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.
Today’s sanctions were predictable after the Mueller indictment, which identified specific Russians involved with the troll factory...However, these individuals are small fish. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the so-called ‘Putin’s chef’ in charge of the Internet Research Agency, was already on the U.S. sanctions list for his activities in Ukraine. The administration deserves credit for following through on their promise to impose new sanctions, but much more still needs to be done to realistically deter Russia.
It’s a good move by the administration to impose sanctions...but it’s still not enough to respond to growing Russian aggression.