Caribbean | Wilson Center


Can the U.S. Have Normal Diplomatic Relations with Cuba?

The United States and Cuba will meet for a second round of talks today. The promise of normalized relations between the two countries has given way to the tough diplomatic work of agreeing on the parameters for a new bilateral relationship. While both sides are committed to the process of negotiation, both countries are being asked to sort out age old disagreements and overcome distrust.

Islands as Champions of Resilience

In contrast to the common narrative of small-island states being among the most vulnerable to climate change, their growing experience in climate-compatible development, disaster prevention, and coordinating information and aid in new ways may be a valuable asset, said panelists at the Wilson Center on March 25.

Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana

Authors William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh will talk about their new book chronicling the untold history of attempts at reconciliation between the United States and Cuba. From John F. Kennedy’s offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis, to Henry Kissinger’s top secret quest for normalization, to Barack Obama’s promise of a “new approach,” LeoGrande and Kornbluh reveal a fifty-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive.

Latin America's Electoral Cycle 2014-15

Elections serve to renew or alter national and local leadership but also bring into sharp relief the most salient challenges facing a nation.  As Latin America’s electoral “super-cycle” comes to an end, please join the Latin American Program, IDEA Internacional, El País, and NTN24 to explore elections in 2014-15 and what they tell us about political and economic trends in Central America, South America, and the Andean region.
1:00 - 1:10 p.m.: Introductory Remarks

Inequality in a Lower Growth Latin America

As noted in the October 2014 LAC report, Inequality in a Lower Growth Latin America, a recent period of high growth in Latin America brought significant poverty reduction and declining income inequality throughout the region. However, since 2012, regional growth has decelerated significantly: it is estimated to have been a mere 1.2 percent for 2014, much less than the 4-5 percent growth rates witnessed during the commodities boom.

No cigar just yet: Many obstacles remain before complete normalization with Cuba


Taking a more optimistic approach is Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American program at the Wilson Center in DC. Arnson notes how even these relatively small changes have already yielded some tangible results, though she realizes there is still much work ahead.  

Thaw Begins On U.S.-Cuba Relationship Frozen In Time

Michele Kelemen speaks with Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program, about U.S.-Cuba relations in a segment of "All Things Considered". Among her comments, Arnson said, "if there's an intelligent, low, incremental way of pushing the envelope, I think that that approach has the potential for being more successful over the long term."

To listen to the full segment and read the transcript on NPR click here.