Pathways to the Future of US-Cuba Relations

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After the landmark meeting in Havana between President Obama and Raul Castro, it was tempting to say that the process or re-establishing a relationship with Cuba was complete. But 55 years of history could not be simply forgotten – and elements on both sides of the Florida Strait had incentives to throw up roadblocks to further engagement.

The thaw between Cuba and the United States had been a great lesson in how effective diplomacy can build national security in the 21st Century. America can become stronger, safer, and more prosperous by encouraging openness with our neighbors. Unfortunately, both sides were unable to build enough confidence to complete the opening. The Trump Administration came into office with different priorities toward Cuba.

Even during the Obama Administration, there were a number of steps both countries needed to take in order to truly make the relationship between Cuba and the United States a normal one, ranging from a lifting of the embargo by the US Congress to a decision by the Cuban government on how to deal with the over $7 billion claims by American companies on assets nationalized after the revolution.

Now, the Trump Administration has successively over the first 3 years of his term increased sanctions and reduced relations with Cuba. This harms American businesses, tourists, and farmers, it harms Cuban small businesses, and it needlessly breaks up family relationships between those who emigrated to America and those who stayed home.

The American Security Project’s initiative – “Pathways to the Future of US-Cuba Relations” – seeks to examine how to build confidence between Cuba and the United States in a series of discreet areas:

  • Military to Military Engagement
  • Supporting US Foreign Direct Investment into Cuba
  • Cooperating on Environmental Protection
  • Standing up to Regional Challenges in the Caribbean: Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime
  • Building a strong Energy System in Cuba
  • Building Relations through enhanced People-to-People Exchanges
  • Supporting a Free, Available, and Open internet for all Cubans

ASP is working to rebuild a closer relationship between the governments of the United States and Cuba. Even more importantly, ASP hopes to build a long-lasting relationship between the people of the United States and the people of Cuba.

Related Resources

ASP Events and Analysis

ASP Policy Statements

Press on ASP’s Cuba Work