Cuba

...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

WOLA Program Director Geoff Thale Testifies at House Hearing on Cuba

Analysis & Commentary
In his February 5 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Thale provided policymakers with a look at the concrete benefits that increased engagement with Cuba will bring to the island's people.

Did Raúl Castro Really Just Derail the U.S.-Cuba Talks with New Demands?

Castro’s overblown comments are neither surprising nor alarming
Analysis & Commentary
News stories and Twitter feeds yesterday trumpeted what sounded like new obstacles that Cuban President Raúl Castro was placing in the path of improved U.S.-Cuban relations. But the understanding of what Castro said, and what it means, has been mostly wrong.

9 Key Questions about New Cuba Regulations

What Do They Mean for Trade, Travel, Americans, and Cubans?
Analysis & Commentary
On January 15, 2015, the Obama administration released sweeping regulations to implement its new Cuba policy. This list covers the most significant measures and offers insight on how these regulations will make a difference for U.S. travelers to Cuba and the Cuban people.

The View from Havana: WOLA Was on the Ground When History Happened

Analysis & Commentary
Members of WOLA's Cuba program staff were in Cuba when the news broke about the release of Alan Gross and President Obama's announcement. Program Director Geoff Thale shares his on-the-ground perspective of how the news was received in Cuba.