Advisory Board

Alexander Main is director of international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He monitors economic and political developments in Latin America and regularly engages with policy makers and civil society groups from around the region.

Angélica Salazar(she/her/ella) is a popular educator, community organizer, and founder of Knowmadica Consulting. She has spent nearly twenty-years engaged in advocacy efforts to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations. In 2009, she was the National Cuba Policy Outreach Coordinator, consulting for a number of DC-based organizations. Some of her work portfolio includes roles at WOLA, Progreso Weekly, MEDICC, The Literacy Project and the Caribbean Agroecology Institute. From 2015-2020, Angelica lived and worked in Havana, Cuba facilitating educational, people-to-people programs for hundreds of U.S. Americans. She also served as a resident director for academic study abroad programs for U.S. university students at the University of Havana and Casa de Las Américas. Angélica is a National Urban Fellow alumna and served in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from CUNY- Baruch College.

Art Heitzer is an attorney who has been active for over 20 years with Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba. He is Chair of the National Lawyers Guild Cuba Subcommittee a member Peace Action WI, and Veterans for Peace # 102. Art is also a member of the ACERE Steering Committee.

Bob Schwartz is the Vice President of Global Health Partners. He has more than 35 years of experience building support for Central American economic and social development programs, primarily in the area of public health. He has generated more than $320 million in medicines and medical equipment for public health facilities in Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Haiti, Mexico and El Salvador. Since 1994 Bob has coordinated high-priority donations of medicines and medical supplies made inaccessible or scarce by the embargo. He has delivered more than $195 million worth of assistance through an extensive partnership with the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. These crucial supplies range from basic medical supplies and essential medicines, to scarce pediatric cancer drugs and rare disease medications. Most recently Bob led a massive campaign to deliver six million syringes to support Cuba’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, as well as tons of PPE to protect front line health care workers. 

Elena Freyre was born in Havana, Cuba. She was Executive Director of the Cuban Committee for Democracy from 1998 to 1991, and a member of Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba. She is president of the Foundation for Normalization of US/Cuba Relations, founder and President of PazAmor from 2020 to present, and a member of the ACERE Steering Committee.

Erik Sperling is the Executive Director of the DC-based advocacy group Just Foreign Policy. He was Senior Adviser and Counsel in the offices of Congressman Ro Khanna and Congressman John Conyers, leading a wide range of anti-interventionist foreign policy efforts. He has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a member of the ACERE Steering Committee.

Gabriela Luz Sierra is a Cuban American journalist and communicator with 10 years of experience in a variety of newsrooms and outlets in English and Spanish, including NPR, Univision, Voces de Puerto Rico, and El Nuevo Día de Puerto Rico, and holds a Masters in journalism.

James Counts Early is a cultural educator-activist, former Assistant Secretary Education and Public Service and director of cultural heritage policy at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution, a researcher at Howard University’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, a Public Program Officer with the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has a long history of working with Cuban cultural workers and the Cuban Ministry of Culture, especially within the Afro-Cuban community.

José Pertierra is a Cuban-American attorney based in Washington, DC.  He specializes in immigration and international law, as well as on US-Cuba relations.

Leonardo Flores is a Latin America campaign coordinator of CODEPINK. He writes on politics in Latin America and U.S.-Latin America relations, and he has served as an election observer in various countries in Latin America. 

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK. She is the author of ten books, including three books on Cuba—No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in Cuba, The Greening of the Revolution, and Talking About Revolution. She is a member of the ACERE Steering Committee. @medeabenjamin

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is a human rights lawyer and centers an anti-imperialist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist lens in her litigation and advocacy.  She has written extensively about the principle of self-determination, democratic norms and gender justice and has led numerous solidarity delegations to Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia and Puerto Rico. 

Dr. Raul Galván is a Cuban native, veteran of the television production industry, has led numerous groups to Cuba, and teaches university courses on Cuba and Cuban history in Milwaukee, WI.  

Ricardo Gonzalez is Founder/President of Madison Camaguey Association. Born in Camaguey, Cuba, he has been a business owner and a former member of the Madison, WI City Council.

Dr. Tamara Lee is an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at Rutgers University. One of her major areas of research is Cuban models of worker participation. She is a long-time member of the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of the Cuba Subcommittee