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Flagler professor receives Pulitzer Center funds

September 29, 2010 | By More
ELECT Todd Neville

Historic City News learned that Tracey Eaton, assistant professor of communication at Flagler College, spent part of his summer in Cuba writing for the Pulitzer Center.

The Pulitzer Center helps finance fieldwork in investigative journalism on issues that aren’t reported by the mainstream media, and Eaton approached them with the idea of talking to dissidents and bloggers about their goals and views on U.S. policy toward Cuba.

“You have bloggers who are having a big impact on international opinion of what’s going on in Cuba,” said Eaton, who was Havana bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News from 2000 to early 2005. “The bloggers are giving their version of the story of what’s going on in Cuba despite huge obstacles.”

It was a busy trip for Eaton. While in Cuba, Fidel Castro resurfaced after his intestinal surgery, and the government announced the release of 50 political prisoners.

Eaton, who is bilingual, has a passion for Cuba and the Cuban people.

“The future of Cuba is uncertain, and I’ve come to really care about Cubans and I want to know how they wind up,” he said. “Is it going to be a long, painful struggle toward an economy that brings them more prosperity? Or will there be some kind of new revolution. I want to continue following Cuba to see it though and see what happens.”

This summer Eaton also went to Ecuador and stayed with the Waorani Indians. The Indians’ land sits on billions of dollars in oil and it is a vanishing culture because oil companies and colonists encroach on their territory. Eaton is also wrapping up a book about his experience with Cuban Harlistas that he hopes to publish sometime soon.

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