

 

 

Please note: This itinerary is subject to change and you will be kept informed of changes to final itinerary.

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Itinerary 10 days

Day 1, Havana City

Arrive in Havana

A remarkably short flight away from Miami International Airport - just enough time to reach altitude and descend, Havana lies waiting in all her glory.  In just 45 minutes, you are transported to another place in time.  Havana’s enchantment is not limited to her time-worn charm or rich and diverse cultural identity -- it’s in the light, the sounds, the Caribbean Sea at her feet and most of all, in her people.  Welcome to Havana!             

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Orientation and familiarization

Check in to hotel. 

We will take a few moment to offer a welcome cocktail and a brief Orientation to the city and familiarization of the neighborhood around the hotel

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Dinner at San Cristobal Paladar - Eat like a President!

Set in an early 20th Century mansion in the “Centro Habana” district of the city, San Cristobal Paladar is probably, the best restaurant in Havana. Restaurateur and Executive Chef, Carlos Cristobal Marquez, has created a uniquely engaging ambience within a cluttered, but warm, eclectic décor; each room offering a journey through a particularly iconic aspect of Cuban culture.  The cuisine, Cuban Creole with a very refined and international twist, has a five-star rating by many international food critics and was enjoyed by President Barack Obama and his family during their recent visit to Havana.

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Day 2, Havana City

Breakfast at the Hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Walking tour of Vedado

This walking tour highlights the architecture of the Vedado district. The main monument and the Malecon, Coppelia park the Havana Libre hotel and the Rampa district.

 

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Callejon de Hamel

This Alley is located in the working class Cayo Hueso quarter that serves as an open-air Afro-Cuban Religion Sanctuary, the work of local artist Salvador Gonzalez who has adorned its walls with evocative Santeria murals paying homage to religious cults and currents of African origin. It hosts the famous Afro-Cuban rumbas that take place every Sunday afternoon.

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Lunch at StarBien

Starbien is a paladar in what was a charming and well-maintained home. Wonderful oil paintings on the wall. They will graciously welcome us with a frosted mint drink served with rum. WOW. Try the seafood entree which was beautifully presented and tasty and fresh. Other dishes include lobster thermidor, ropa vieja, malanga fritters with guava grape syrup, and fried ceviche. Choice of wonderful desserts. Grand finale

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Christopher Columbus Cemetery - Necropolis Cristobal Colon

Founded in 1876, the Colon Cemetery is one of the great historical cemeteries of the world, and is held to be the most important in Latin America in historical and architectural terms.  Located in the Vedado district, it was built by the Galician architect Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardoso, who became Colón’s first occupant when he died before his work was completed.  The great cemetery is 140 acres in size and is noted primarily for the elaborately sculpted memorials and the opulence and majesty of the mausoleums and statues. There are more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels and family vaults.  Among the most notable figures buried here are many of Cuba’s greatest cultural figures including Jose Lezama Lima, Alejo Carpentier, Dulce Maria Loinaz, to name only a few; and since the 19th century, Jose Miguel Gomez, president of Cuba and many generals and dignitaries. With 800,000 graves and one million interments, there may not be a more beautiful place to be interred than Havana’s “city of the dead”.

 

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Revolution Square ( Plaza de la Revolucion)

One of the most dramatic examples of modern architecture in Havana, if not the world, is the Plaza de la Revolución José Martí. The Plaza is among the largest civic plazas in the world, measuring nearly 24,000 sq. ft., surrounded by modern construction and featuring the enormous obelisk monument to Jose Marti, built on the highest ground in Havana. It is major attraction for visitors of all walks of life, world leaders and dignitaries, including Pope Francis who held mass there recently and Pope John Paul II who visited in 1998. The plaza was constructed prior to 1959 during the government of Fulgencio Batista, but gained popularity afterward as the center of public celebration and demonstration in Cuba. Two of the government buildings in the square, both mid-century modern (1958), are best known for the iron sculptures of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos that cover their facades, both by Cuban artist Enrique Avila. This grand plaza is also home to the Teatro Nacional de Cuba, built in 1979. This plaza is another one of those magical locations in Havana that throw you back in time but simultaneously offer you a great vision and hope for the future.

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Dinner on your own

Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. The tour guide will make the reservations and assist you with securing a taxi. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal & Taxi is not included in the trip price.

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Day 3, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Old Havana Four Plazas

The morning begins with a walking tour of the Four Plazas: Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de la Catedral, giving you an insight to the truly magnificent and powerful place Cuba held in the Caribbean for centuries. The walking tour will be accompanied by Rodriguez and Lowinger, with tour guides providing assistance.

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Lunch at La Moneda Cubana

Close to la Plaza de la Catedral in colonial Old Havana, serving a wide variety of Cuban food and liquor in a historic setting with beautiful views.

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Taller Experimental de Gráfica

The Taller (workshop) was established in 1962 by a small group of artists lead by Orlando Suárez, a muralist whose initiative also helped found the Superior Art Institute. Mr. Suarez was supported in this effort by the Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda and by Che Guevara who applauded his efforts to create a center where all artists of the City of Havana can go to produce prints. The Taller is more than a workshop. It is a studio, a school and most of all, an art institution that preserves and develops the sophisticated art of printmaking with relative freedom of spirit and form. While at the center you will see artworks produced there and have a conversation with the artists present about their works, and about life as an artist in Havana.

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Artist Studio & Gallery Visits

Rising from the restoration and revitalization of Old Havana, impressive art galleries have sprung up all over the colonial center of the city, exhibiting the work of Cuba’s top artists and often housing their private studios. As you stroll through Old Havana you will happen by many galleries and studios where you can view and purchase original art.

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Dinner on your own

Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. The tour guide will make the reservations and assist you with securing a taxi. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal & Taxi is not included in the trip price.

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Day 4, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

El Prado – Capitolio, Parque Central, Paseo and more...

El Prado is one of the most exquisitely designed and splendid major avenues in all of the Americas and home to the quintessential structures that define Havana, ranging from Colonial to Baroque to Neoclassical to Art Deco. Designed in 1772 by French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, El Prado runs for many blocks from the dramatic fountain, La Fuente de la India, to the iconic Malecon, marking the boundary between Habana Vieja and Centro HabanaEl Paseo, a marble promenade lined with a natural canopy of trees, marble benches and bronze lions was recently chosen by the House of Chanel for one of the most dramatic runway shows in the history of fashion. It is home to El Capitolio (1929): El Gran Teatro de La Habana (1918), home to the National Ballet of Cuba; The Bacardi Building (1930), a testament to Art Deco and dozens of other structures immortalized in photography and film for decades. Havana’s Central Park, is home to first statue of Jose Marti in Cuba. The gardens stand out for the 28 magnificent royal palms. Some of Havana most recognizable buildings surround the park. El Prado encompasses all of the mystery and magic, all of the historic and cultural wealth that Havana has offered from the 17th to the 21st century.

 

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Museo de Bellas Artes Cuban Collection

You will visit the Cuban collections in this striking modernist building which was completed in 1953 and exemplifies the combination of sculpture with architecture in Cuban mid-century modernism. The Palace of Fine Arts houses a collection of Cuban visual art that spans four centuries.

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Lunch at La Guarida

When life within the walled city that is now  Habana Vieja had become too cramped and too crowded and the growing population demanded expansion, the growth of Havana gave way to the neighborhood of Centro Habana. There is a mysterious aura to Centro Habana, battered by the sea and left to decay, but there remains a ghostly essence of its former brilliance and a vibrant inner-city life fueled by the locals. Remarkably, some of the city’s top paladares (privately owned restaurants) are located in Centro Habana and among the best of them is La Guarida.  The location for the acclaimed Cuban movie, “Fresa y Chocolate”, La Guarida serves delectably sophisticated international cuisine in a venue that is a perpetual work in progress.  The top floors of this seemingly dilapidated neoclassical structure are renovated to a degree of contemporary glamour that is impressive with a rooftop bar and an even higher mirador with spectacular views.  The bottom floors are obviously under renovation, but when you reach the top of the endless marble staircase wrapping its way up and up, you are in for a culinary delight by any standard.

 

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Drinks at El Floridita

Ernest Hemingway was known to say, “My mojito at La Bodeguita; my daiquiri at Floridita”, the world famous bar and one of Papa’s favorites where it is rumored he invented the “daiquiri” with his regular bartender.  

 

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Return to Hotel to freshen up and relax before dinner

Dinner at Mediterraneo Havana

A true “farm to table” and “sea to table” restaurant, Mediterraneo Havana features fresh plant and protein from their own two private, organic farms and fresh catch and seafood fished every other day from their own fishing boat.  It doesn’t get any more fresh or real than this in Cuba.  The food is prepared fresh daily without preservatives or additives, the pasta and the desserts are homemade and the menu, created by Chef Luigi, executive chef and founder, is a work of art.  Enjoy an extraordinary fusion cuisine and exceptional service in this lovely, airy, Mediterranean environment in a beautifully retrofitted Vedado home.  This extraordinary restaurant is the recent recipient of the coveted British farm to table award, the International Quality Crown Award in the “gold” category, chosen by culinary experts from 49 nations.

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Day 5, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Visit to legal and civic institutions

Cuban legal experts will provide an overview about how the changing legal landscape is affecting transnational and domestic business in Cuba.  A workshop will be followed by a networking reception with Cuban lawyers.  Continuing legal education credits are available for lawyers practicing in most states In the U.S.

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Miramar

Just west of the Vedado district, across the Almendares river is the extremely opulent and formerly posh Miramar district that borders the sea and home to magnificent mansions, embassies and some of the best hotels in Havana.  Havana’s famous “Quinta Avenida” or 5th Avenue traverses the district from east to west and is home to some of the most lavish and eccentric residential architecture in Havana.

 

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Lunch at El Aljibe - Cuban “Criolla” Cuisine

An outdoor thatch roof restaurant located in the residential area of Miramar, a few minutes from downtown Havana. A flavor created and maintained by the family tradition since the first restaurant was founded on the El Aljibe farm. The specialty is the El Aljibe Chicken, which combines roast chicken with French fries and fried plantain, delicious black beans, white rice, salad and national sweets for dessert.

 

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Fuster Studio/Home

Visit the Gaudí-like whimsical park-residence of Cuban painter, printmaker, and ceramicist José Fuster. For more information see, www.josefuster.com

 

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A Journey through Cuban Music, Concert & Panel Discussion by Prof. Alberto Faya

Experience a rare, intimate encounter with what Cuba is best know for – the music.  There is an old saying, “In Cuba, if you turn over a rock a musician jumps out”.  You will take a musical journey through Cuba’s rich and exciting musical history guided by world-renowned and award winning musician and musicologist Alberto Faya.  Faya, recipient of multiple awards for musical accomplishments. Enjoy this magical and interactive experience and feel free to engage the speakers and musicians.

 

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Dinner on your own

Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. The tour guide will make the reservations and assist you with securing a taxi. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal & Taxi is not included in the trip price.

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Day 6, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Ferry ride across Havana Bay

Take the ferry from Old Havana Bay, to visit the historic City of Regla. 

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Finca Vigia - Ernest Hemingway's Home & Museum

Your transportation will await you at Casa Blanca for the short drive to Ernest Hemingway’s home in the rural village of San Francisco de Paula, also just east of Havana. Named Finca Vigia or “Lookout Farm”, the home was built in 1866 and purchased by Hemingway in 1940.  This property, emerging from a lush tropical flora and fauna, was his primary home from 1940 until his death in 1961.  Hemingway loved Cuba and according to close sources, he spent more time there during those two decades that any of his homes around the world.  Here, Hemingway wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”, and his famous fishing boat, El Pilar, is also on display here.  In 1962, Finca Vigia was turned into a museum making it the first institution in the world devoted to Ernest Hemingway and his work. Recently, the feature film, “Papa” was filmed on location in Cuba and much of it at Finca Vigia.

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Lunch at Ajiaco Cafe in Cojimar

“Papa ́s” passion for fishing and drinking has left an indelible mark on Caribbean seaside the town of Cojimar, the picturesque fishing village where Hemingway docked his boat, El Pilar, and where some old timers might still remember Hemingway and his guide, Gregorio, whom the “old man” was based on.  Café Ajiaco is a Cojimar favorite. The fare is as varied as the drinks, but given that you are so close to the coast it is almost mandatory that you go for some seafood. The choice of fish changes daily with the catch. Enjoy this seaside fishing port village that is almost frozen in time since Hemingway made it his favorite hangout.

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Drive by El Morro for a photo opportunity

Built on the high rock entrance to the Bay and completed in the early 1600s, El Morro Castle guards the Port of Havana, complete with dungeons, cannons and the iconic lighthouse. Known as “El Morro”, the castle is actually The Castle of the Three Kings, named for the biblical Magi. The lighthouse stands on the end of a promontory strongly fortified with huge walls and battlements built by the Spanish Conquistadors to defend the city against pirates and bounty seekers. You will make a brief stop here for photo opportunities of the colonial fort and the magnificent panoramic views of Havana.

 

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Dinner on your own

Tonight dinner is in a paladar of your choice from a list of the hottest foodie scenes in the City. The tour guide will make the reservations. This is an opportunity to get away from the larger group and dine with a smaller group of friends. You will take a taxi to the meal that we will find for you. The group will have a chance to speak with the Chef and owner of the establishment to discuss food and new opportunities in the food industry in Cuba. The cost of this meal is not included in the trip price.

 

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Day 7, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Lunch at Atelier

A very unique and upscale restaurant, Atelier is the brainchild of Niuris Higueras, who has long nurtured her passion for exciting food.  She has designed a very contemporary space housed in an idiosyncratic Havana mansion in the Vedado district.  The décor has a retro feel including an antique hob and old sewing machines.  While Niuris is the inspiration, Chef Enrique cooks the food on the very eclectic menu that changes every day.  Together they create an international range of dishes than might include from falafels to duck confit to stewed rabbit in wine.  The food may vary from day to day, and sometimes be unpredictable, but it is consistently excellent as is the service.

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Conjunto Folclórico Nacional de Cuba - Private Rehearsal

Cuba’s world renowned National Folkloric Ensemble was founded in 1962 with the mission of rescuing and revitalizing Cuba’s musical and dance roots for the purpose of showcasing these expressions with true artistic authenticity and recreating them to adhere to the most contemporary of theatrical techniques and production value, while staying true to the folkloric essence.  Over 50 years, more than 100 international tours and over 2,000 performances throughout more than 300 cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas, the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba has been recipient to dozens of awards and has maintained and continued to evolve an aesthetic and an artistic style that is both deeply rooted in tradition and cutting edge in its purity and vision.  Enjoy a rare, intimate encounter with the entire company at a private rehearsal and receive a pure injection of Cuban culture.

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Neon Tour (Classic Car Ride)

Essentially we will pick your group up at your hotel or casa particular in a fleet of beautifully restored classic American cars. We will give you a special one hour guided tour of Havana with a focus on the neon signs that have been restored.  

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Dinner at Kadir Lopez studio

Kadir Lopez, and his brother Kelvin Lopez are graduates of the Instituto Superior de Arte. Their expansive studio and exhibit spaces are located in A 1930’s Havana mansion that has been re-purposed by the artists for their home-workspace. Here the group will enjoy a great and delicious traditional Cuban home-made dinner cooked by the family of the artist.You will have a chance to talk with Kadir, Kelvin and other artists who will join us and beyond having a fabulous dinner you will enjoy warm conversation about everything Cuban.

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Day 8, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Check out of hotel & Transfer to Matanzas

Ediciones Vigia

These creators of hand-written, hand-made books is among the most inspired and innovative publishing projects in Cuba. Ediciones Vigia is an independent publishing collective that began production in 1985. It produces handmade books, each not only of literary value but also a unique work of art. Located in a restored colonial house in the Plaza Vigia, the books are manufactured by dedicated artisans and no trip to Matanzas would be complete without a visit to this gem and tribute to the intellect and talent of the Cubans.

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Lunch at El Chiquirrin

Pharmaceutical Museum

A pharmacy, originally built in 1882 by the French, it stands unchanged today, giving the impression that time stood still. This is one of many testaments as to how this city reveres and conserves its diverse, international history. 

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Transfer to Varadero & Check in to Hotel

Day 9, Varadero

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

City Tour Varadero City

On the northern coast of Cuba in Matanzas Province there a long thin peninsula named for a rare type of cactus, the Hicacos Peninsula. Lying between the Bay of Cardenas and the Caribbean Sea, this thin strip of land offers some of the most coveted beaches in the world and the quintessential beach resort town of Varadero at its eastern tip. Varadero has many unique, historical sites within the city limits offering a peek into a luxurious past where this town was the definitive Caribbean playground for wealthy Americans until 1959. You can still play 18 holes and have cocktails and the oceanfront mansion built by the American industrialist, Henri Dupont, in the 1920’s.

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Lunch at the hotel

Dinner at the hotel

Day 10, Havana City

Breakfast at The hotel

You will be met by your guide in the lobby after breakfast to begin the day’s program.

Check out of Hotel in Varadero

Transfer Varadero to Havana

Transfer to the airport

Depart Havana for Miami

Meet Alma Robinson, Event Organizer

Through its international travel program, Alma Robinson, Executive Director of California Lawyers for the Arts, has led several groups to Cuba with Cuba Tours & Travel. A passionate advocate for the arts and artists' rights, she is a graduate of Middlebury College and Stanford Law School, where she studied art and the law. "Seeing the work of Cuban artists and musicians builds profound respect for the resilience of the Cuban people," she said. "Through these excursions, we have been able to witness first hand the historic changes in the relationship between our governments, This is an exciting time to visit Cuba."(Photo of Alma Robinson courtesy of Osiris Munir)

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