Primary Sources

Remarks by U.S. President Obama and Cuban President Castro in a Joint Press Conference

President Barack Obama traveled to Cuba March 20-22, 2016, the first time a sitting U.S. president has traveled to Cuba since 1928. The trip is part of the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro held a joint press conference and discussed the opening of a U.S. embassy in Cuba, trade relations, and human rights.

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Is Washington’s Myanmar Policy the Model for U.S.-Cuba Normalization?

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
World Politics Review

Over the past year, the Obama administration has rapidly repaired diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba. Last month, in the latest of many agreements, Washington and Havana signed a deal restoring commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years, just as the White House approved construction of the first U.S. factory in Cuba since the 1960 embargo.

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Primary Sources

Remarks by President Castro at the Third Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Summit

Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz spoke at the Third Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, or CELAC) Summit on January 28, 2015. He discussed how CELAC countries have supported each other through economic, security, and political agreements. President Castro also laid out the conditions he wants as Cuba and the United States reestablish diplomatic relations.

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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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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. In March 2016, President Obama traveled to Cuba, the first sitting U.S. president to do so since 1928.

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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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