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New Realities

New realities are taking hold on both sides of the Florida straits, and even our allies are looking for new ways to engage with Cuba. While the debate over Cuba has remained in a time warp, the last decade has significantly changed the dynamics enough that they require a fresh look. In this section we explore: Cuba’s Changing Reality, the Shifting Landscape in the United States, the Growing Consensus for a New Approach, and how the Rest of the World Isn’t Waiting.

Cuba’s Changing Reality

There are significant changes taking place in Cuba. Cuban reforms intended to be small and modest, coupled with changes in US travel, remittance and migratory policy over the past five years, are unleashing a wave of creativity and innovation by the Cuban people, and the world is starting to notice. Find out how.

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Shifting Landscape in the United States

More and more Americans – including Cuban-Americans – are realizing that the approach of the last fifty years simply hasn’t helped the Cuban people move closer toward freedom. As a result, growing numbers of Americans are looking for new ideas. Thanks to family travel and remittance reforms implemented by President Obama, Cuban-Americans themselves have been leading the way.

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Growing Consensus for a New Approach

Experts and community leaders recognize that it’s in the United States’ best interests to take leadership in determining U.S.-Cuba policy, instead of allowing Havana to dictate terms. There is overwhelming evidence that supporting independent Cuban entrepreneurs strengthens civil society in Cuba, and helps the Cuban people create greater economic freedom for themselves. Even the most fervent hardliners cannot argue that the policies of the last five decades had worked. One simple question remains unanswered. If the same policies haven’t worked in more than fifty years, why should we expect that they would work now? Editorials, thought leaders, and community voices are all coming to similar conclusions.

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The Rest of the World Isn’t Waiting

America’s closest allies are moving on, current policy is becoming increasingly problematic in the context of our relationship with Latin America, and countries like Brazil and China are racing to fill the economic leadership void left by the absence of the United States. The EU’s engagement is based on Cuba making progress over human rights, something even the State Department acknowledged was the right approach. At the same time, allies in the hemisphere like Colombia no longer consider Cuba a threat. In fact, Colombian President Santos is holding peace talks with his country’s most prominent guerrilla in Havana. With a Russian spy ship docking in Havana recently as the crisis in the Ukraine unfolded, how long can the United States afford to look the other way?

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