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Economic Normalization with Cuba: A Roadmap for US Policymakers
Book Data
April 2014
ISBN paper 978-0-88132-682-6
136 pp.
$23.95 $19.16
( 20 % discount)

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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 and
Julia Muir

"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


For more than 50 years the United States has attempted to destabilize and isolate the Castro regime in Cuba with the use of trade and financial sanctions, a policy that has fallen short of its objective. In this Policy Analysis, Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Barbara Kotschwar suggest that the sands of time may accomplish what economic pressure did not. Raúl Castro, president of Cuba since 2008, plans to step down at the end of 2018, implying a new regime. Various forces are starting to emerge favoring economic normalization if Cuba appears ready to change its policies as well as its leadership. The authors caution, however, that a unilateral dismantling of US sanctions without insuring that proper institutions are in place in Cuba could squander a golden opportunity for US companies. They argue that a new US-Cuba relationship must entail a lifting of Cuba's barriers to trade and investment, liberalization of its economy, and the adoption of democratic institutions. They offer a roadmap for a future US-Cuba rapprochement.


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