Thinking Over the Future of US-Cuba Relations: An Event Invitation


hagel wilkerson naf.jpg
(Former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE))
Former State Department Chief of Staff and 16-year personal assistant to General and Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, and I will be reflecting on our recent trip to Havana.
Many, including us, believe that it is time to have a broader discussion about the current and future contours of the US-Cuba “encounter.” The public is invited to this meeting, but RSVPs are essential and can be sent to me at
I will get your name added to the list — whether you agree with the need to have this debate or are vigorously committed to keeping things as they have been.
The reason for this meeting which will take place on April 18th from 12:15 to 1:45 at the offices of the New America Foundation (1630 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 7th Floor) is to report on our trip — which we are legally required to do — and to announce the launch of a 21st Century US-Cuba Policy Initiative based at the New America Foundation’s American Strategy Program.
I hope some TWN readers can join us — as I think that there are many important parallels between America’s troubling policy towards Cuba as towards some countries in the Middle East. Time to review all of this i believe.
More later.
— Steve Clemons
Update: I just came by this interesting and provocative Minnesota Daily piece, “Castroika: Cuba Continues its Castro Legacy,” by Patrick Mendis, a friend, on a national book tour now. Add to the reading pile.


3 comments on “Thinking Over the Future of US-Cuba Relations: An Event Invitation

  1. Marcia says:

    Just how powerful is the Cuban lobby in Florida? Given the importance of Fl. in presidential elections the lobby seems to be a serious obstacle to any change of policy.


  2. Mike says:

    Steve, I am very glad that you see the parallels between Cuba and the Middle East. I assume by this you mean the equal importance in both countries, as well as in North Korea, of initiating a serious diplomatic process. America has a venerable diplomatic tradition and some excellent diplomats who really know their stuff and could achieve a lot.
    But, as I’m sure any such diplomat would tell you, diplomacy involves both the stick and the carrot, not just the former. I look forward to seeing Cuba engaged diplomatically in a way that emphasizes the rights to free expression and political determination of Cubans, and doing this without making the whole issue into an ideological battle.
    I was thinking. Think if America did show a good-will gesture towards Cuba at this critical stage by lifting some of the embargoes. This is a critical stage because Castro is dying, and his brother has indicated that he would support at least mild political reform. It’s a great opportunity for a U.S. goodwill gesture, and to demonstrate the fruits of diplomacy.


  3. Carroll says:

    This is excellent..wish I were close enough to attend.
    Everyone is seeing thru our hypocrisy these days and besides Cuba itself, not enough attention has been given to how our Cuba policy has affected our Latin American relations.


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