Last month, a delegation of approximately 40 American publishing industry representatives met with their publishing counterparts in Havana, Cuba. This historic milestone took place to build bridges of understanding and explore opportunities for greater cultural and economic collaboration. This interesting and very timely information came to our attention from Publishers Weekly in their article, “End the Book Embargo Against Cuba.”

The two days of meetings were held with the support of the Cuban government. The American delegates included authors, publishers, distributors, literary agents, service providers, consultants, and independent booksellers. Cuba was represented by officials from the Cuban Book Institute, the Ministry of Culture, and the Cuban Writers Association, as well as by Cuban authors, publishers, academics, and students.

They call upon the U.S. Congress and President Obama to lift the economic embargo against Cuba as it pertains to books and educational materials. This comes at the same time President Obama is visiting Cuba – the first time a sitting president has done so since 1928.

As we all watch the events unfold over the next few days, it will be interesting to see what change comes from this historic milestone.

Melody K. Smith

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