Thu, Oct. 27, 2016
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall

The relationship between Cuba and the United States is undergoing a historic transformation. In the months since Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro announced that their countries would restore diplomatic relations, numerous measures have strengthened the bilateral relationship, including the reopening of embassies, the reestablishment of commercial flights, an ease in restrictions of certain imports and exports, and the facilitation of selected financial transactions.

This renewed relationship is of particular importance to Texas, which is a strong economic driver for the U.S. economy and could greatly benefit from open trade with Cuba. Last December, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visited Cuba, and the Houston mayor’s office and the Greater Houston Partnership completed a trade mission to the island last month.

This conference addressed the rapidly developing political, business and legal ties between the two countries. Experts from Cuba and the U.S. discussed political and economic outlooks, as well as the current investment framework in Cuba and the reforms necessary to facilitate trade and investment in the continuing environment of normalization.

This event was co-sponsored by the Baker Institute Latin America Initiative and the International Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Join the conversation online with #BakerCuba.

This program was approved for 5.75 hours of Texas CLE credit, including 1 hour of participatory ethics.  


To view the entire conference, please click below:






8:30 am



Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am



Welcoming Remarks

Erika de la Garza
Program Director, Baker Institute Latin America Initiative

Yuliya D. Marcer
Chair, International Law Section, State Bar of Texas

9:10 am



Opening Remarks

The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian
Director, Baker Institute

The Honorable Sylvester Turner
Mayor of Houston

9:45 am    

The Old and New U.S.-Cuba Relationship

Sashe D. Dimitroff
Partner, BakerHostetler

Javier Corrales, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science, Amherst College

10:45 am    

Panel I — A New Economic Relationship?

Moderator: Pablo M. Pinto, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Houston, and Nonresident Scholar, Baker Institute Latin America Initiative

Juan A. Triana
Professor, University of Havana, Cuba

Jorge R. Piñón 
Director, Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program, The University of Texas at Austin


Networking Lunch

1:00 pm    

Panel II — The Not So Distant Neighbors: A Political Overview

Moderator: Mark P. Jones, Ph.D., Fellow in Political Science, Baker Institute

Cristina Escobar Domínguez
Journalist and Reporter, Cuban Institute of Radio and Television, Cuba

Lee Ann Evans
Senior Policy Advisor, Engage Cuba

Kerry T. Scarlott
Partner, BakerHostetler

2:30 pm    

Panel III — Evolving Legal Aspects of Bilateral Trade & Investment

Moderator: Felix Chevalier, Partner, Chevalier Law PLLC

Alina Domínguez
Professor of Industrial Property Law, University of Havana Law School, Cuba

Paul Madden
Managing Partner, Paul Madden Associates LLC

4:00 pm    

A Business Perspective on Houston’s First Official Visit to Cuba: Report on the September Trade Mission

Bob Pertierra
Senior Vice President and Chief Economic Development Officer, Greater Houston Partnership

George Y. Gonzalez
Partner, Haynes and Boone LLP

4:30 pm    




Cost of attendance is $30 for the general public. Roundtable members and Rice students, faculty and staff receive complimentary admission with the promotional code included in the email invitation. For registration assistance, contact events coordinator Macy Pruitt (713.348.4336 or mpruitt@rice.edu).

For questions about Baker Institute membership, please contact assistant director of development Starr Dickerson (713.348.8087 or starrd@rice.edu).

Full refunds are available before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26. After this date, you may send an alternate to attend the event without an additional charge.




Thu, Oct. 27, 2016
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall