Under the auspices of the Brookings Institution’s project “U.S. Policy toward a Cuba in Transition,” nineteen distinguished academics, opinion leaders, and international diplomats committed themselves to seeking a strong and effective U.S. policy toward Cuba.
Our advisers are well known experts in the field of U.S.-Cuba relations, and come from diverse backgrounds and political orientations. Half of them are also Cuban American. Over the past eighteen months, project advisers and special guests have carried out a series of simulation exercises and discussions that have served to enhance our understanding of the complex political realities in Cuba and the United States. By testing the responses of several strategic actors and stakeholders— the Cuban hierarchy, independent civil society, and the international and Cuban American communities—to a variety of scenarios, we have identified potential catalysts and constraints to political change on the island.
We arrived at the same conclusion: the United States should adopt a policy of critical and constructive engagement, phased-in unilaterally. To this end, we have created a roadmap of executive actions that would allow President Barack Obama to align our policy with the region and restore normal bilateral relations over time.