Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Cuba today; State budget?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 18, 2015 9:53 AM

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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, September 19, 2015:

In the early 1960s, the United States and Cuba were bitter enemies.  The Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and covert plans to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro were all significant aspects of the Administration of President John F. Kennedy.

The relationship with Cuba wasn't quite as intense after that even though there was the occasional airline hijacking to Cuba in the 70s, the Muriel boatlift in 1980, and defections from the Communist island.

Economic sanctions took their toll on Cuba for the last 50 years.

Finally, President Obama opened the door late last year and established diplomatic relations with Cuba this summer

Negotiations are ongoing but more Americans and Cubans may be able to travel back and forth, mail service could be restored later this year, and American business may expand in Cuba.

What don't we know about Cuba?  Dr. Belen Rodriguez-Mourelo from Penn State Berks' campus and Katherine Pearson, a Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson School of Law were part of a Penn State faculty tour of Cuba last June.  They appear on Friday's Smart Talk.

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Katherine Pearson & Dr. Belen Rodriguez-Mourelo

WITF's Travel Club is planning its next trip "Rediscover Cuba" September 27 to October 5 2016. Join us as we cross a cultural divide, exploring the vibrant music, art, history and culture of the Cuban people. We will host an Information Session on October 28 at 5:30pm at the Public Media Center in Harrisburg. To RSVP, you can call Alyssa at 717-910-2872.

Katherin Pearson photos from Cuba:

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Also, the Wolf Administration and Legislative Republicans continue to negotiate but still don't appear close to settling the two-and-a-half month old budget impasse.

WITF's Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson joins with insight into the latest.

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