...advocating change through engagement

A new era in United States and Cuba relations has begun. The process of normalization represents an historic shift that will be complex and take time. Lifting the U.S. trade embargo and other restrictions in U.S. law will require congressional action. WOLA advocates for policies of engagement to continue to open up trade, travel and diplomatic cooperation, and improved human rights on the island.

Key Program Themes

U.S.–Cuba Relations

U.S. policy toward Cuba remains stuck in the past, even as economic and political changes on the island continue. Click here to see WOLA’s analysis of unfolding developments in U.S. policy and in relations between the two countries.

Reforms in Cuba

Cuba is undergoing a gradual process of reform that is characterized by a growing private sector. Click here to see WOLA’s analysis of the changes in Cuba.


Cuba News & Analysis

President Obama’s Historic Trip to Cuba and Argentina

President Obama is making a historic visit to Cuba on March 20-22. During the visit he is expected to discuss updating U.S.-Cuba relations for the 21st century.

Historic Presidential Visit Marks a New Era in U.S.-Cuba Relations

President Obama’s Trip Comes Amid New Regulations, Important Changes in Cuba
On March 21-22, President Obama will travel to Havana, Cuba in a historic visit following 15 months of efforts to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations. It is the first such visit by a sitting U.S. president in over 80 years, and is sure to highlight the biggest issues facing Cuba today.

Can U.S. Engagement with Cuba Encourage Improvements in Human Rights and Political Freedoms?

Analysis & Commentary
Cuba has been undergoing a process of change in recent years on the economic front. These changes are significant, and affect the daily lives of people on the island. The question remains – can these internal changes and the shift in U.S.-Cuba relations help encourage greater political space on the island?

Factsheet: Reforms in 21st Century Cuba

Analysis & Commentary
Over the past few years, the Cuban government has initiated a gradual but important process of reform. This includes economic changes that are moving a significant portion of the population out of the public sector and towards private employment.