The University of Miami today named Andy S. Gomez as interim director of its Institute of Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS), following the announcement of the departure of Jaime Suchlicki.
The university said that Gómez, retired dean of ICCAS and one of its founding members, will take over from 15 August.
“I am humbled to be appointed interim director of such an important institute, and I will work tirelessly to continue the University’s focus on Cuban and Cuban-American studies and research,” said Gomez.
The university qualified Gómez, who received the Medal of the President of the University when he retired in 2012, as an “expert in human values and attitudes in post-Castro Cuba”.
This week the outgoing director, Jaime Suchlicki, said he was moving the center to another place after apparently resigning due to differences with Miami University president Julio Frenk, newspaper El Nuevo Herald reported.
The exile group Mar for Cuba lamented in a statement today the exit of Suchlicki and asked Frenk to “suspend the announced decision” so that the community and the Cuban-American political representatives can analyze the situation.
In the same vein, the Council for Freedom of Cuba (CLC) pronounced today its “deep disgust” over Frenk’s decision to “deprive ICCAS of its director and research team”.
ICCAS has been operating at the University of Miami since 1999 and is located on the Bacardi House campus.
Gomez will also serve as an advisor to the university in the field of Cuban and Cuban-American studies, according to the university.
The school had previously informed Suchlicki’s departure while praising his more than fifty-year career at that university.
He recalled his work in the creation of ICCAS “as a source of information on the history, politics and culture of Cuba.”
“He has dedicated his career to the study of Cuba and has shared his great experience with generations of students, academics and members of our community,” Frenk said at the time.