December 17, 2014
Statement from Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council, on New US Policy Toward Cuba
By Atlantic Council
I am proud of the role of the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center has played in providing the context and understanding for this sort of tectonic policy shift. Our poll on U.S. Cuba relations, issued earlier this year, underscored why the majority of Americans of all ilk are ready for change. Our national poll found that domestically the president has support from Americans on both sides of the aisle for normalizing relations. It also found that the strongest proponents of this move are voters in Florida, historically those most invested in Cuba policy and the status quo.
Critics and proponents of this policy change want the same outcome: We all want a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Cuba. The only difference is how to get there. Fifty-five years resulted in very little change in Cuba — the policy wasn't working. Now is time to try engagement. The resulting avalanche of visitors, social media, internet sites and family investors in Cuban enterprises will make it increasingly difficult for the Cuban government to hold back the desire of everyday Cubans to be free.