CubaNews / March 2009
By Larry Luxner
Carlos Gutiérrez, former commerce secretary under the Bush administration and a staunch supporter of the U.S. trade embargo, has been named non-resident scholar at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies.
From his office in Washington, Gutiérrez will direct the ICCAS Cuba Business Roundtable — an ongoing program that supplies economic information and professional advice to companies hoping to do business in a post-embargo, post-Castro Cuba. He will also serve as keynote speaker for Cuba Transition Project seminars in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Canada.
“Secretary Gutiérrez is a highly successful captain of industry,” said University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala. “His experience in government and his extensive knowledge of global business challenges will enhance ICCAS’s resources and help in developing important partnerships.”
Gutiérrez, 55, served in President Bush’s cabinet from 2005 to 2008, overseeing a department of 38,000 workers and a $6.5 billion budget. The Cuban-born official (profiled in our February 2007 issue) was also co-chair of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Gutiérrez was chairman of the board and CEO of Kellogg Co.
“We are very fortunate that such a distinguished and experienced dignitary will join our ranks,” said Jaime Suchlicki. the longtime director of ICCAS and the Cuba Transition Project. “The Cuba issue is very important to him; his help will be invaluable.”
Meanwhile, Caleb McCarry — who worked with Gutiérrez on the Cuba commission — has joined Washington-based Creative Associates International Inc., which like ICCAS receives funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
In July 2005, Bush appointed McCarry to the newly created position of Cuba Transition Coordinator; three months later, we profiled McCarry in an exclusive interview (see CubaNews, October 2005, page 8).
Creative Associates International said in a press release that McCarry, 47, is “senior associate in the office of the president.” It didn’t specify what he’s actually working on, though the former Capitol Hill staffer — speaking to CubaNews by phone — denied a Feb. 25 report in the Communist Party daily newspaper Granma that “McCarry will continue his anti-Cuban activities at Creative Associates International, besides directing similar aggressions in other countries.”
Among other things, the Granma article accused McCarry, in his White House capacity as Cuba Transition Coordinator, of drafting a secret CIA-backed plan “to annex Cuba to the United States.”
According to its website, Creative Associates International specializes in aiding countries in transition, with USAID-funded projects in Afghanistan, El Salvador, Jordan, Kenya, Nicaragua and Sudan.