Between Carter and Clinton: Obama's Policy Towards Cuba

Alessandro Badella

Abstract


For almost three decades, democracy promotion has been the cornerstone of US policy towards Cuba and it has shaped bilateral relations around the democratic conditionality codified in the embargo against the island. Obama entered the White House as the 'open minded candidate' who could realize the promise embedded within Jimmy Carter's 2002 speech in Havana, but, for different reasons, the new President opted for a more 'Clintonian' approach characterized by only a partial relaxation of sanctions and people-to-people diplomacy as a tool for obtaining more political concessions from Raul Castro.

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