Christopher J. Cloonan is the founder of Cuba Unprecedented. He has dedicated his life to help normalize the relationship between the people of Cuba and the people of the United States. His life changed after he studied there as an undergrad in January, 2012. He later went on the graduate school in Cuba, and holds a Master’s Degree in Cuban Studies. He has spent the last 4 years working as a tour manager to reintroduce the people of both countries to each other once again. Chris has extensive experience living, studying, and working in Cuba, and working as a liaison between our two countries.
Here you can find a partial list of past and current speaking Engagements
Stony Brook University School of Journalism: Cuba Travel- September 18th, Campus Lifetime. Contact the Journalism School for Details
Port Jefferson Library: US-Cuban Relations, History, Travel, General Q&A- September 23rd at 7PM, Port Jefferson, NY. Free and open to the public
The Jazz Loft: Cuba Travel Discussion- October 1st at 7PM, Stony Brook, NY. Free and open to the public
Cornell University and Ithaca College: October 21-22, Ithaca, NY. Private Event Open to Cornell and Ithaca Faculty and Students
Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY
Stony Brook Alumni Association, Stony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University - Latin American Studies, Stony Brook, NY
Stony Brook OLLI, Stony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University School of Journalism, Stony Brook, NY
Longwood High School, Middle Island, NY
Libraries - Longwood, Comsewogue, Cold Spring Harbor, Emma Clark, Port Jefferson, Copiague, Huntington, and East Islip, NY
Suffolk Library Showcase, Bellport, NY
The Jazz Loft, Stony Brook, NY
Please ask if you have a specific topic of interest not listed
Importance of Engagement:
Cuba and The United States have been separated for more than 60 years, even though we are just 90 miles apart. Chris speaks about the importance of dispelling myths held across the Florida Straits, and the important lessons we can learn from each other as we practice opposite forms of politics, economics, and so much more.
After nearly 60 years of US sanctions and Communism, how does Cuba function? What is present-day Cuba like? Chris answers these questions and more. Many guests are surprised to learn that Cuba is the safest country in the hemisphere, given its human rights reputation.
What exactly did President Obama do with Cuba? What has President Trump done, and where do relations stand today and moving forward?
Chris walks us through Cuba's history as a colony struggling for independence, its nearly 60 years as a US-imposed democracy, the famous Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs, Guantanamo Bay, Elian Gonzalez, and more
US/Cuban relations history:
Cuba and the United States have a long, intertwined history, from the US Civil War to the Spanish-American War, through the Cold War until today. Though just 90 miles apart, Cuba and the US have never had a normal relationship. Chris discusses why that is, helping the audience to develop a better understanding of how we arrived at this point in history
Traveling to Cuba:
Now that I know the history, how do I get there? Are Americans allowed to go to Cuba? Is it dangerous? What are rules? What can we do there? Chris discusses this and more.