Why Does Cuba Matter?

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Jun 23, 11:48 PM |

By Sam Aman

Writing in El País, Altamar co-host Muni Jensen takes a look at the forces behind the tiny island of 11 million’s outsized importance:

“Why does Cuba matter? Experts give us two fundamental reasons. First, Cuba is a virgin market close to the US, where private enterprise has yet to flourish. Multinationals such as American Airlines, Coca Cola, and Nike, among others, see Cuba as a wholly unexplored market. The private sector didn’t take kindly to Trump’s policy announcement to restrict individual travel and economic transactions with Cuba’s military, which effectively covers all sectors of the economy. The party was over for them.

Until Congress lifts the embargo on Cuba, the changes will remain just a matter of colorful rhetoric. Despite the apparent support for ending the embargo, we’ve seen no legislation aimed at doing so. The reality, as former democratic adviser Ben Rhodes put it, is that “Cuba has played a disproportionate role in the world’s imagination.” From Hemingway to Che, Kennedy and Obama, and now Trump, Cuba has long managed to be at the center of the conversation in world politics.”

Read the full article in El País in Spanish.

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About the Hosts

Peter Schechter works in both politics and policy. He served as the Atlantic Council’s senior vice president for strategic initiatives and previously co-founded a premier strategic communications company, working as a political campaign advisor in more than 20 countries.  Muni Jensen is a former Colombian diplomat, columnist, and television political commentator.