Will new cars once again be available in Cuba? "Normalization" holds the key.
Will new cars once again be available in Cuba? “Normalization” holds the key.

News about Cuba greets us at every turn—in newspapers, in magazines, and on television:

  • President Obama will travel to Cuba this spring.
  • Senator Rubio blocks the appointment of a State Department official as Ambassador to Mexico, citing her role in State Department preparations for normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.
  • The Rolling Stones will perform in Havana in late March.
  • Americans may now shoot scripted movies and shows in Cuba for the first time in half a century.

What, exactly, does “normalization” of relations with Cuba signify? To some, it means increased business opportunity in Cuba for both Cubans and Americans, while for others it means rewarding a Communist nation long at odds with the United States. The different perspectives on normalization raise important questions for America:

Should those families and companies whose property was appropriated by the 1959 Cuban revolution be compensated for those losses? Should the embargo against American business arrangements with Cuba be lifted? Should normalization of relations be predicated on improved human rights in Cuba? What would be the effects of normalized U.S.-Cuban relations upon other Latin American nations?

These questions will be explored—although probably not entirely answered—Thursday (March 17) at 3:30 p.m. when the Arizona Senior Academy presents the seventh session of the Foreign Policy Association’s eight 2016 Great Decisions series. The complex political, diplomatic, and economic issues of normalized relations between the two countries will require years—even decades—for resolution. Should that process begin today? Has it already begun?

The March 17 session, moderated by Academy Village resident Sarah Dinham, will include a video prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, an independent organization that sponsors the Great Decisions program, and a discussion will follow.

Written by Sarah Dinham, Academy Village Volunteer

[box type=”info”] Interested in attending? Click here.[/box]
How ‘Normal’ Should U.S.-Cuban Relations Be?: March 2016
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