NCBA CLUSA led a research and education trip to Cuba in July 2014 to gain a clearer picture of the cooperative movement there, which observers say is playing an increasingly significant role in the country's push for economic development.
U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group researches Co-op movement in country
United States President Barack Obama announced plans in December 2014 to normalize diplomatic ties with Cuba, marking a historic shift in U.S. – Cuba relations and better positioning the U.S. cooperative movement to support Cuba's emerging co-op sector.
NCBA CLUSA prepared to engage with growing Cuban co-op sector through U.S. cooperatives
NCBA CLUSA's March 2015 launch of the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group took place simultaneously with negotiations by the U.S. Government to begin rebuilding the economic relationship between the two countries and drew the attention of Washington, D.C.-area media and officials.
< NCBA CLUSA promotes Cuba's emerging co-op sector at formal launch of U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group
During his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Mike Beall said co-ops are the bedrock of a market-based economy in Cuba.
Watch NCBA CLUSA CEO Mike Beall testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on U.S. – Cuba trade
NCBA CLUSA's U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group hosted a delegation of five Cubans from Cuba's emerging cooperative sector in May 2015 as part of Co-op Week. The delegation met with members of Congress, toured local co-ops and spoke on a panel at American University.
NCBA CLUSA's U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group highlights Cuban experience during American University panel discussion
Nearly one year after its initial research and education trip to Cuba, the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group returned to the country to participate in an international workshop focused on local development, including the role of cooperatives.
Second NCBA CLUSA trip to Cuba advances U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group
As part of its work to promote and link U.S. and Cuban cooperatives, NCBA CLUSA signs an historic agreement with SCENIUS, a non-agricultural professional services cooperative. It is the first formal agreement between the countries' co-op sectors.
NCBA CLUSA sign MOU with Cuban cooperative to advance the sector
On December 17, 2014, Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced plans to normalize diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba, marking the most significant shift in U.S. – Cuban relations in decades. This historic move set the stage for a realignment of the countries’ relationship and the U.S.'s future relationships with the Cuban government, civil society and citizens.
About the USCCWG
In this context, the National Cooperative Business Association, CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is affirming its vision of opening a new chapter of relationship with the Cuban cooperative sector. To that end, NCBA CLUSA has launched the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group with a mission to promote mutually-beneficial collaboration between the U.S. and Cuba’s cooperative sectors in an effort to support U.S. cooperative growth and Cuban economic updates that will result from the ongoing success of strong and vibrant cooperatives in both countries.
The NCBA CLUSA U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group (USCCWG) is a national-level, multi-sectoral U.S. cooperative leadership group representing consumer, purchasing, worker and producer cooperatives from a broad range of sectors, including agriculture, energy, finance, grocery and consumer goods, transportation, insurance and housing. The group was formed in early 2014 to explore opportunities for working in partnership with Cuba on cooperative development in various sectors of Cuba’s economy. NCBA CLUSA has a 60-year history of supporting cooperative and international development in more than 100 countries around the world and is actively expanding its work in Latin America and the Caribbean, both as an implementer of development projects and as a leader of the cooperative movement in the Americas.
The USCCWG was formed in collaboration with Eric Leenson of SOL2 Economics, which has collaborated with cooperative leaders in Cuba, Canada and Latin America around the topic of socially-responsible enterprise in Cuba over the past five years. In forming the USCCWG, NCBA CLUSA reached out to a network of U.S. cooperative leaders from multiple sectors interested in establishing partnerships with Cuban cooperatives, cooperative researchers and policymakers.
Established in 2014 and led by NCBA CLUSA, the USCCWG's mission is to support a stronger and more vibrant cooperative movement in the U.S. and Cuba, while supporting Cuban economic growth.
Official launch of the USCCWG
On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, NCBA CLUSA held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce the official launch of the U.S. – Cuba Cooperative Working Group and release a research report on the emerging role co-ops are playing in Cuba's economic updates, and how partnership between U.S. and Cuban cooperative sectors can bolster the movement in both nations.