JohnCaulfield

“In my 40 years as a US diplomat in Latin America, I haven’t seen as great an opportunity as what lies ahead in Cuba.” John Caulfield

Cuba is experiencing the greatest cultural, religious and economic revival since the Revolution over 50 years ago.

As the former senior US diplomat in Peru, Venezuela, and most recently the Chief of US Interests Section in Cuba, I’ve witnessed the change and see a bright future on the horizon.

Recently retired, I spend my time speaking about Cuba and Latin America, and sharing my insights with companies who want to expand into the Cuban market.

Let’s talk about how I can help you

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Is your business ready for Cuba?

Cuba’s economy has tremendous potential in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and services. It’s been stifled in the past by state control and US sanctions, but that is changing. Cuba’s economic reforms and the easing of US sanctions have set it on a course that will unleash its economic potential.

Have you heard about Cuba's lively arts scene?

Cuba has eased many of the economic and political constraints on the arts. It has even allowed musicians, painters, sculptors and dancers to perform and sell internationally, and keep most of their hard currency earnings. This has created opportunities drawing talented young Cubans to the arts.

How are Americans Supporting the Religious Rebirth in Cuba?

The 1959 Communist Revolution ushered in a period of religious persecution. Church affiliated schools and hospitals were taken over by the state, and many church properties were confiscated. The persecution eased after the collapse of the Soviet Union and ensuing economic crisis. Today, Cuba is experiencing a rebirth of religious faith as Cubans look for non-political values and reconnect with religious communities abroad.

Who are the political dissenters in Cuba and what is their future?

Cuba models its political system after the former Soviet Union, which exercised total control. It does not permit public dissent, operates all information media, and attempts to ban the import of foreign media. Cubans who publicly oppose the government face severe consequences. Even so, more and more Cubans are speaking out.

A career diplomat with extensive experience

For almost 40 years, I was a career American diplomat who managed some of the most complex relations in Latin America for the United States, most recently as Chief of the US Interests Section in Havana, Cuba.

While in Cuba, I negotiated pragmatic agreements on immigration, environmental protection, civil aviation and cultural affairs. I also supported the aspirations of ordinary Cubans for political rights and economic opportunities in a difficult environment.

During my assignment, I saw Cuba begin to implement changes to its Soviet-style economic system. Remittances from Cuban-Americans to their families grew dramatically and made the US Cuba’s second largest source of foreign currency after Venezuela.

As Chief of the US Interests Section, I led a team that provided a window for the US Government to view the developments in Cuba. My analysis was critical to the formulation of US policy.

Assigned in 2008 as Deputy Chief of Mission in Caracas, Venezuela, I assumed charge of the Embassy on an indefinite basis after President Chavez expelled the Ambassador.

In that position, I guided the Embassy through a tense period, maintaining communication with the government, opposition and the business community in Venezuela where the US has important commercial and energy interests. I also interpreted for Washington the impact on the Venezuelan economy of large price swings for its oil exports, the impact of increasing nationalizations and national elections.

In 2005 I was Consul General in London, UK, where I supervised consular services to the largest American expatriate community in the world, and US visa services to UK and foreign citizens.

While assigned in 2002 as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Lima, Peru, I supported Peru’s return to democratic governance and economic growth after years of terrorism and destructive economic policies. After the untimely death of the Ambassador I assumed charge of the Embassy for a year.

As Consul General in Manila, Philippines, in 1999, I directed the second largest facility for the issuance of US immigrant visas “green cards” in the world.I also headed an Interagency Counter-terrorism Task Force that responded to kidnapping of American citizens by Islamic terrorists.

In 1997, as Director for Legislative and Public Affairs for the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, I was the State Department’s liaison with the US Congress on immigration and consular legislation. During this period I made several proposals that were enacted into law to streamline consular operations.

Prior to that, I was US Consul in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in 1993, the Foreign Service post which issues the largest number of US immigrant visas in the world. I also coordinated US and Mexican federal, state and local officials to address trans-border issues in the Ciudad Juarez–El Paso, Texas area.

Earlier in my career abroad, I served as Special Assistant to the Ambassador in Brasilia, Brazil; Political-Economic officer in Lisbon, Portugal; and Vice Consul in Cali, Colombia. In Washington was Deputy Director for Brazil, Deputy Director of the Office of Consular Anti-fraud programs, Country Officer for Argentina and Press Officer for Consular Affairs. Prior to entering the Foreign Service I worked in international banking.

I have received many awards during my career including a Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award and the Secretary of State’s Award for Innovation in the Use of Technology. I received my BA from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pa. in International Relations and Latin American Studies, and am a graduate of the Department of State’s Senior Seminar in National Security and international Affairs.

I’m also a baseball fan who had the honor to be a guest TV and radio commentator during the broadcast of professional baseball games in Venezuela. I was a more discrete fan in Cuba. I’m also a jazz aficionado and have hosted performances of American jazz musicians in Peru, Venezuela and Cuba. I’m married to Nancy Aker Caulfield. We have one daughter.

Let‘s Connect

I would love to speak with you about your next event, and how I can help. Send me a quick email and I’ll get back to you.