Sunday, April 7, 2019

A Layman’s Look at Collective Security

Jorge Dominguez currently focuses on his work in comparative politics and international relations in Latin America. Until his retirement in 2018, he served Harvard University since 1972 as a professor as well as director and chair of various departments. Among Jorge Dominguez's achievements is his involvement in the World Peace Foundation as a member of the Steering Committee for the project on Collective Securities in the Americas.

Collective security is the term used for different states' collective efforts to attempt to prevent or mitigate wars. The expression was first coined in the 1930s. In a collective security arrangement, the security of every member state becomes a concern for all member states. As a result, all member states act together to deal with the threat.

Collective security is considered to be the most viable approach in order to achieve international peace, as it is designed to protect not just one state but all states part of the agreement. The United Nations and League of Nations were both founded on the collective security principle.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

What Does the Inter-American Dialogue Do

Jorge Dominguez has actively worked in international relations, focusing on Latin American affairs. With an extensive professional background, Jorge Dominguez also became a member of the Inter-American Dialogue from 1983 to 2018.

For over 30 years, the Inter-American Dialogue has continuously been involved in shaping policy debate, devising solutions, and encouraging cooperation among states in the Western Hemisphere. 

The Inter-American Dialogue is made up of more than 100 distinguished professionals and citizens from the United States and Canada, as well as Latin American, European, and Caribbean countries and states. These members actively participate in the organization’s work through advancing debate and sharing information. 

Based in Washington, DC, Inter-American Dialogue takes pride in its reach, influence, and quality of analysis. It partners with premier institutions around the world in various areas crucial to development including energy, education, migration, and rule of law, among others. 

As a network of global leaders, the Inter-American Dialogue engages its members to drive democracy, social equity, and prosperity, particularly among the Caribbean and Latin American states.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Ladies in White - A Group Focused on Freedom of Conscience

A scholar expert in recent Latin American history and politics, Jorge Dominguez, PhD, served for 12 years as the Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of scores of articles, book chapters, and books in his field. In addition to Mexico, Dr. Jorge Dominguez maintains a strong research interest in Cuba.

In May 2016, Latin America Advisor published a dialogue including Dr. Dominguez and other experts on the subject of United States President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba. In the course of the conversation, Dr. Dominguez mentioned how the president had called Cuba’s denial of human rights to the world’s attention. In particular, President Obama met with dissidents, among them the “Ladies in White.”

These “Damas de Blanco” have spent a decade and a half protesting the detention of the country’s political prisoners in a quietly pointed way. Every Sunday, dressed all in white, they leave Havana’s Santa Rita Church and march through the streets as a living symbol of innocence and of the freedom denied their countrymen.

In 2005, the Ladies in White received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, given annually to reflect the values of the late Russian dissident Andrey Sakharov. It took eight years, but in 2013, the Cuban regime at last allowed these women to travel to Brussels to claim their award.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Catholic Church Gradually Recovers Influence in Cuba

A tenured Harvard University professor, Jorge Dominguez provided academic leadership as director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. Knowledgeable about the complex relationship between Cuba’s Catholic Church and Communist government, Jorge Dominguez moderated a John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum that focused on the topic in 2013. 

As reported last year in National Catholic Reporter Online, the Cuban Catholic Church is gradually recovering from decades of repression, which began with Fidel Castro’s taking power in 1959 and resulted in the expulsion or imprisonment of thousands of lay leaders and priests, as well as nationalization of Catholic schools. For many years, practicing Catholics could not take on leadership roles, and were excluded from the Communist Party.

With tens of thousands of Catholics fleeing, a pivotal moment of re-evaluation came in 1986. The National Encounter of the Catholic Church (ENEC) found that only 200 Catholic priests remained ministering in Cuba and less than two percent of the population attended Mass regularly. This led to a renewed commitment to the churches’ missionary role and in 1992 Cuba was classified as a secular, “but no longer atheist,” state. 

John Paul II made a groundbreaking visit to the country in 1998 that further reinvigorated the Catholic Church. Most recently, Pope Francis visited Cuba, which opened new doors, including priests in the United States being able to temporarily visit the country and minister. With approximately 350 priests practicing in Cuba today, about 60 percent of Cubans describe themselves as Catholic and 10 percent attend church regularly. A major lynchpin of change has been the Cuban-American community, with recent funding going to church-organized entrepreneurship training programs and the first new Catholic church built in the island country in 60 years.