In the context of Fidel Castro's transfer of power to his brother Raul in the summer of 2006, WOLA Program Director Geoff Thale examines the future of U.S.-Cuban relations.
For more than forty years, Fidel Castro’s opponents in the Cuban exile community have assumed that his departure would trigger major changes in Cuba; their optimism proved unfounded. In fact, most serious observers, whether sympathetic or hostile to the Castro government, argue that in the immediate period after Castro’s retirement or death, a relatively stable succession would take place. But this relatively smooth succession in Cuba could be significantly complicated by the actions of the U.S. government and the hard line sectors of the Cuban American community. Mr. Thale argues that rather than continuing to isolate Cuba, the United States should adopt a policy of engagement with Cuba, in which the United States raises its human rights and democracy concerns in the context of an ongoing diplomatic relationship.
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