Last October, the Institute of International Education led a delegation of college and university officials from the United States on a cultural immersion trip to Cuba, the first of what officials hoped would be many following the return of diplomatic relations with the country. Since then, thousands of students and dozens of officials from U.S. institutions have traveled to the island in the expanded version of cultural exchange agreements between the two nations.
The United States must pursue a different approach in helping stabilize Somalia following the appointment of the first U.S. Ambassador to Somalia in more than 25 years, said a former Somali diplomat and respected foreign policy analyst. Abukar Arman, the former Special Representative of Somalia to Washington, said Wednesday the United States has been weak in using “soft power” in its effort to support the government attain security and political stability.
Call it the return of basketball diplomacy. The State Department on Friday named hoops legend Shaquille O’Neal the first ever “Sports Envoy to Cuba” and said he’d visit Havana on Saturday to hold basketball clinics for the island nation’s youth. The trip is a part of the Obama administration’s broader effort to increase cultural exchanges between Washington and Cuba after the two nations restored diplomatic ties last year for the first time in five decades.
The coincidental timing of the exhibition at the OAS’s Art Museum of the Americas in Washington may have a healing effect: “In mounting this exhibit, we’re conscious of the value of artistic expression to communicate both the intentions and views of the artists and to speak more generally about social change and political engagement in the hemisphere,” said James M. Lambert, secretary for hemispheric affairs at the OAS.
How would you explain Donald Trump to a foreign audience? Could it be done in a coherent way? Could it be done at all? To citizens at home, this may be merely an intriguing exercise. But to our country's diplomats it is a daily challenge. As part of their jobs, especially if they are public diplomacy officers, as I was, they are charged with "telling America's story to the world," and this includes describing the leading figures and issues in an election year.
Texas leaders from a wide range of economic sectors, including a few from Dallas, but mostly from the Houston and Austin areas, came together Thursday to form the Engage Cuba Texas State Council under the Cuban advocacy group Engage Cuba, seeking to end the embargo placed on the sovereign state in 1960. [...] On a personal level, Smith is just as interested in the humanitarian aspect of helping Cuba as the economic aspect.
Cuban programming is coming to U.S. airwaves thanks to DISH, the Colorado-based provider with 13.9 million TV subscribers. The company will launch a new channel on Thursday called CUBAMAX TV, which will carry entertainment programming created in Cuba featuring some of the island's most famous celebrities. The channel will not feature any political or news programming, but instead will focus on comedies, children's programming, music videos and telenovelas.
The United States has overtaken Britain as the world’s leading “soft power”, according to a survey claiming that US President Barack Obama’s diplomatic moves in Iran, Cuba and Asia have helped to shift global opinion of the superpower. [...] The Soft Power 30 survey uses a range of polling and digital data to measure a country’s appeal on issues ranging from government, culture and cuisine to education, enterprise and the attractiveness of luxury brands.