Foreign Policy Blogs

Cuba and the U.S.

Warnings Issued on Travel to Cuba

Warnings Issued on Travel to Cuba

The United States Embassy in Havana in October.  CreditYamil Lage/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images On January 9, U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson opened a formal inquiry into mysterious “sonic attacks” purportedly damaging the health of U.S. diplomatic personnel stationed at the American Embassy in Cuba.  The first reports surfaced in December 2016, and since […]

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Obama’s Cuba Visit: Throwing the First Pitch with Climate Diplomacy

Obama’s Cuba Visit: Throwing the First Pitch with Climate Diplomacy

Climate change doesn’t recognize ideological or geographic boundaries. The body of water that threatens to take a big bite out of Cuba is doing the same to dozens of cities along the coastline of the southernmost state of its nemesis to the north—Florida.

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Obama’s Visit to Cuba & the Lifting of Travel Restrictions

Obama’s Visit to Cuba & the Lifting of Travel Restrictions

On March 15, President Obama announced that certain travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba would be reduced in preparation for his visit to the small island country.

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The Cuban Embargo After Obama: The Presidential Candidates’ Platforms

The Cuban Embargo After Obama: The Presidential Candidates’ Platforms

Obama has already begun the process of normalizing relations with Raul Castro’s government. However, it will fall upon the next U.S. President to end the island’s economic isolationism.

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On Fidel’s 87th, Talking Time

On Fidel’s 87th, Talking Time

On Tuesday, Fidel Castro turned 87. The milepost is particularly significant for someone whose death has been foretold a thousand times: I recall the account of a journalist who carried a constantly re-drafted Fidel Castro obituary around with him for years, always certain that the time was near. And yet, despite illness and assassination attempts, […]

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Cuba Focuses on Cuba (and U.S. on U.S.)

Cuba Focuses on Cuba (and U.S. on U.S.)

Pamela K. Starr of the Pacific Council looks toward the future of Cuba and of the relationship between Washington and Havana in a new report, just released yesterday. I’ll say it again: Cuba is on a trajectory to becoming something very different — politically and economically — from what it has been for decades. Walking the […]

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Cuba and the power of resolver

Cuba and the power of resolver

I returned recently from several weeks in Cuba spent at a fascinating time. The Cuban government is in the middle of a gradual series of economic reforms that amount to an overhaul of the inefficient, troubled Cuban economy. The current centrally managed system is becoming one that allows for more freedom of entrepreneurship and private […]

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Cuba’s Little Bird Flies Free

Cuba’s Little Bird Flies Free

Freedom is fundamentally the possibility of standing on a street corner and shouting “There is no freedom here!” — Yoani Sanchez Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez is fond of comparing Cubans to little birds in a cage – captives who are given free education, food, and water but who are still not free. Thanks to a […]

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Finish line in sight for post-Castro Cuba

Finish line in sight for post-Castro Cuba

After 54 years of leadership by one Castro brother or the other, current Cuban President Raúl Castro announced on Sunday that his current five-year term would be his last — thus providing a firm date for the end of Castro rule in Cuba while holding himself to a standard he has oft-repeated: senior officials should […]

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The Long Road Back

The Long Road Back

My mother was born in Havana on December 11, 1953, into a solidly middle-class Cuban family. After years of self-driven study and hard work, my grandfather Celestino had been able to launch a successful car import business that allowed him and my grandmother to raise and support a family. They lived on the second story […]

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Cuba, Chavez, and the Turn of the New Year

Cuba, Chavez, and the Turn of the New Year

Fidel Castro’s long-declining health and the high average age of his successors are well-worn topics in Cuba discussions. As we turn the page on 2012, Cuba watchers and Cubans alike are now discussing the health of the leader of a different country: Venezuela. Hugo Chávez recently suffered still new complications from his cancer surgery, and […]

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What lies ahead: Cuba and Obama’s second term

What lies ahead: Cuba and Obama’s second term

In the recent U.S. election, Cuban-Americans voted for President Obama in record numbers, reflecting in a most convincing way the demographic shift that we have already been watching for years: newer immigrants and younger Cuban-Americans do not prioritize a hard-line U.S. policy toward Cuba, or do not support it at all. In fact, on November […]

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… And here comes the political reform

… And here comes the political reform

This morning Cubans awoke to learn in the daily Granma newspaper that after years of discussion and rumors, the carta blanca policy that requires Cubans to receive permission to travel from Cuba for any length of time will be rescinded. As of January 14, when this new policy goes into effect, Cuban citizens will need only a […]

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Assessing trajectory: How’s it going in Cuba?

Assessing trajectory: How’s it going in Cuba?

Perhaps the biggest underlying tension among Cuba watchers is on the issue of whether things (policies) on the island are changing for the better, or whether they remain upsettingly the same as they have for half of a century. A comprehensive view, of course, would acknowledge that both phenomena exist. And a realistic observer would […]

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Paul Ryan on Cuba (but does it matter?)

Paul Ryan on Cuba (but does it matter?)

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will spend this weekend campaigning in Florida, long a power player in the realm of swing states. Representative Ryan’s success there will depend mainly upon his appeal to two voting groups: seniors and Hispanics. This includes the Cuban-American community. Following the announcement of Ryan as Romney’s running mate and a […]

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