Cuba, Venezuela & the Americas: A Changing Landscape

Antonio Marín Segovia / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University and the Inter-American Dialogue are pleased to present three working papers from our meeting on “Cuba, Venezuela, and the Americas: A Changing Landscape.” Organized on September 14, 2005 in Washington, D.C., this session featured a wide ranging analysis of the bilateral relationship between Cuba and Venezuela, examining the domestic political implications for both countries, the impact on hemispheric affairs, and the significance for U.S. policy in Latin America. Leading the panel discussion were Javier Corrales of Amherst College, Mark Falcoff of the American Enterprise Institute, and Daniel Erikson of the Inter-American Dialogue. The discussion was moderated by Michael Shifter, the Dialogue’s vice president for U.S. policy.

The session responded to the intense interest we have seen throughout the hemisphere in understanding the evolving ties between Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez. What began as a personal bond between the two leaders has transformed into a close geopolitical alliance that spans political, economic and social realms. Both leaders have sought to keep their relationship highly publicized, and to project an image of solidarity throughout the Americas. Observers remained divided on the degree to which the Chávez-Castro alliance has become an important factor in Latin America’s politics. Clearly, however, its impact on the domestic political situations of Venezuela and Cuba has already been significant.

This meeting was the first of a discussion series entitled Cuba Forum, organized jointly by the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University and the Inter-American Dialogue. This initiative is intended to bring Cuba experts and the Washington policy community together to explore key issues surrounding Cuba today. We are grateful to Javier Corrales and Mark Falcoff for their excellent contributions, as well as to the many participants who engaged in a lively discussion and debate on this important topic. The working papers reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent any broader consensus of opinion.

We are grateful to the Ford Foundation for its contribution to the Cuba Forum through the Cuban Research Institute, and we also thank the Christopher Reynolds Foundation and the Swedish International Development Agency for their continued support for the InterAmerican Dialogue’s work on Cuba.

Download the paper below.


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