Trump’s transition team and latest statements make it look like U.S.-Cuba policy is about to go backward. If so, it would only help the regime and hurt the Cuban people.
When it comes to Latin America policy in the U.S. government, policy outcomes are shaped heavily by personality. In some cases, it means that those who know the region best are making the day-to-day decisions away from the higher circles of power. Is that a good thing?
The landlocked, Southern Cone country is experiencing the same, if not worse, corruption scandals, social protests, approaching economic stagnation, and rising levels of violence widely reported on as just about every country of Latin America and the Caribbean. So why isn’t anyone paying attention?
In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana. The bold move unlocked the discussion on drug policy reform in the Americas. But is it working in its purported objectives in reducing violence, illegality and health risks?
Rather than focusing old time notions of levels of economic and military aid or large inspiring policy declarations, analysts and policymakers should focus their attention where policy and its return (i.e. influence) is most impactful—communication, contact and exchange that improve the daily lives of Latin American and Caribbean citizens.