Cuba

The Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence from the US in 1902 after which the island experienced a string of governments mostly dominated by the military and corrupt politicians. Fidel Castro led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule held the subsequent regime together for nearly five decades. He stepped down as president in February 2008 in favor of his younger brother Raul Castro. The country faced a severe economic downturn in 1990 following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba at times portrays the US embargo, in place since 1961, as the source if its difficulties. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, or via the US's southwest border - is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard interdicted 1,275 Cuban nationals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in 2012.

Looking Back on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 Years Later

Fifty years ago this month, world attention was fixed on a U.S.-Soviet confrontation over the placement of Soviet nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba, probably the most dangerous and perhaps the most studied moment of the Cold War. The crucial role of diplomacy in peacefully resolving this historic test of Cold War wills is described here by Bruce W. MacDonald, senior adviser to the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Program with the USIP’s Office of Special Initiatives.

Bruce W. MacDonald

October 19, 2012

Fifty years ago this month, world attention was fixed on a U.S.-Soviet confrontation over the placement of Soviet nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba, probably the most dangerous and perhaps the most studied moment of the Cold War. What came to be known as the Cuban missile crisis raised, as never before and probably since, the specter of global nuclear war. This iconic crisis has left us a legacy of lessons and insights for the future, many only recognized in recent years as previously classified materials have become available.

Fri, 10/19/2012 - 15:06
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Summit of the Americas

The theme of the sixth summit of the Americas to be held in Cartagena, Colombia from April 14-15, 2012, is “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.” USIP's Colombia expert, Virginia Bouvier, previews the summit.

April 5, 2012

USIP's Colombia expert, Virginia Bouvier, previews the summit.

1.  What is on the main agenda when leaders meet in Colombia next week?

Virginia M. Bouvier
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 15:31
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On the Issues: Iran and P5+1 Talks

USIP expert Dan Brumberg previews the upcoming talks with Iran and provides background on the current situation.

January 18, 2011

USIP expert Dan Brumberg previews the upcoming P5 +1 talks with Iran and provides background on the current situation.

Dan Brumberg
Tue, 01/18/2011 - 12:23
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U.S. Human Rights Policy toward Latin America

Summary

  • U.S. human rights policy toward Latin America has been constrained by six factors: the dynamics of international relations, domestic political considerations and the policy process, the intensity of U.S. attention to the region, the definition adopted for human rights, and local developments in the target country.
Kati Suominen
Tue, 01/23/2001 - 09:00
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Why We Should Still Study the Cuban Missile Crisis

Few events have been as studied and analyzed as the Cuban missile crisis. Drawing on previously undiscovered archival materials and interviews with Soviet and American veterans of the crisis, Michael Dobbs has taken a fresh look at the history of those fateful thirteen days.

Summary

  • Some scholars have questioned the utility of studying the Cuban missile crisis as a model for executive decision making during times of crisis, arguing that it offers little guidance for policymakers today.
  • Many accounts of the missile crisis are incomplete, inaccurate, and too narrowly focused on the “rational actors” at the center of the drama while overlooking the “irrational actors.”
Michael Dobbs
Sun, 06/01/2008 - 10:21
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Articles & Analysis

Fifty years ago this month, world attention was fixed on a U.S.-Soviet confrontation over the placement of Soviet nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba, probably the most dangerous and perhaps the most studied moment of the Cold War. The crucial role of diplomacy in peacefully resolving this historic test of Cold War wills is described here by Bruce W. MacDonald, senior adviser to the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Program with the USIP’s Office of Special Initiatives.

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Publications

Fifty years ago this month, world attention was fixed on a U.S.-Soviet confrontation over the placement of Soviet nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba, probably the most dangerous and perhaps the most studied moment of the Cold War. The crucial role of diplomacy in peacefully resolving this historic test of Cold War wills is described here by Bruce W. MacDonald, senior adviser to the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Program with the USIP’s Office of Special Initiatives.
The theme of the sixth summit of the Americas to be held in Cartagena, Colombia from April 14-15, 2012, is “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.” USIP's Colombia expert, Virginia Bouvier, previews the summit.