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Analysis for Normalization Documents

Opinion: Beyond Symbolism, Restoring Ties with Cuba has Practical Benefits

By William LeoGrande (Fox News Latino, July 1, 2015)

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In response to President Obama's announcement that Cuba and the U.S. would establish full diplomatic relations on July 20, LeoGrande argues that, beyond its symbolic value, this move brings practical benefits, allowing for better channels of communication between the two governments and greater freedom for diplomats to travel within the host country.

Link to full text via Fox News Latino

Cuba Expert on Obama's Détente with One-Time Foe: It's About Time

By Michael Coleman (The Washington Diplomat, April 30, 2015)

Based on an interview with Julia Sweig, former director of Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, this article describes the practical and symbolic possibilities that have opened following policy changes between Cuba and the U.S, such as improved U.S. credibility within the hemisphere and easier investment in the island. Sweig analyzes the diplomatic strategies of Obama and Castro, and speculates on the place of Cuba as an issue in the 2016 presidential race.

Link to full text via The Washington Diplomat

U.S.-Cuba Relations: It's All About Momentum

By Carl Meacham (Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 14, 2015)

Meacham comments on the significant commercial implications of removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, while emphasizing that its policy implications hold even greater promise. He opines that "this decision is the biggest signal yet" that the U.S. government no longer views Havana as an "enemy" or "global pariah." Even as challenges remain for normalizing the bilateral relationship, "the train is moving, and it's hard to imagine significant backsliding."

Link to full text via Center for Strategic and International Studies

Talks with Cuba Earn U.S. Raves in Latin America

By Randal C. Archibold and Julie Hirschfeld Davis (New York Times, April 12, 2015)

Archibold and Hirschfeld Davis comment on the reception of President Obama by Latin American leaders during his participation at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. At an event where the United States is usually roundly criticized, Obama "walked away with more salutes than swipes." The article mentions the hour-long meeting between Obama and Castro, and also the announcement of an invitation to Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff for a state visit to Washington in June. According to the authors, the 2015 Summit represented a "shift of tone" in U.S.-Latin American relations.

Link to full text via New York Times

Castro and Cuba Show New Side at Summit, and Old Tactics Too

By Nick Miroff and Karen DeYoung (Washington Post, April 11, 2015)

Miroff and DeYoung discuss events at the Summit of the Americas that were unrelated to the highly-publicized meeting and handshake between Obama and Castro. They report on incidents of Cuban officials leading disruptions of events at a "civil society forum" that was held at the Summit and included some participation by Cuban dissidents. Also, the article describes other interactions at the Summit, such as those between Cuban government officials and U.S. business executives, some of whom were invited to visit the island to explore investment opportunities.

Link to full text via Washington Post

Normalizing Relations with Cuba: The Unfinished Agenda

By William M. LeoGrande (Newsweek, January 30, 2015)

In this opinion article, LeoGrande analyzes a long list of unfinished issues that the U.S. and Cuba must address in order to carry the normalization process forward. These issues include: normalizing diplomatic relations (including receiving Senate confirmation of an ambassador to Havana), reviewing Cuba's inclusion on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, lifting the economic embargo, resolving U.S. property claims and Cuban counter-claims for damage done by the U.S. embargo, enabling Cuban membership in international financial institutions, refocusing democracy promotion programs, among others.

Link to full text via Newsweek

On Cuba, Expect Steady but Slow Progress on Both Sides

By Ted Piccone (Brookings Institution, January 20, 2015)

Following Obama's 2015 State of the Union address, Piccone discusses how the president's Cuba policy exemplifies his bold strategy for the final two years of his administration. He warns, however, against being overly optimistic about the rate at which changes will be implemented and names potential obstacles on both the U.S. and Cuban sides.

Link to full text via the Brookings Institution

What's Next for Cuba?

By Michael Shifter (Politico, December 21, 2014)

In this article, Michael Shifter writes about Cubans' reactions, expectations, and fears following the reestablishment of diplomatic and economic ties with the United States. The author also explores the potential challenges and barriers that will be part of the transition to normal relations between the two countries.

Link to full text via Politico

Resource Guide: Obama's Cuba Announcement

By Americas Society / Council of the Americas (AS/CIS, December 17, 2014)

This guide highlights a number of opinion articles, videos, and audio interviews that offer ample background and factual information (along with economic and political commentary) about the shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba. Also available is the video of President Obama's original announcement and links to primary source documents, such as President Raúl Castro's statement.

Link to full text via Americas Society / Council of the Americas

Getting to Normal: A Legal Pathway for U.S.-Cuba Policy Reform

(Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 2, 2014)

On this webpage, the CSIS Americas Program shares a video recording of the half-day conference it held with the Center for International Policy on December 2, 2014, during which participants discussed the legal, practical, and diplomatic aspects of future normalization in US-Cuba relations. Speakers included Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ); Mark Feldman, former Deputy and acting Legal Adviser at the Department of State; and Gustavo Arnavat, Senior Adviser at CSIS, among others.

Link to full text via Center for Strategic and International Studies

90 Miles: Rethinking the Future of U.S.-Cuba Relations

By Various Authors (Huffington Post)

This blog series puts the spotlight on the emerging relations between two long-standing Western Hemisphere foes, and features pre-eminent thought leaders from the public and private sectors, academia, the NGO community, and prominent observers from both countries.

Link to full text via Huffington Post

U.S.-Cuba Relations News & Analysis

By Various Authors (Washington Office on Latin America)

This website offers up-to-date news, analysis, and commentary from the Cuba experts at WOLA in a collection that dates back to 2007.

Link to full text via WOLA