Statement by Frank Calzon: University of Miami disagrees with Andy Gomez Interim Director of UM’s Institute of Cuban and Cuban American Studies (ICCAS).



August 23, 2017

In a very prompt and specific statement Rudy Fernandez, chief of staff of UM’s President Julio Frenk distanced UM from a recent letter by Andy Gomez, Interim Director at ICCAS since August 15. In the letter widely available in Miami yesterday, Mr. Gomez said that he was meeting with Cuban American leaders about ICCAS’s future, Cuban American Studies at UM, and the search for a permanent director. Gomez said that he would offer activities at ICCAS while the search for the permanent director goes on. Many Cuban Americans were confused by his statements. ICCAS has no staff and is expected to remain closed until a new director is selected.

The statement to America Teve 41 by Rudy Fernandez yesterday leaves no doubts that as President Frenk told Cuban Americans last Friday it is “Provost [Jeffrey] Duerk who will direct the search for a new director” and that “the valid statements are those by President Frenk who speaks for the university. Mr. Fernandez said that “UM will not sign any agreements with universities controlled by Castro’s regime because UM does not want to do anything that would provide it legitimacy. To do so would help the regime.

After meeting with UM president Frenk last Friday, seventeen leaders from the Cuban American community believed that all activities at ICCAS were suspended until a new permanent director will take charge. Many continue to call for Dr. Gomez to be released from his duties as Interim Director. The statement by Chief of Staff Rudy Fernandez reaffirms Dr. Frenk’s pledges to the Cuban American community.

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