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The Cuban Reset

The restoration of U.S.-Cuban diplomacy marks a transformative moment in Western Hemispheric relations. The World Policy Institute’s Cuban Reset Blog aims to capture this moment as it unfolds, and to assess its broader consequences in regional and international perspective.

Combining long-form analysis and to-the-minute updates via social media, the Blog gives readers a comprehensive source for understanding Cuba’s present and future. It strengthens WPI’s reach across and beyond the Florida Straits, and provides essential reading on a historic bilateral shift with global implications. 

Strong Generation Sustains the Evolution of the Revolution in Cuba

In the wake of Fidel Castro's death and the election of Donald Trump, questions about Cuba's future have resurfaced. Lissa Weinmann discusses the island nation's upcoming political transition and the prospects for economic reform. 

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The Grass and the Elephant: Cuban Perceptions of the United States

The relationship between the United States and Cuba reached a milestone last year with the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Carlos Alzugaray explains how Cubans' perception of the United States has evolved over the past half century, and what this new normalization could mean for Cuba moving forward. Read more >


Science Diplomacy and U.S.-Cuban Relations

President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March is seen by many as a defining moment in the restoration of U.S.-Cuban relations, but scientists from both countries have been working together for decades. Bernabé Malacalza explores the role of these unlikely diplomats and how science can be a tool for international cooperation.

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Cuba: The Emerging Regulatory Framework

Obstacles to reconciliation remain a year after the restoration of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba. Prominent Akerman attorney Pedro Freyre kicked off the World Policy Institute’s inaugural Cuban Reset Dialogues with a conversation about the emerging U.S.-Cuban regulatory framework.

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Unlikely Allies: U.S. and Cuban Armed Forces

Cuban and U.S. armed forces professionals have been seeking a more collaborative relationship for years. William M. LeoGrande explains how military cooperation would help the two countries better address regional challenges and avoid misunderstandings that could lead to conflict. 

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The U.S. Should Embrace Cuba's Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are slowly but surely becoming a driving force behind Cuba's economy. Ted A. Henken argues that U.S. engagement with this sector will both help Cuban businesses and boost the American economy.

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Feliz Cumple, D17

On the first anniversary of détente between the U.S. and Cuba, WPI fellow Lawrence Gutman assesses the accomplishments and challenges of reconciliation on both sides of the Florida Straits. Significant obstacles to normalization remain, but the momentum is building and last year's successes are hard to ignore. 

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One Year Later: Cuba's Cuentapropistas

This diplomatic thaw between the United States and Cuba has the potential to help Cuba solve its internal economic bottlenecks. Ted A. Henken argues all this potential will remain largely untapped as long as the U.S. embargo remains in place and the Cuban government continues to lock most island entrepreneurs out of the private sector. 

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Looking for Cuba on the Campaign Trail

 U.S.-Cuban relations are having their most important moment since the 1960s, but the future of bilateral ties is barely registering in the 2016 campaign. World Policy fellow Lawrence Gutman explains why one of the most contentious topics in U.S. foreign policy has become a sleeper issue in the 2016 presidential race. 

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10 Tips for Traveling to Cuba

Despite recent economic reforms in Cuba and the normalization of relations with the United States, Cuba is still not a conventional tourist destination. Ted A. Henken shares ten tips for those visiting Cuba, from working around the perplexing currency system to the best independent media outlets on the island.

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Before Traveling to Cuba

Despite the technological constraints and economic limitations that Cubans face today, local entrepreneurs are sidestepping the government and launching a digital revolution on the island nation.

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17D: Sequences and Consequences, Part III

Fives decades of antagonism between the U.S and Cuba have created social stigmas that will linger long after diplomatic disputes are resolved.

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17D: Sequences and Consequences, Part II

As the United States and Cuba move toward greater integration, many questions still remain about major societal differences between the two countries. Carlos Alzugaray and Rafael Hernandez explain how the stigmas behind these differences will begin to dissipate as Americans and Cubans interact more through business relations, tourism, and diplomacy. 

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17D: Sequences and Consequences, Part I

The restoration of diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba is the first step toward greater integration. Antonio Romero and Jorge Hernandez explain the key role that agreements on migration issues & the telecommunications sector will play in reshaping the political & economic dynamics.

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The U.S and Cuba in 3D

With U.S.-Cuban relations fully restored, diplomats will play a smaller role in shaping the reconciliation process than economic and cultural actors. Lawrence Gutman argues that the U.S. and Cuba are moving beyond the narrowly defined conflicts of the past.

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Cuba Ascending

Cuba’s efforts to become an increasingly relevant actor in the international sphere go beyond its economic integration and diplomatic opening to the United States. Renata Keller discusses Cuba’s complex path towards greater engagement with the rest of the world.

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Reconciliation's Next Phase

The last ten days have seen an array of milestones for U.S.-Cuban relations. Lawrence Gutman argues that the recent papal visits, the suspension of sanctions, and the convening of a new U.N. General Assembly have inaugurated a new phase in bilateral reconciliation.

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Pardons, Politics, and the Papal Visit to Cuba

President Raul Castro announced the release of over 3,000 prisoners in anticipation of Pope Francis's impending visit to Cuba. Lawrence Gutman argues recent political and diplomatic shifts will challenge the Cuban leadership's ability to manage its own human rights narrative. 

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A Fall to Remember

U.S.-Cuba diplomacy has proved remarkably productive over the last nine months. World Policy Fellow Lawrence Gutman identifies some key achievements that followed a half-century of bilateral hostility, and looks to the fall for clues of deeper engagement.

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An Interview with "Mr. Cuba"

Kirby Jones, a leading consultant referred to as "Mr. Cuba," sat down with World Policy Institute Senior Fellow Lissa Weinmann to discuss the future of U.S.-Cuba relations. Jones argues that despite  positive diplomatic steps forward, the biggest hurdle remains the U.S. embargo, which still prevents American business from investing in the island nation.

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The Incredible Shrinking Trade Issue

 The debate on restoring trade between the U.S. and Cuba has cooled since Barack Obama and Raúl Castro's announcement to renew bilateral negotiation in December. Lawrence Gutman argues that as European, Asian, and Latin American businesses race to increase their investments on the island, opponents of trade with Cuba will be much less vocal on the issue.

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Cuban Athletes' Closing Window for Defection

Over the weekend, half of the Cuban men's field hockey abandoned their country at the Pan American Games. While the flight of Cuban athletes to the U.S. during sporting events is nothing new, Brendan Krisel looks into how they correspond to likely changes in immigration policy between the two countries.

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Now We're Cruising

As normalized U.S.-Cuban trade becomes more proximate, there are concerns regarding the Castro government's ability to diversify the economy, manage growth, and level the playing field for all Cubans. Lawrence Gutman argues that Havana can dodge the tourism trap and prevent the rise of Cuban oligarchs by pursuing the right economic model.

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Scrapping the Cuban Adjustment Act

Now that U.S. and Cuban leaders have agreed on the reopening of embassies, the onus is on Congress to make several key decisions on the future of bilateral relations. World Policy Journal's Lissa Weinmann argues that Congress has an opportunity to aid the normalization process by repealing the Cuban Adjustment Act.

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The Cuban-American Reset?

Just as President Obama announces the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Cuba, World Policy Journal's Lawrence Gutman argues that normalizing relations with Cuba depends on support among leaders of the Cuban-American community who were once staunchly in favor of the embargo.

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Embargo Politics and Public Consensus

While polls in the U.S. and Cuba show strong public support for normalized relations, entrenched interests in Cuban and Congress stand in the way of any diplomatic progress. In order to overcome obstructionists, bipartisan lobbying groups like Engage Cuba are helping to educate and engage U.S. lawmakers on the benefits of normalization.

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The Triumph of the Cuban Position

While Congress has argued for decades about what's best for Cuba, their partisan views have failed to capture the Cuban perspective. Lawrence Gutman explains that the Cuban position is gaining momentum as bilateral negotiations between the two countries move forward.

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Dispatch from Havana

Although Cuba and the United States have reinstated diplomatic relations, much stands in the way of a normal relationship between the two countries. Lissa Weinmann argues that the U.S. must discontinue policies designed to undermine the Cuban government and misinform Americans about daily life south of the border.

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Across and Beyond the Florida Straits: An Introduction

The renewal of U.S.-Cuban relations marks a transformative moment in Western Hemispheric affairs. Lawrence Gutman outlines the challenges that Washington and Havana will face as they continue to reconcile their differences.

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Golf, Anyone?

Since the 1950s, more cynical American attitudes toward Cuba have envisioned the island as a "blank canvas" for foreign investment. World Policy Journal's Lawrence Gutman argues, however, that Cuba actually has an active investment landscape with a range of foreign partners, largely thanks to the recent faltering of Latin American economic powers like Venezuela. 

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It's Time to Take the Cuban View Seriously

On April 8, Univision Noticias/Fusion and The Washington Post published results from The National Survey of Cubans Living in Cuba, the first national opinion poll by an independent news organization in Cuba since the 1959 Revolution. Lawrence Gutman explains the surprising results, which indicate that Cubans are willing to embrace the U.S. as an ally.

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Cuban Trade in a New York State of Mind

Earlier this week, Andrew Cuomo became the first U.S. governor to lead a trade mission to Havana since the renewal of U.S.-Cuban diplomacy in December 2014. Lawrence Gutman argues such diplomatic missions present an array of opportunities for both American business interests and Cuban citizens.

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Cuba: Not a Terrorist Threat

For 33 years, Cuba has remained on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. Meanwhile, countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are conspicuously absent. Lissa Weinmann and Jordan Clifford argue that if the United States wants to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with Cuba, it must reconsider this designation.

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