Al Jazeera Preview

Screening: Cuba for Sale + Q&A

Public screening at The Frontline Club, London

13 Norfolk Place Paddington W2 1QJ

Tuesday 23 February 2016, 7:00 PM

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with IISC Chairman Dr Stephen Wilkinson,  journalists Juliana Ruhfus, Seamus Mirodan and others.

Al Jazeera Cuba

Cuba was the first communist state to be created in the western hemisphere – it’s also the last one standing. But the United States’ economic embargo against Cuba, coupled with the break up of the Soviet Union, has left this island nation struggling to provide for its citizens’ most basic needs.

In 2011, President Raul Castro introduced a series of dramatic reforms designed to stimulate growth. For the first time in decades, Cuban citizens were allowed to sell their homes and open businesses. Foreign companies are now permitted to invest in Cuba too.

The President insists that these measures are designed to preserve, rather than dismantle, Cuban socialism. But can he successfully open up the economy without betraying the promise of a classless society upon which the Cuban state was built? Juliana Ruhfus and Seamus Mirodaninvestigate.

People and Power is Al Jazeera’s weekly investigative documentary programme that looks at the use and abuse of power. People and Power: Cuba for Sale will be broadcast on Al Jazeera English on 24 February.


The panel:

Stephen Wilkinson first visited Cuba in 1986 and has been travelling to and writing about the island ever since. Now assistant director at the International Institute for the Study of Cuba, Stephen has a PhD on the subject of Cuban literature. He has written numerous articles on such questions as the history of US-Cuba relations, Cuban attitudes and policy towards homosexuals and the nature of the Cuban state. Stephen’s book: Detective Fiction in Cuban Society and Culture was published in 2006 by Peter Lang. He frequently comments on Cuba issues on The Guardian newspaper’s Comment is Free website.

Juliana Ruhfus is the senior reporter for Al Jazeera’s ‘People & Power’ investigative and current affairs strand where she has worked since 2006, when her film on Liberian ex-combatants launched the channel’s programming content. Nearly 30 films later she has gone undercover in Turkmenistan and in Cambodian orphanages, produced the five part ‘Corporations on Trial’ series, and her two-part investigation into the trafficking of Nigerian women into the Italian sex-trade is one of the most-watched People & Power shows in its history. In 2010, she was awarded the Ochberg Fellowship, and in 2011 she received a scholarship for Harvard’s Global Trauma Program. She is currently on the European board of directors for the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma.

Reporters: Juliana Ruhfus and Seamus Mirodan
Runtime: 25′