July 11, 2017.
Dr. Julio Frenk
President, University of Miami
Dear Dr. Frenk:
The National Association of Cuban-American Educators (NACAE) has learned with deep concern of the plan to close the Institute of Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) in the near future.
NACAE is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 with the objectives of representing the Cuban-American educators and contribute to the preservation of the Cuban cultural heritage in exile. To this effect, for many years the Association has organized monthly cultural sessions covering many different aspects of our Cuban heritage, including among others, Literature, Poetry, Visual Arts, Economy, Medicine, History, etc. All these sessions are held at ICCAS’ Casa Bacardí.
This is only one of the many activities held at ICCAS, including those organized by other cultural institutions amen of the numerous contributions of ICCAS’ Chair Dr. Jaime Sushlicky and his staff composed of notable, well-known writers and political analysts who have always maintained a strong position in defense of human rights and democratic values.
NACAE in a recent urgent meeting of its Executive Committee unanimously decided to respectfully write you this letter to express its dismay and deep concern. NACAE strongly believes ICCAS has played a very important role representing the best values of the large Cuban exile community, so important especially in the area of Greater Miami. Being the University of Miami the prime institution of higher education in this community, NACAE considers that ICCAS has accomplished a unique and historical role within the University system.
For this reason we at NACAE would like to strongly ask you to reconsider your decision to close ICCAS. This decision could be interpreted as a lack of support of the Cuban community by the UM, even when we know this is not the case.
For NACAE’s Executive Committee:
Julio Hernández-Miyares, president, Orlando Rossardi, vice president, Matilde Álvarez, secretary, Eduardo Zayas-Bazán, treasurer, Lourdes Zayas-Bazán, vice treasurer. Ellen Leeder, José A. Madrigal, and Federico R. Justiniani, ex-officio.