On December 17, 2014 President Barack Obama announced his administration’s intention to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years of mutual animosity between the communist government and the United States. Unleashing speculation about its timing and rationale, the move shifted attention away from U.S. policy in Latin America, while raising an opportunity to focus attention on Cuba’s dubious record in the region and their foreign interventions.
This Situation Report (SITREP) provides testimony, reports, articles and interviews from scholars, senior fellows and international allies of the Center for a Secure Free Socitey (SFS) analyzing the implications of the new U.S. policy on Cuba, and how it affects U.S. national security interests.
SFS senior fellow Fernando Menéndez provided congressional testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on “The President’s New Cuba Policy and U.S. National Security,” February 26, 2015. See a video of the hearing.
Prior to the 7th Summit of the Americas, on April 8, 2015, SFS executive director Joseph Humire appeared on China’s CCTV America to discuss the potential economic impact of removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror.
After the Summit, on April 12, 2015, SFS senior fellow Fernando Menéndez commented on the new era in U.S. Cuba relations on Canada’s CTV News.
Earlier in the year, SFS international fellow Candice Malcolm outlined reasons for skepticism over the new U.S. policy towards Cuba in her weekly column in the Toronto Sun on February 28, 2015: “Troubling truths about Castro’s Cuba.”
Following the initial announcement this past December, SFS provided extensive analysis and perspective on US Cuba relations:
Immediately after the announcement, China’s CCTV America andVOA Español interviewed SFS executive director Joseph Humire about the risks this new policy can present to U.S. national security. He also appeared on Foro Interamericano of VOA Español on December 20, 2014 to offer perspective on the announcement.
SFS founder and chairman, Alejandro Chafuen also voiced his concern early over the new U.S. policy on Cuba in a Forbescolumn on December 18, 2014: “The Cuba Deal: Coexsting and Profiting with Tyrants.”
Also in December 2014, SFS senior fellow Fernando Menéndezappeared on Canada’s CTV News to discuss what the U.S. wants and how Cuba and the U.S. will move forward.
At the beginning of the year, SFS senior fellow Fernando Menéndez highlighted the challenges facing the new U.S. Cuba policy in China-US Focus on January 21, 2015: “The ‘New Normal’ in Cuba, US, and China relations.”
Lastly, in late January, prior to the first visit to Havana by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, SFS executive director Joseph Humire appeared on China’s CCTV America to talk about how the Cuban regime’s control of its citizens cannot be underestimated by the U.S. government.
Pictured left to right: Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chris Simmons, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Dr. José Azel, Amb. Dennis Hays, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Fernando Menéndez.
Testifying before the U.S. Congress, SFS senior fellow Fernando Menéndez (second from the left), underscores that Cuba’s difficult political and economic situation is the result of its failed policies.