The Economics Of Normalization With Cuba: Kiss The Embargo Bye-bye?

February 11, 2015 Nemes Random

On February 24, 2013, Raul Castro appointed 52 year-old Miguel Diaz Canel as his first Vice President. This was the first time someone not from the advanced generation was appointed to that post. In addition, Raul stated that he would step down at the end of his existing term in 2018. As such, Diaz Canel is the odds-on preferred to prosper Castro in 2018, making him the first non-Castro to lead Cuba considering that Batista ran away the country in 1959. Both modifications would be huge, and provided the current rapprochement between the US and Cuba, seem unavoidable. Raul Castro understands this and is seeking to establish the next generation of Cuban leaders. Although younger individuals have been appointed to positions of power, each has actually ultimately been benched.

The Castros comprehend that change is coming. By opening relations with the United States and permitting a modicum of trade and investment, they intend to save their routine. This supplies an opportunity for the US, even as the Cubans seek to manage their political and financial interactions with the United States.

The United States can maintain position to affect events only by remaining engaged. As one of my coworkers from the State Department said, “If we want to have a presence in Cuba that can take advantagebenefit from a potential Cuban Spring once the Castros are gone, then we need to silently start laying the foundation while they are still alive.”


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