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.
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.
Matthew C. Waxman, CFR's adjunct senior fellow for law and foreign policy, discusses the costs and benefits of keeping Guantanamo Bay open and policy options available to the Obama administration, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
Following Fidel Castro’s ascent to power, U.S.-Cuba ties have endured a nuclear crisis, a long U.S. economic embargo, and political hostilities. The diplomatic relationship remained frozen well beyond the end of the Cold War but moved toward normalization in 2015.
Speakers: Glen Bolger and Julia E. Sweig Introductory Speaker: Jason Marczak Presider: Adriana Vargas
This roundtable presented and analyzed the results of a national, bipartisan poll conducted by the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, tracking public opinion and attitudes in the United States toward Cuba and U.S. policy toward the island.
Following the release of new polling data, indicating a majority of Americans are for improving relations with Cuba, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on the role of pragmatism in U.S. politics and on U.S.-Cuba relations.
In the wake of the preliminary accord reached with Iran, Julia Sweig proposes that the Obama administration pursue a diplomatic resolution to another vexing element of U.S. foreign affairs: the relationship with Cuba.
Cuba has entered a new era of economic reform that defies easy comparison to post-Communist transitions elsewhere. Washington should take the initiative and establish a new diplomatic and economic modus vivendi with Havana.
Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Every president since John F. Kennedy has tried to learn from what happened back then. Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do -- and what not to do -- about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general.
As Cuba drills its first offshore oil well, the United States should anticipate the possibility of an oil spill, implementing policies that would help both countries stem and clean up a spill in a way that is minimally disruptive to the United States' Cuba strategy.