Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers

Policy Analyses in International Economics 103
by Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar
assisted by Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs
April 2014
Book Description

Will the Obama administration's decision to normalize relations with Cuba usher in a new era of economic cooperation, trade, and investment between the two countries? This prescient book, published only eight months before President Obama's historic announcement at the end of 2014, provides answers to that question and offers a roadmap for a sequenced lifting of the Cold War era economic sanctions against Cuba. The authors, Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar, lay out the difficulties of achieving a dynamic economic relationship. They caution that a unilateral dismantling of US sanctions without insuring that proper institutions are in place in Cuba could squander this golden opportunity for US companies and hurt Cubans. They argue that US policies should encourage Cuba to liberalize its economy and adopt democratic institutions, so that it does not transition from a Communist dictatorship to a corrupt and authoritarian oligarchy. This farsighted book, produced in anticipation of an opening with Cuba that seemed impossible to some skeptics, is a must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of a historically contentious relationship that promises to evolve productively if the right policies are pursued.


Preface [pdf]



1. A Half Century of Separation

2. Cuban Economic Reforms

3. Cuba in the International Economy

4. US Sanctions against Cuba

5. Initial Steps to Normalization

6. Potential Commerce with the United States: Starting from a Low Base

7. Brass Tacks: Deeper Integration

8. US Offensive and Defensive Interests



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Book Data

April 2014
ISBN paper 978-0-88132-682-6
136 pp.

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Commentaries on This Book

"Comprehensive yet concise, technically precise yet admirably well written, and unafraid to wade into controversy, this book provides an insightful and pragmatic roadmap to think about the prospects for US-Cuban economic relations."

—Jorge I. Domínguez, Professor of Government, Harvard University

"This timely and detailed study by two respected economists is essential reading for those who seek to understand where the US-Cuban economic relationship stands today and the barriers and opportunities that the future may hold. ...[T]he authors' pragmatic and analytic sure to spark conversation and debate in Cuban and American economic policy circles...."

—Daniel P. Erikson, author of The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, the United States, and the Next Revolution

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