Diplomacy and Statecraft


1959 to 2014

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Follow President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro's near simultaneous announcements to recast U.S.-Cuba relations, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on potential changes that may occur in the next five to ten years. 

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Primary Sources

Statement by President Obama on Cuba Policy Changes

President Barack Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba on December 17, 2014. Changes include reestablishing diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, reviewing Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism according to the U.S. State Department, and increasing travel, trade, and commerce between the countries. In a speech to the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States Summit in January 2015, Cuban President Raul Castro describes conditions he wants as the two countries reestablish relations. At the Summit of the Americas in April 2015, which Cuba attended for the first time, President Obama and President Castro began discussions on these policy changes.

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Castro, Cuba, Obama-and Iran

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

Elliott Abrams argues in The Weekly Standard that President Obama’s actions on Cuba today constitute the triumph of ideology over American national interest. Moreover, he writes, reversing a policy of a half-century’s standing in exchange for nothing—no human rights changes in Cuba at all—cannot be reassuring to countries that depend on American policy reliability.

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