January 21 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

The “New Normal” in Cuba, U.S. and China Relations

In December 2013, President Obama announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending over fifty years of official non-recognition. The decision does not lift the decades-long economic embargo, which only Congress can end, but the news unleashed speculation about the scope and nature of future U.S.-Cuba economic relations. Clearly, those with investments in Cuba, such as China, have cause to evaluate their prospects and consider what normalization will mean.

The Obama administration initiative effectively declared the U.S. embargo, meant to isolate and remove the Castro regime, a failure. President Obama hopes that greater exposure of Cubans to Americans will lead to changes on the island’s political and economic systems. Some have argued the big losers are Cuba’s rulers who have used what they call the “blockade” to blame systematic failures on U.S. imperialism, close ranks, and silenced dissent.

In a classic case of managed trade, however, U.S. agro-export, telecommunications, and financial firms have been given concessions to operate in Cuba. Their profits represent the special privilege conferred on them by the administration, but still denied to other U.S. business by law…. (more…)