For 55 years, U.S.-Cuban relations evolved from open hostility to grudging acceptance by both sides of an uneasy status quo, marked by quasi-diplomatic relations (via "interest sections" in one-another's capital), and a porous "embargo" on the part of the U.S. As American tourism under the guise of educational travel and dependence by Cuba on U.S. agricultural goods grew, pressure developed from both sides of the US political aisle to "normalize" ties to Cuba by reestablishing full diplomatic relations.
Everett Ellis (Ted) Briggs is a retired commissioned foreign service officer, whose 37 year career took him to 8 countries in Latin America, Europe and Africa, interspersed with assignments at the State Department in the international organizations, Inter-American affairs, and European bureaus. He served as President Reagan's ambassador to Panama and Honduras, and as President George H.W. Bush's special assistant for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council. He retired from his final diplomatic assignment, as ambassador to Portugal in 1993, to head the Americas Society and its New York-based affiliate, the Council of the Americas, representing U.S. corporations with interests in Latin America. He has been a director of the Washington-based Center for a Free Cuba for the past two decades.
Ted was born and raised in Cuba, holds degrees from Dartmouth College and George Washington University, and the National War College. He and his wife Sally moved to Hilton Head from Connecticut in the fall of 2017.