Friday, January 16, 2009

9 Ways to Talk to Cuba

"If Barack Obama and Raúl Castro sat down for negotiations, what could they talk about?" That was the question posed by the Center for Democracy in the Americas in a report released this week titled “9 Ways for US to Talk to Cuba and for Cuba to Talk to US.” For over sixty years the relationship between successive American administrations and the small island have gone from dismal to extremely dismal. Ignoring repeated pleas from the UN, the US keeps a stifling embargo on Cuba and refuses engagement with its leaders. President-elect Barack Obama however during his campaign signaled this could change, promising that his administration would be willing to sit down with its enemies. Putting aside the question on whether Cuba and the US are enemies, this has given many--from moderates in Florida to those in Havana--a glimmer of hope. Drawing on essays by a team of experts in varied fields, the report details 9 practical ways Cuba and the US can cooperate in military affairs, migration, energy, trade, academic exchange and other fields. The authors of the report envision a future relationship where Cuba can not only benefit from the US, but where the US can learn a few lessons from its smaller neighbor.

For full report, visit the Center for Democracy in the Americas or download the PDF file here.

Praise for the report:

“Cuba ceased being a security threat to the United States over a decade ago. The rest of the world has changed during that decade. Yet, U.S. policymakers remain wedded to a series of dated policies that cry out for a fresh approach. This report offers concrete ideas which could yield benefits to both sides of the Florida Straits and help bring a close to sixty years of distrust and animosity.”

John J. “Jack” Sheehan is a retired United States Marine Corps general. He was Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic for NATO and Commander-in-Chief for the U.S. Atlantic Command (1994-1997)

“This 9 Ways report is a road map for not just ending the embargo but also for engaging the Cuban people, sending a hopeful signal to Latin America, and showing the world that this White House is under new management. This is exactly the kind of change we elected Barack Obama to make.”

Donna Brazile- Political strategist, adjunct professor, author, and syndicated columnist


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