Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Brookings Policy Brief on U.S. Cultural Diplomacy in Cuba

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

From Emily Alinikoff, Brookings Latin America Initiative

Dear Colleague,

I am happy to share with you the link to the latest policy brief from the Brookings Latin America Initiative on U.S. cultural diplomacy in Cuba. Linked below is a brief by Dora Beszterczey, Damian Fernandez and Andy Gomez, titled "Seizing the Opportunity to Expand People to People Contacts."

This paper argues that if U.S. policy toward Cuba is to be truly forward looking it should further expand its focus away from the Castro government to the well-being of the Cuban people. This can be achieved through instituting a cultural diplomacy strategy that authorizes a broad cross-section of American private citizens and civil society to travel to the island to engage Cuban society and share their experiences as citizens of a democratic country. Recent developments on the island, including the ongoing release of dozens of political prisoners, have helped create the right political moment to take action.

The authors make the case that since 2004, when such travel was curtailed, U.S. insights about the needs, interests and organizational capacities of community groups and grassroots organizations were severely limited. Today, as Cuba's nascent civil society stretches far beyond the dissident movement to encompass the blogosphere, religious groups, youth organizations, and agricultural cooperatives, among others their objectives, too, are more multifaceted and fast evolving. At a time of change in Cuba, increased people-to-people contacts would allow a more fluid, nimble response to engage with the needs and interests of the Cuban people.

To access full article, please see:
http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2010/08_cuba_beszterczey.aspx

Warm regards,

Emily Alinikoff | Senior Research Assistant
Foreign Policy at BROOKINGS
1775 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-797-6141 | ealinikoff@brookings.edu

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

1 comment:

  1. This letter sounds too desperate. I would love to believe that gestures toward Cuba will bring about an opening of the regimen. Until the old generation that holds all the political power makes its transition to the cemetery I do not see any opening that will benefit the Cuban people.

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