Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brookings Institution report calls for a near-total reversal of U.S.-Cuba policies

The New York Times

By MARK LANDLER

Published: November 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — With the election of Barack Obama, the United States has a fresh chance to reinvigorate its relations with Latin America, according to a new report that recommends Washington overhaul its drug policies at home and pursue a rapprochement with Cuba.

The report, compiled by prominent former policy-makers from the United States and Latin America and scheduled for release on Monday by the Brookings Institution, called on the new administration to put Latin America at the center of its foreign policy radar screen.

Among the most striking recommendations is a near-total reversal in policy toward Cuba. The report advocates lifting all restrictions on travel by Americans, promoting more contacts with Cuban diplomats and taking Cuba off the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“This may make the over-40 generation of Cuban-Americans in Miami jump-up-and-down mad, but there is a whole generation of Cuban-Americans who want to change this relationship,” said Thomas R. Pickering, a longtime diplomat and former under secretary of state.

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JG: I am Cuban-American, over 40 and I do not live in Miami, thank God. I would be jumping up and down with happiness if the recommendations of the Brookings Institution are implemented by our president elect.

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