Latin American Studies lecture brings in National Security Archive director Peter Kornbluh.
In National Security Affairs, it generally takes 50 years for documents to become public. By that time, many have lost interest in what may have happened in those archives or have simply forgotten.
Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National Security Archives is the director in the archives of Cuba and Chile’s documentation, has written various books to catch the public up.
Thursday, Kornbluh will be at Ohio University to talk about his latest book, Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of the Negotiations Between Washington and Havana at 4 p.m. in Baker University Center rm 240 as a part of the annual Latin American Studies lecture.
The event is co-sponsored by the War and Peace Studies program, the Department of History and the Contemporary History Institute.
The book’s documents show all aspects of history in secrets of U.S. involvement. Many other books of Kornbluh has been recognized through the historical time periods, such as The Bay of Pigs and the Chilean Coup, created a paper trail to what the public knows now.
“Anyone can access these archives that Kornbluh talks about,” Patrick Barr-Melej, associate professor in department of history, said. “You’ll be amazed to see everything in there; even memos from CIA station officers. They show what’s happening in Latin America, and give voices and faces to people. We often look at politicians and try to understand their policies and so forth.”
The lecture will address past events as well as what the country is involved with now, particularly affairs between the Americas.
“These documents have remained politically important,” Mariana Dantas, associate professor of History and director of Latin American Studies, said. “It illuminates a pathway for ongoing negotiations today in Latin America. This can be translated to peoples’ opinions on how on how the U.S. should engage in Iran. Or how our relationship with Latin America is today.”
These books aren’t necessarily blaming, but showcasing how history is portrayed in the documentation, and can even be beneficial looking back 50 years later.
“Kornbluh generally makes an effort to highlight and show readers ways in which government has acted through historical events. Good and bad, it’s an attempt to show the history how past interactions,” Damatas said. “This is current to highlight the fact that there’s not any benefit in severing relations. We can look back and see what strategies were used and if they were useful in situations.”
Barr-Melej said students who are involved in a variety of interests with history would find the lecture intriguing.
“I encourage students to go online and look at the documents. In his book, he features original documents and moments in history,” Barr-Melej said. “By way of these can help students make up their own mind in subjects and documents on U.S. and in the world and the past.”