US News quotes Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Deputy Director Jason Marczak on how Venezuela’s precarious political and economic situation created an opening for Cuba to normalize relations with the United States:

Venezuela has been a main financial supporter of Cuba during the last half-century while the country has suffered from a U.S. trade embargo. But Venezuela’s increasingly shaky economy was likely a factor in driving Cuba to seek better relations with the U.S., says Jason Marczak, deputy director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council.

“Part of the opening with the U.S. was the fact that the Cubans realized the situation in Venezuela was going from bad to worse,” Marczak says. “They had that experience in the 1980s when they were completely dependent on the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union crumbled.”

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