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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Fall 2013

the trade embargo. Other countries allow Cuba to pay on credit. As a result, Cuba regularly imports food from China and other Asian countries, despite paying expensive freight costs. If and when trade is normalized between the U.S. and Cuba, additional farm and timber exports from Alabama have the potential to be very lucrative. Final Thoughts The hospitality shown to us by our Cuban hosts was wonderful. Our delegation was warmly welcomed by all members of the legal community with whom we met. We enjoyed visiting and sharing ideas with the lawyers we encountered. That is not to say that we saw eye to eye with our hosts on every issue. Indeed, it was difficult to hear words like “genocide” and “declaration of war” used to describe the U.S. embargo. But it was enlightening for us to hear the perspective of Cuban lawyers on a U.S. policy towards Cuba that has not changed much during most of our lives. At the conclusion of the trip, it was agreed that an effort will be made to formalize the relationships between the Alabama State Bar and the Cuban lawyers, so that future workshops and exchanges can occur. As one of our hosts put it, the Union of Jurists has already had eighty-four visits in 2013, but most of these groups have “Jose Marti Airport Syndrome” - they come to Cuba to visit but then leave without much, if any, follow-up. Hopefully, by maintaining this relationship over a longer period of time, the Cuban legal community will build bonds with lawyers in Alabama that can be helpful to members of both of our professions and Bar associations. It is likely that a delegation of Cuban lawyers will visit Alabama in the next year to continue this dialogue and learn more about our legal system and State Bar. If so, this will be a great opportunity for members of our Birmingham Bar to meet with these Cuban visitors to exchange information and ideas, and to return the hospitality that was extended to us this summer. I am hopeful that this relationship will continue to grow. Some people may consider this initiative to be naive or too quick to overlook the abuses of the Castro government. However, a lot of good can be accomplished if we can help influence the future direction of the rule of law in Cuba. Finally, thanks to John Watson for sending me the book Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire. This is a wellwritten personal account of one family’s experience in Cuba at the time of the Revolution. For those who want to learn about life in the late 50’s and early 60’s in Cuba, including the excesses of the Castro Government after the Revolution, this is a fine remembrance of how life once was in Cuba. G The best thing for your resume since spellcheck. An online LL.M. concentration in Tax or Business from the University of Alabama School of Law is the best way to improve your resume since spellcheck. The degree demonstrates you received skill-based training from respected professors and practitioners throughout the country. It also proves you understand the innovation of an exceptional program offered through live, interactive technologies and the value of an aff ordable program delivered to you anywhere on the globe. An LL.M. from Alabama says it all. Visit www.AlabamaLLM.com/Bham to learn more. ....LL.M. ALA BAMA .. T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f A l a b a m a S c h o o l o f L a w Online LL.M. deg ree programs Tax and Business Law Concentrations www.AlabamaLLM.com/Bham Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2013 11


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Fall 2013
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