Cuba: The Contours of Change

Cuba: The Contours of Change

Cuba: The Contours of Change

Cuba: The Contours of Change

Synopsis

A range of views on the growing political & economic challenges facing the Castro regime & the nature, impact, desirability, & sustainability of the U. S. embargo against Cuba.

Excerpt

No other foreign policy issues in the United States are debated as regularly or hotly as those involving Cuba. Our neighbors in the hemisphere and our friends in Europe scratch their heads in wonder at the attention Fidel Castro gets in U.S. politics. Far from subsiding since the end of the Cold War, the debate, if anything, has intensified. Castro ensured this by attacking the embargo and creating incidents to highlight the “threat” to his regime. On the U.S. side, deep-seated emotions and high domestic political stakes keep the issues front and center.

Although the attention paid to U.S.-Cuban relations has been intense, the heat generated tends to obscure the degree of change that has taken place in Cuba over the past decade. Castro has aged; the economy has deteriorated in the absence of Soviet subsidies; social programs have suffered; the island’s technological level has slid backward. in an attempt to stem the crisis, the regime has experimented fitfully with economic reforms, but infrastructure breakdowns and the stop-and-go pace of reform have caused popular frustration and complaints. Meanwhile, oppression and human-rights violations continue. Important questions face the United States as it grapples with these changes: What will happen when Castro departs the scene? What should the United States be doing to accelerate his departure and best position itself for the post-Castro era? the urgency of these questions provides a strong reason for the United States to take a cool, fresh . . .

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