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  • Commentary posted March 29, 2016 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Freedom Is in Retreat Under Obama Presidency

    President Barack Obama’s speech in Cuba last week is one of the best he’s made in his seven years in office. Unfortunately, he’s got a terrible record of following through on his words. I don’t think Obama should have gone to Cuba. The U.S. has nothing to gain from an opening to the Castro regime: this isn’t Nixon’s trip to China at the height of the Cold War. Most…

  • Commentary posted March 22, 2016 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. Encouraging Real Change in Cuba

    It’s been over a year since the United States “normalized” relations with Cuba, making concessions that, supposedly, would encourage the island nation to become freer and more open. In light of President Obama’s visit, however, it’s clear that this policy has proven to be a failure. You would think that only by making concrete improvements in the lives of ordinary Cubans…

  • Issue Brief posted March 17, 2016 by Ana Quintana President Obama’s Visit to Cuba: An Opportunity to Refocus on Human Rights

    On March 20–22, President Barack Obama will visit Cuba, the first sitting U.S. President to do so since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. As part of his radical Cuba policy shift, the President is meeting with his Cuban counterpart, Raúl Castro. Since the President announced this shift in December 2014, U.S. policy toward Cuba has deviated drastically from a focus on human rights…

  • Commentary posted February 25, 2016 by Peter Brookes Obama Trip Rewards Cuba for Failing Its People

    In the continuing saga — going back almost seven years now — of Team Obama’s quest to end the “Cold War” with Cuba, the White House trumpeted last week that the president is heading for Havana next month. Just another bad idea whose time has come, I guess. Obama will be the first U.S. president to go to Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928 — and with the trip coming in…

  • Commentary posted February 25, 2016 by Ana Quintana Obama in Havana: Turn Back to Human Rights

    Earlier this week, President Obama announced plans to visit Cuba in March. Logically—and more importantly—strategically, the visit makes no sense. Mr. Obama and General Raul Castro have already met. Their famous handshake occurred last year, at the Summit of the Americas. Today, a little over year after the president’s radical shift in Cuba policy, conditions have…

  • Issue Brief posted January 29, 2016 by Ana Quintana Top Priorities for U.S. Policy Toward Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016

    In 2016, Congress has a unique opportunity to improve America’s foreign policy toward Latin America. For the first time in the 17-year rule of Venezuela’s Socialist Party, the opposition has taken control of the National Assembly. As part of the anticorruption movement sweeping the region, former Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was peacefully forced to resign after…

  • Commentary posted December 21, 2015 by Mike Gonzalez One Year After Obama Recognized Their Dictator, Cuba's Dissidents Cry Foul

    It’s been a full year since President Obama announced he would recognize the dictatorship of Raul Castro, and the tally so far is grim. Cuba is further than ever from becoming a democracy where people enjoy normal civil liberties; it is in fact closer to becoming what China specialist have identified as a rival model, a “resilient authoritarian regime.” Just last week,…

  • Posted on October 16, 2015 by James Phillips Obama’s Middle East Strategy Continues to Fail as Cuban and Iranian Troops Join Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria

    Russia is not the only country that feels free to intervene in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime and attack...…

  • Backgrounder posted September 28, 2015 by Charles "Cully" Stimson Closing Guantanamo: A Legal and Policy Analysis of the Senate Provision

    For the first time since the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility was opened in January 2002, the Senate, through an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), has mapped out a path to closure of the controversial facility. The legislative equivalent of an olive branch, Section 1032 of the Senate-passed NDAA would allow the Administration to…

  • Commentary posted August 19, 2015 by Ana Quintana Don't Celebrate America's Diplomatic Opening to Cuba

    On Friday August 14, John Kerry is slated to arrive in Havana, where he will formally reopen the United States’ embassy on the island. It will be the first time a U.S. Secretary of State has set foot in Cuba in 70 years. But the embassy opening should be no cause for celebration. It is a simply one more false step in this administration’s foreign policy—a miscue that…

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  • Commentary posted July 26, 2011 by Mike Gonzalez Cubans Still Suffer, But Media Looks Away

    Last week, just outside Cuba’s holiest Catholic shrine, government thugs attacked in plain daylight a group of opposition women -- beating them, stoning them and stripping them naked to the waist. The women, mostly black and middle-aged, suffered this public humiliation because they were trying to find a dignified way to bring attention to the plight of their husbands,…

  • Commentary posted January 24, 2012 by Mike Gonzalez What Wilman Villar's Tragic Death Tells Us About Today's Cuba

    The tragic death of Cuban dissident Wilman Villar after a 50-day hunger strike should make clear that the Cuban people seek freedom and are increasingly willing to defy a repressive regime to get it.  They deserve outside moral support, which is best expressed by a repudiation of the regime that brutalizes them, not by establishing relations that would only…

  • Commentary posted February 1, 2011 by Mike Gonzalez Cuba’s Lost History

    When i was a child and the communist authorities would send a volunteer worker to inquire why I had not yet joined the Pioneros or generally was not going along with the rhetoric of the Cuban Revolution, my grandmother would react in a way I found puzzling. She would show the visitor, usually a woman, to the sitting room my family used for people with whom we were not…

  • Commentary posted May 18, 2012 by Ray Walser, Ph.D. How To Achieve Real Political Reform in Cuba

    What’s the best way to mark the fifth annual Cuba Solidarity Day? If we want to help the long-suffering people of Fidel Castro’s island “paradise,” the answer should be obvious: Shine a light on the repression and tyranny that makes daily life there such a grinding ordeal. Show unflinching support for dissidents and advocates of non-violent change on the island. …

  • Commentary posted March 21, 2012 by Mike Gonzalez Pope Benedict, Why Won't You Meet With Cuba's Dissidents?

    Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Cuba, later this month had the potential to greatly advance the cause of human freedom, which is, after all, the continuation of Jesus Christ’s work on this earth.  During this visit the pope could meet publicly with dissidents to offer them a measure of protection from their tormentors. He could speak clearly and loudly about their…

  • Commentary posted April 10, 2014 by Mike Gonzalez Sending Ideas to Cuba

    Cubans have lived on an information desert island for more than 50 years. Ten million people, once a vibrant part of the world — in tune with it and contributing to it, receiving information and even immigrants — were cut off soon after Fidel Castro took over in 1959. That the world has done nothing to help them after five decades of oppression is an outrage. What is not…

  • Commentary posted April 16, 2015 by Peter Brookes President Obama cozies up to Cuban dictator

    With the “historic” clasp of hands in Panama City, Panama last week with Raul Castro, President Obama took the next fateful step toward normalizing relations with the Western Hemisphere’s most repressive regime. Seemingly desperate to move beyond a series of foreign policy flubs such as Iraq, Russia and Libya, cozying up to Castro’s Cuba — now officially removed from the…

  • Commentary posted January 2, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Big losers are Cubans yearning to breathe free; US credibility

    President Obama’s decision to make nice with Cuba’s repressive, anti-American regime creates a great number of losers. Topping the list, of course, are the people of Cuba. They are starting from a bad place, lacking fundamental freedoms. And Obama negotiated no promises from the Castro brothers to ease up on the repression. That leaves Cubans saddled with the…

  • Commentary posted December 12, 2013 by Mike Gonzalez Obama’s Love for Snubbing Dissidents

    President Obama’s handshake with Cuba’s dictator, Raúl Castro, was a slap in the face to those Cubans who are thrown into prison, beaten up in the streets, or otherwise oppressed because they dare to express their opposition to Communism. It was, however, classic Obama, in keeping with his pretensions to be a follower of the school of realpolitik and with his keen reading…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Jim DeMint Crony capitalism and Marxist generals

    As Congress holds hearings on President Obama’s change in Cuba policy, we are seeing the question of who in Havana will benefit from U.S. trade come up repeatedly. This focus is right on point. Unless Congress acts to stop it, the normalization of ties with Cuba would soon see crony capitalists here striking deals with Marxist generals there — all financed by the U.S.…

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  • Issue Brief posted March 17, 2016 by Ana Quintana President Obama’s Visit to Cuba: An Opportunity to Refocus on Human Rights

    On March 20–22, President Barack Obama will visit Cuba, the first sitting U.S. President to do so since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. As part of his radical Cuba policy shift, the President is meeting with his Cuban counterpart, Raúl Castro. Since the President announced this shift in December 2014, U.S. policy toward Cuba has deviated drastically from a focus on human rights…

  • Issue Brief posted January 29, 2016 by Ana Quintana Top Priorities for U.S. Policy Toward Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016

    In 2016, Congress has a unique opportunity to improve America’s foreign policy toward Latin America. For the first time in the 17-year rule of Venezuela’s Socialist Party, the opposition has taken control of the National Assembly. As part of the anticorruption movement sweeping the region, former Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was peacefully forced to resign after…

  • Backgrounder posted September 28, 2015 by Charles "Cully" Stimson Closing Guantanamo: A Legal and Policy Analysis of the Senate Provision

    For the first time since the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility was opened in January 2002, the Senate, through an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), has mapped out a path to closure of the controversial facility. The legislative equivalent of an olive branch, Section 1032 of the Senate-passed NDAA would allow the Administration to…

  • Issue Brief posted August 10, 2015 by Olivia Enos A Call to Review Evaluation Methods in the Trafficking in Persons Report

    The 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report has recently come under fire for upgrading the rankings of Malaysia and Cuba. Speculation about the political motives behind these seemingly unwarranted upgrades has highlighted broader challenges plaguing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, namely the difficulty of defending the objectivity of the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 25, 2015 by Ana Quintana Six Issues the U.S. Should Not Concede to Cuba During Normalization Talks

    The U.S. and Cuba will hold the second round of normalization talks on February 27 in Washington, DC. This follows the U.S.’s attempt in late January to negotiate the terms of reestablishing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. In those talks in Havana, Cuban officials made it clear that the regime will not change its political or economic system, despite the…

  • Issue Brief posted January 29, 2015 by Ana Quintana Congressional Oversight Needed as Obama Administration Moves to Remove Cuba from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

    The Obama Administration has recently chosen to normalize relations with Cuba. In addition to establishing embassies and expanding commercial transactions, the White House has also declared that Cuba will be removed from the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. To remove Cuba from the list would be to ignore both the Cuban government’s inherently…

  • Issue Brief posted December 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana How Congress Should Respond to the President’s Radical Change in Cuba Policy

    On Wednesday, December 17, President Obama announced that the U.S. would begin to normalize relations with Cuba. This dramatic policy shift follows the release of American aid worker Alan Gross, who was held hostage for over five years by Castro’s regime, in exchange for three Cuban spies. Choosing to normalize relations with a regime whose chief export has been an…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2013 by Bruce Klingner North Korean–Cuban Arms Shipment Shows Need to Tighten Sanctions

    Even by North Korean standards, the story was odd. To a world used to North Korean exports of weapons, the seizure of a North Korean ship carrying arms from Cuba was unique. Pyongyang’s attempted transshipment of antiquated weapons revealed much about the North Korean regime. First, Pyongyang clearly continues to violate multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC)…

  • Issue Brief posted January 18, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ray Walser, Ph.D. The Hagel, Kerry, and Brennan Senate Confirmation Hearings: U.S. Policy for the Western Hemisphere

    The United States Senate will soon begin the confirmation process for three key Administration positions: Senator John Kerry (D–MA) for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Secretary of Defense, and White House Chief Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan for Director of the CIA. Each must defend his qualifications for higher office and present a…

  • Issue Brief posted January 7, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ray Walser, Ph.D. Latin America and the Caribbean: A Wish List for 2013

    Too often Latin America and the Caribbean fall off political radar screens in Washington. Nonetheless, geography, robust trade and investment ties, strong demographic links, and shared democratic and economic values connect Americans deeply with the region. In 2013 and beyond, the second Obama Administration and Washington policymakers of all stripes should work to…

Find more work on Cuba
Find more work on Cuba