Cuba after Fidel Castro: U.S. Policy Implications and Approaches

Cuba’s Future Political Scenarios
and U.S. Policy Approaches
Updated September 3, 2006
Mark P. Sullivan
Specialist in Latin American Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Cuba’s Future Political Scenarios
and U.S. Policy Approaches
Cuba has remained a hard-line communist state under Fidel Castro for more
than 47 years, but Fidel’s July 31, 2006 announcement that he was ceding political
power to his brother Raúl for several weeks in order to recover from surgery could
be the beginning of a political transition. Over the past few years, there has been
increased speculation about Cuba’s future without Fidel, who turned 80 on August
13, 2006. While previous predictions about Fidel’s imminent demise proved
premature, his recent surgery and advanced age make the date of his permanent
departure from the political scene all the closer. Before his recent surgery, observers
discerned several potential scenarios for Cuba’s future after Fidel. These fit into three
broad categories: the continuation of a communist government; a military
government; or a democratic transition or fully democratic government. According
to most observers, the most likely scenario, at least in the short term, is a successor
communist government led by Raúl Castro. This the most likely scenario for a
variety of reasons, but especially because of Raúl’s official designation as successor
and his position as leader of the Cuban military.
For a number of years, the U.S. government has begun to plan for Cuba without
Fidel at the helm. This has included examining transition issues and appointing a
State Department Cuba Transition Coordinator. Assistance has been provided —
primarily through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), but also
through the Department of State — to fund projects aimed at promoting a democratic
transition in Cuba. The Bush Administration established an inter-agency Commission
for Assistance to a Free Cuba to help plan for Cuba’s transition to democracy and to
help Cubans hasten the transition to democracy. Some observers, however, have
questioned the adequacy of the transition planning, in part because it does not
recognize the likelihood of a successor communist government headed by Fidel’s
brother Raúl.
In the new context of Fidel’s transfer of power, there are two broad policy
approaches to contend with political change in Cuba: a stay-the-course or status-quo
approach that would maintain the U.S. dual-track policy of isolating the Cuban
government while providing support to the Cuban people; and an approach aimed at
influencing the Cuban government and Cuban society through increased contact and
engagement. Some Members support the Administration’s stay-the-course policy
approach through assistance to strengthen Cuban civil society while maintaining U.S.
economic sanctions. Other Members advocate a change in U.S. policy toward Cuba
in the direction of engagement, easing sanctions, or providing the President with
flexibility to respond to change in Cuba.
This report will not be updated. It was written in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s
July 2006 announcement that he was temporarily stepping down from power, and
provides analysis of potential future political scenarios for Cuba after Fidel Castro
and U.S. policy implications and approaches. For further information, see CRS
Report RL33819, Cuba: Issues for the 110th Congress.

Cuban Political Developments........................................1
Cuba’s Political System and Transition Scenarios........................2
Successor Communist Government................................3
Military Government...........................................3
Democratic Government........................................4
How Raúl Castro Might Govern..................................4
U.S. Policy ......................................................6
U.S. Policy Tied to Fulfillment of Democratic Conditions..............6
U.S. Preparation for Cuba’s Political Transition......................7
May 2004 CAFC Report....................................8
July 2006 CAFC Report.....................................9
Potential Policy Implications................................11
U.S. Response to Fidel’s Ceding of Power.........................13
U.S. Policy Approaches............................................14
Stay the Course..............................................15
Engagement .................................................16
Longer-Term Policy Issues.........................................17

Cuba’s Future Political Scenarios
and U.S. Policy Approaches
Cuban Political Developments
On July 31, 2006, President Fidel Castro provisionally ceded political power to
his brother Raúl “for several weeks” in order to recover from intestinal surgery. As
a result, in a proclamation signed by Fidel, Raúl Castro became First Secretary of the
Communist Party, Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR),
and President of the Council of State and Government, top positions that Fidel had
held. Although Cuba has remained a hard-line communist state under Fidel Castro
since the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Fidel’s announcement that he was temporarily
ceding political power to his brother Raúl could be the beginning of a political
At the same time that he ceded power to Raúl, Fidel Castro tapped six other
high-ranking government officials on a provisional basis for key roles in health,
education, and energy projects. He delegated the job of promoting public and
international health projects to current Minister of Public Health José Ramón
Balaguer Cabrera. On education, he designated José Ramón Machado Ventura and
Esteban Lazo Hernández, both members of the Political Bureau (Politburo) of the
Communist Party and both Vice Presidents of the Council of State. On energy, he
designated Carlos Lage, a Vice President of the Council of State and Executive
Secretary of the Council of Ministers. Fidel also directed Lage, as well as Foreign
Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Central Bank President Francisco Soberón Valdés,
to form a commission to manage and prioritize funds for health, education, and
energy programs.
At this juncture, there is sparse information coming out of Cuba about Fidel
Castro’s medical condition and whether he will be able to resume his role as head ofth
the political system and the Communist Party. On August 13, 2006, Fidel’s 80
birthday, Cuba’s newspaper Juventud Rebelde published the first photographs of
Castro since his surgery, along with a message from Castro indicating that his
recovery would not be short. Castro promised to fight for his health, and urged his
supporters to be optimistic, but cautioned that they should “be prepared for any
adverse news.”1 Some observers had been questioning why Raúl Castro had not been
seen in public, although his public role in greeting visiting Venezuelan President
Hugo Chávez on August 13, 2006, has appeared to put these questions to rest.

1 “Text of Fidel Castro’s Message,” Miami Herald, Aug. 13, 2006.

Cuba’s Political System and Transition Scenarios
Although Cuba has undertaken some limited economic reforms in recent years,
politically the country remains a hard-line communist state. Until his most recent
decision to step down while recuperating from surgery, Fidel Castro ruled since the

1959 Cuban Revolution, which ousted the corrupt government of Fulgencio Batista.

Soon after taking power, Castro laid the foundations for an authoritarian regime by
consolidating power and forcing moderates out of the government. In April 1961,
Castro stated that the Cuban Revolution was socialist, and in December 1961, he
proclaimed himself to be a Marxist-Leninist. From 1959 until 1976, Castro ruled by
The Castro government adopted a constitution in 1976, later amended in 1992
and 2002, which set forth the Communist Party as the leading force in the state and
society. The 2002 amendments stated that “socialism and the revolutionary political
and social system in the Constitution ... are irrevocable, and Cuba will never again
return to capitalism.”2 Castro has dominated the Communist Party through his
position as first secretary of the Political Bureau, the party’s leading decision-making
institution. He has dominated the government through his position as President of the
Council of Ministers, the highest executive branch authority, and as President of the
Council of State, which makes legislative decisions on behalf of the National
Assembly of People’s Power when it is not in session. As President of the Council
of State, Castro has continued as both head of state and government since the3
promulgation of the 1976 constitution.
For a number of years, Fidel’s brother Raúl, as First Vice President of the
Council of State, has been the officially designated successor (pursuant to Article 94
of the Constitution), and slated to become head of state and head of government with
Fidel’s departure. Raúl also has served as First Vice President of the Council of
Ministers, as Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), and as second
secretary of the Communist Party. His position in the party was confirmed at the last
congress held in October 1997 during which Fidel publicly endorsed Raúl as his
political successor.
Although many observers believe that the eventual demise of Cuba’s communist
system of government is inevitable, there is considerable disagreement over when or
how this may occur. Some point to Fidel Castro’s age and increasing fragility in
recent years and predict that the regime will collapse when Castro is not at the helm.
Other observers stress that Fidel is still not out of the picture and that the Cuban
government has a plan for the permanent succession of his brother Raúl. They point
to Cuba’s strong security apparatus and the extraordinary system of controls that
prevents dissidents from gaining popular support.

2 Cuba, Reforma Constitucional 2002, Political Database of the Americas, Georgetown
University, at [].
3 U.S. Library of Congress, Cuba, A Country Study, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC, 2002, pp. 235, 237, and 249.

Before Fidel’s recent surgery, observers discerned several potential scenarios
for Cuba’s future when Fidel either dies in office or departs the political scene
because of age or declining health.4 These fit into three broad categories: the
continuation of a communist government; a military government; or a democratic
transition or fully democratic government.
Successor Communist Government
According to most observers, the most likely scenario, at least in the short term,
is a successor communist government led by Raúl Castro. This is the case for a
variety of reasons, but especially because of Raúl’s designation by Fidel as successor
in the party and his position as leader of the FAR, which, since 1989, has been in
control of the government’s security apparatus (police, intelligence, and security
services) within the Ministry of the Interior (MININT). For many observers, Raúl’s
strong support from the FAR, which has played an increasing role in Cuba’s
economy since the 1990s (through ownership of numerous business enterprises) is
the most significant factor ensuring that he will succeed his brother. Some see the
likely prospect of Cuba under Raúl following a Chinese model, with increases in
economic freedom, albeit with continued political authoritarianism. Even before
Fidel’s recent surgery, some observers contended that the transition had already
begun, with Raúl assuming increasing responsibility in policy decisions and day-to-
day government management.5
Military Government
The scenario of a military-led government is viewed by some observers as a
possibility only if a successor communist government fails because of divisiveness
or political instability. In this scenario, the military would step in to restore order and
control. Absent political instability, it is unlikely that the military would step in to
control the government directly since the FAR has had a tradition of deference to
civilian control under Cuba’s communist government. Moreover, with Raúl Castro
heading a communist government, active and retired military officers would likely
play significant roles in various ministries and institutions. While a military

4 There have been a number of comprehensive studies on Cuba’s political transition after
Fidel Castro. For example, see Edward Gonzalez, “After Castro: Alternative Regimes and
U.S. Policy,” Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami, 2002;
William M. Leogrande, “The Cuban Communist Party and Electoral Politics: Adaptation,
Succession, and Transition,” Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University
of Miami, 2002; Brian Latell, “The Cuban Military and Transition Dynamics,” Institute for
Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami, 2003, and After Fidel: The Inside
Story of Castro’s Regime and Cuba’s Next Leader, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2005;
Jamie Suchlicki, “Cuba After Castro,” World & I, January 2004; Edward Gonzalez and
Kevin F. McCarthy, Cuba After Castro: Legacies, Challenges, and Impediments, RAND
Corporation, 2004; Javier Corrales, “Cuba after Fidel,” Current History; February 2005; and
Daniel P. Erikson, “Charting Castro’s Possible Successors,” SAIS Review, Winter-Spring


5 “Succession Sí. Transition No,” Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies,
University of Miami, Staff Report, Issue 64, May 31, 2005.

government is unlikely, some observers contend that the FAR, as Cuba’s most
powerful institution and with a large role in the economy, will play an instrumental
role in any transition scenario.
Democratic Government
For many observers, the least likely scenario upon Fidel’s death or departure
is a democratic or democratic transition government. With a strong totalitarian
security apparatus, the Castro government has successfully impeded the development
of independent civil society, with only a small and tightly regulated private sector,
no independent labor movement, and no unified political opposition. Although
Cuba’s dissident and human rights movement has grown in recent years, with such
movements as the Varela Project and the Assembly to Promote Civil Society
receiving international attention, these groups are not widely known in Cuba. The
extent of these groups’ influence in Cuba after Fidel Castro departs the political
scene will depend on how much political space they are allowed. In the long run, the
work of the dissident and human rights community may play an important role in
shaping a future democratic government, but in the short- to medium-term, it appears
that a communist successor government would be far more likely. Unlike Eastern
Europe’s former communist governments, the Castro government sprang from an
indigenous revolution, not one imposed by an outside power, although the current
extent of the Cuban population’s support for the revolution is unknown.
How Raúl Castro Might Govern
There are a variety of views of how Raúl Castro would govern if Fidel
permanently left the political scene. The Cuban military under Raúl became
increasingly involved in running successful economic enterprises in the 1990s, and
Raúl was an advocate of opening up the farmers markets when Cuba was facing a
food crisis. As a result, as noted above, some observers see the likely prospect of
Cuba under Raúl following a Chinese model, with increases in economic freedom,
but with the Communist Party maintaining firm control of the political system.
Analysts caution, however, that at this juncture a successor communist government
might be less inclined to undertake economic reforms because of the significant
amounts of financial support that it receives from Venezuela, including some 90,000
barrels of oil a day on a preferential basis. Some maintain that Raúl’s role as head
of the FAR demonstrates his management and leadership skills, and that he is much
more inclusive and pragmatic in his decision-making compared to Fidel. Some
maintain that governance under Raúl would be more collective, in part because of his
decision-making style, but also because no one currently would be able to match the
historical stature and prominence of Fidel.
Some even see Raúl as more inclined to favor better relations with the United
States, which they maintain would be a politically smart move that could increase his
popularity among the Cuban people.6 In an interview published in the Cuban daily

6 Oscar Corral, “Analyst Sees Raúl Castro Taking Over Cuba When Fidel Dies,” Miami
Herald, June 2, 2006; Brian Latell, After Fidel, The Inside Story of Castro’s Regime and

Granma on August 18, 2006, Raúl asserted that Cuba has “always been disposed to
normalize relations on an equal plane,” but he also expressed strong opposition to
current U.S. policy toward Cuba, which he described as “arrogant and
interventionist.”7 Some analysts view Raúl’s comments as an indication that he
wants dialogue with the United States, while others maintain that his message was
more of the same and aimed at attacking U.S. policy toward Cuba.8
Other observers see Raúl as continuing his brother’s record of political
repression. Some assert that he was personally involved in the execution of
opponents in the aftermath of the 1959 Cuban Revolution.9 Observers also point to
his role as head of the FAR, which since 1989 has dominated the government’s
repressive internal security apparatus. Raúl was also responsible for an ideological
crackdown in 1996 against those wanting to reform Cuba’s system. Still others
question whether Raúl has the charisma and force of personality that have sustained
his brother in power for so long. They maintain that divisions within the Communist
Party could be exacerbated when Fidel is no longer in power.
Although the Cuban government has been dominated by Fidel Castro, analysts
have discerned three factions or political tendencies that help explain political
dynamics in Cuba: hardliners, centrists, and reformists.10 At the helm, Fidel and his
strong supporters (many from the early days of the revolution, but also including
younger Cubans, such as Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque) are considered
hardliners or duros, those opposed to fundamental political or economic change.
Centrists are those who support some market-based solutions to the country’s
economic problems, but do not espouse wholesale Western-style capitalism. Most
significantly, centrists do not challenge the supremacy of the Communist Party and
do not advocate political reform. Observers have placed Raúl Castro and the FAR in
this category because of the significant market-oriented policies utilized by the army
in its administration of military and civilian businesses. Finally, reformists — who
have been scarce in recent years — prefer a more aggressive move toward a market-
oriented economy and political liberalization that might allow a loyal opposition to
operate, although within the context of the communist regime maintaining political
power. Over the years, several prominent reformists have been ousted from their
positions, such as former Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina and former Communist
Party Secretary Carlos Aldana. A prominent reformer who has remained in power
is Carlos Lage, who was responsible for Cuba’s market-oriented reforms in the


6 (...continued)
Cuba’s Next Leader, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2005; Sara Miller, “Where the Next
Castro Might Take Fidel’s Cuba,” Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 3, 2006.
7 “No Enemy Can Defeat Us,” interview of Raúl Castro by Laszar Barredo Medina, Diario
Granma, Aug. 18, 2006.
8 Nancy San Martin, “Raúl Castro Hints at Readiness for Dialogue with Washington,”
Miami Herald, Aug. 19, 2006.
9 Frances Robles, “Where is Raúl Castro?” Miami Herald, Aug. 3, 2006.
10 Edward Gonzalez, 2002; and Edward Gonzalez, Cuba, Clearing Perilous Waters?,
RAND, 1996.

In recent years, hardliners have dominated government policy, as demonstrated
by Cuba’s strong crackdown on dissidents in 2003 and by the backtracking on some
of the limited economic reforms enacted in the 1990s, but some observers maintain
that the various divisions within the party will re-emerge once Fidel is no longer on
the scene. Moreover, they contend that the prospects of a democratic transition in the
long-term could depend on whether the reformers will predominate after Fidel is
gone. 11
Many observers maintain that Raúl’s advanced age — he turned 75 in June 2006
— will make him a transitional figure and contribute to increased competition for
power. As a result, many believe that it will be important to look at other political
figures that could be eventual successors. Among the key figures they identify are
Carlos Lage, cited above, who was instrumental in implementing Cuba’s limited
economic reforms in the 1990s; Ricardo Alarcon, president of the National Assembly
and a close adviser to Fidel on U.S. relations, who has been described as a centrist
potentially open to economic reforms but intransigent on political reform; and
Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, most often described as an orthodox hardliner,
who at 41 is the youngest minister and the youngest Member of the Politburo.12
Another important political figure and hardliner is Gen. Abelardo Colomé, a close
friend of Raúl Castro and the head of MININT, who some observers believe could
become Defense Minister if Raúl permanently succeeded Fidel.13 Some analysts
maintain that other Cuban military leaders could be potential challengers to Raúl’s
power.14 Raúl’s appointment of former MININT head and hardliner Ramiro Valdés
as minister of information science and communications in late August is viewed by
some as an attempt to keep a potential rival close at hand.15
U.S. Policy
U.S. Policy Tied to Fulfillment of Democratic Conditions
Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba has consisted largely of isolating
the communist government of Fidel Castro through comprehensive economic
sanctions, including an embargo on trade and financial transactions and prohibitions
on U.S. assistance to the Cuban government. An exception to this policy has been
that U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba have been allowed since late 2001, albeit with
numerous restrictions and licensing requirements under the provisions of the Trade
Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-387, Title IX).

11 William Leogrande, 2002, p. ii.
12 Edward Gonzalez, “After Castro: Alterative Regimes and U.S. Policy,” Cuban Transition
Project, Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami, 2002.
13 Daniel P. Erikson, “Charting Castro’s Possible Successors,” SAIS Review vol. XXV, no.

1, Winter-Spring 2005.

14 John Dorschner, “Raúl Castro Could Have Challengers in Future,” Miami Herald, Aug.

10, 2006.

15 Nancy Sue Martin, “Raúl Castro Names Rival to Cabinet,” Miami Herald, Sept. 1, 2006.

A second component of U.S. policy has consisted of support measures for the Cuban
people, including democracy-building efforts and radio and television broadcasting
to Cuba.
Economic sanctions were strengthened with the enactment of the Cuban Liberty
and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-114), which sets forth a number of
conditions for the suspension and ultimate termination of the embargo. For the
suspension of the embargo, these conditions require that a transition government:
does not include Fidel or Raúl Castro; has legalized all political activity; has released
all political prisoners; has dissolved several coercive elements of state security; has
made commitments to free and fair elections for a new government in 18 months; has
ceased interference with Radio and TV Marti broadcasts; is making demonstrable
progress in establishing an independent judiciary, respecting internationally
recognized human rights and basic freedoms, and allowing the establishment of
independent trade unions and social, economic, and political associations; and has
given assurances that it will allow the speedy and efficient distribution of assistance
to the Cuban people. The actual termination of the embargo would require additional
conditions, including, most significantly, that an elected civilian government is in
The dilemma for U.S. policy is that the current legislative conditions just
described could tie the hands of policymakers if political change does not unfold
swiftly toward a democratic transition. Under the more likely scenario of a future
communist government, the U.S. sanctions-based policy would remain in place until
these conditions were fulfilled or until legislation was enacted superceding the
language of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act. Critics maintain that
these conditions could prevent the United States from responding quickly to political
change in Cuba or influencing a future communist regime with reformist tendencies.
Some argue, however, that it is important for Congress to keep these conditions in
place so that the President does not back away from support for democracy in Cuba.
U.S. Preparation for Cuba’s Political Transition
For a number of years, the U.S. government has been making efforts to prepare
for a political transition in Cuba. Pursuant to the Cuban Liberty and Democratic
Solidarity Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-114, Section 202(g)), the Clinton Administration
submitted a report to Congress in January 1997 on “Support for a Democratic
Transition in Cuba,” which outlined the assistance that Cuba would likely seek
during a democratic transition and ways in which the United States and the
international community could provide assistance. The report made broad
recommendations regarding potential U.S. support to help Cuba consolidate its
democratic political transition and to advance economic recovery and transition.16
Since 1997, the U.S. government has provided assistance — primarily through
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), but also through the
Department of State — to fund projects aimed at promoting a democratic transition

16 “Support for a Democratic Transition in Cuba: Report to the Congress,” U.S. Department
of State, Jan. 28, 1997, online at [].

in Cuba. Much of the assistance is aimed at supporting the development of an
independent civil society, but it has also included specific assistance to examine
Cuba’s transition. From FY2001 through FY2005, the United States provided about
$46 million for USAID and State Department democracy projects, while an estimated
$11 million will be provided in FY2006 and the FY2007 request is for $9 million.
The assistance has included more than $3 million in USAID grants since 2002 to
fund a Cuba Transition Project at the University of Miami. The project finances
studies examining and making recommendations for Cuba’s reconstruction once the
post-Castro transition begins.
In addition to USAID and State Department funding, the National Endowment
for Democracy (NED) has funded Cuba democracy projects for more than 20 years.
From FY2001 through FY2004, NED’s funding for Cuba averaged almost $1 million
a year. In FY2005, NED’s funding for Cuba projects from its regular budget
declined as it received money from the State Department to implement Cuba
democracy projects. NED’s overall funding for Cuba projects amounted to $2.36
million in FY2005, but the lion’s share of this, $2.24 million, was provided by the
State Department for NED to implement Cuba projects. To date in FY2006, NED has
approved 12 Cuba projects with about $1.2 million, with over a third of that in funds
provided by the State Department.
May 2004 CAFC Report. In October 2003, the Bush Administration
established an inter-agency Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (CAFC) to
help plan for Cuba’s transition from communism to democracy, and to identify ways
to help bring it about. Chaired by then Secretary of State Colin Powell, the
Commission consisted of five working groups focused on: hastening Cuba’s
transition; meeting basic human needs; establishing democratic institutions, respect
for human rights, rule of law, and justice and reconciliation; establishing the core
institutions for a free democracy; and modernizing infrastructure and addressing
environmental degradation.
In May 2004, President Bush endorsed the recommendations of a report issued
by the Commission, which made recommendations for immediate measures to
“hasten the end of Cuba’s dictatorship” as well as longer-term recommendations to
help plan for Cuba’s transition from communism to democracy in the various areas
covered by the five working groups.17 The President directed that up to $59 million
be committed to implement key recommendations of the Commission, including
additional support for democracy-building activities and for broadcasts of Radio and
TV Marti to Cuba via an aircraft. Some of the report’s most controversial
recommendations included a number of measures to tighten economic sanctions on
family visits and other categories of travel and on private humanitarian assistance in
the form of remittances and gift parcels.18 The Commission report stipulated that the
assistance to a transition government described in the report would be predicated on

17 The full 423-page Commission report is available on the State Department website at
[ ht t p: / / at p/ wha/ r t / c uba/ c ommi ssi on/ 2004/ ] .
18 For further information, see CRS Report RL31139, Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and
Remittances, by Mark P. Sullivan.

Cuba’s success in fulfilling the democratic conditions set forth in the Cuban Liberty
and Democratic Solidarity Act.
In late July 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed Caleb
McCarry as the State Department’s new Cuba Transition Coordinator to direct U.S.
government “actions in support of a free Cuba.” Appointment of the Coordinator,
as set forth in the Commission’s May 2004 report, was intended to signal the
unwillingness of the United States to accept the Cuban government’s succession
strategy. The Coordinator is tasked with facilitating expanded implementation of
democracy projects and planning for future transition assistance contingencies.
July 2006 CAFC Report. Secretary Rice reconvened the CAFC in December
2005 to identify additional measures to help Cubans hasten the transition to
democracy and to develop a plan to help the Cuban people move toward free and fair
elections. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez co-chaired the Commission, and
Cuba Transition Coordinator McCarry prepared a second CAFC report in an inter-
agency process involving 100 participants from 17 federal departments. Working
groups were established to focus on democracy and governance, humanitarian
assistance, economic growth and infrastructure, and security and the rule of law.
The Commission’s report, which was expected to be completed in May 2006,
was ultimately released on July 10, 2006.19 Just as in the May 2004 report, the first
and most significant chapter of the new report makes policy recommendations to
hasten political change in Cuba toward a democratic transition. These involve
measures to strengthen support for Cuban civil society, to break the regime’s
information blockade, to undermine the regime’s succession strategy, and to deny
revenue to the Cuban government.
The Commission calls for the United States to provide $80 million over two
years for the following:
!to support Cuban civil society ($31 million);
!to fund education programs and exchanges, including university
training in Cuba provided by third countries and scholarships for
economically disadvantaged students from Cuba at U.S. and third
country universities ($10 million);
!to fund additional efforts to break the Cuban government’s
information blockade and expand access to independent information,
including through the Internet ($24 million); and
!to support international efforts at strengthening civil society and
transition planning ($15 million).
According to the Cuba Transition Coordinator, this assistance would be in
addition to funding that the Administration is already currently budgeting for these

19 U.S. Department of State, Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, Report to the
President, July 2006, 93 p., available at [].

programs.20 Thereafter, the Commission recommends funding of not less than $20
million annually for Cuba democracy programs “until the dictatorship ceases to
exist.” This would roughly double the amount currently spent on Cuba democracy
The Cuba Transition Coordinator maintains that there are no new sanctions
proposed in the report, but rather a series of recommendations for better enforcement
of current restrictions to ensure compliance. Nevertheless, several of the
Commission’s recommendations to deny revenues to the Cuban government could
be construed as new sanctions, especially since they call for changes in current
Treasury and Commerce Department regulations or the licensing criteria or reporting
requirements for such regulations. Among the recommendations regarding the
Treasury regulations, the Commission calls for: the elimination of the use of cash-
card services for licensed travel to Cuba; and new licensing criteria and reporting
requirements for travel and carrier service providers, including a requirement that
they have an annual independent financial audit. With regard to the Department of
Commerce regulations, the Commission calls for, among other measures, tightened
regulations for the export of humanitarian items (other than agricultural or medical
commodities) to ensure that the exports support Cuban civil society and not
government-controlled organizations. The report specifically cites the Cuban
Council of Churches as a government-controlled organization. The Commission also
calls for the establishment of an inter-agency Cuban Nickel Targeting Task Force to
re-invigorate the existing U.S. nickel import certification and control in order to
ensure that imported products such as steel do not contain Cuban nickel, an
increasingly lucrative source of revenue for the Cuban government.
The Commission’s report also calls for the Administration, when considering
the suspension of Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act
(pertaining to lawsuits of U.S. citizens against those who traffic in confiscated
property in Cuba), to examine in particular whether the country of the foreign
company involved is engaged in a process of support for Cuba’s regime succession.
It also recommends more vigorous enforcement of the visa restrictions under Title
IV of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act for officers (and their
immediate relatives) of foreign companies investing in expropriated U.S. property
in Cuba.
Chapters 2-6 of the Commission’s report set forth detailed plans of how the U.S.
government, along with the international community and the Cuban community
abroad, could provide assistance to a Cuba transition government to help it respond
to critical humanitarian and social needs, to conduct free and fair elections, and to
move toward a market-based economy. With respect to potential U.S. assistance to
help Cuba protect property rights and address the issue of confiscated property, the
report calls for the United States to reassure the Cuban people that it would not
support an arbitrary effort to evict them from their homes. The report notes that there
are numerous restrictions under U.S. law that affect the provision of assistance to
Cuba, including conditions set forth in the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity

20 U.S. Department of State, Second Report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free
Cuba, Briefing, July 10, 2006.

Act. The report also maintains, however, that some assistance for Cuba “may be
provided in certain circumstances on the basis of laws that authorize assistance
‘notwithstanding any other provision of law’ or on the basis of certain extraordinary
general waiver authorities in the Foreign Assistance Act.”21
The final chapter of the report outlines a series of preparatory steps that the U.S.
government can take now, before Cuba’s transition begins, so that it will be well
prepared in the event that assistance is requested by the new Cuban government.
These include steps in the areas of government organization, electoral preparation,
and anticipating humanitarian and social needs.
At the same time that it issued its report, the Commission issued a two-page
“Compact with the People of Cuba” pledging to support Cuba’s transition
government with assistance as it moves from communism to democracy.22 The
compact maintained that the United States would supply such support provided that
the transition government is committed to dismantling all instruments of state
repression and to implementing internationally respected human rights and
fundamental freedoms. These rights and freedom include guaranteeing the rights of
free speech, press, and worship; legalizing all peaceful political activity; releasing all
political prisoners; establishing an independent judiciary; allowing the creation of
independent trade unions and independent social, economic, and political
associations; ensuring the right to private property; and organizing free and fair
elections for a democratically elected new Cuban government within 18 months.
These conditions include many, but not all, of the conditions for assistance set forth
in the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act. The language of the Compact
appears to call for the Cuban government’s commitment to undertake these measures
rather than actually having implemented them before the provision of assistance.
Potential Policy Implications. U.S. government preparations for a Cuba
transition have several potential policy implications. In its two reports, the
Commission for Assistance for a Free Cuba set forth a strategy of undermining the
Cuban government’s succession plan. As noted in the May 2004 Commission report,
“the United States rejects the continuation of a communist dictatorship in Cuba.”
When the report was issued, then Assistant Secretary of State for Western
Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega asserted in public comments that “the United
States.....will not accept a succession scenario.”23 The July 2006 Commission report
again asserts that it is U.S. policy to undermine Cuba’s succession, and further
maintains that Cuba is seeking to use its close relationship with the Chávez
government in Venezuela as a means to ensure continuity of its communist regime.
As noted above, however, the most likely scenario for a post-Fidel Cuba, at least in
the short term, appears to be a successor communist government headed by Raúl

21 U.S. Department of State, Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, Report to the
President, July 2006, p. 34.
22 The text of the compact is available at [].
23 U.S. Department of State, Report to the President by the Commission for Assistance to
a Free Cuba, Remarks by Roger Noriega, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere
Affairs, May 6, 2004.

Some observe that open U.S. policy to undermine Cuba’s transition process
could reduce the likelihood of U.S. influence in a post-Fidel government, and might
not be in the best interest of ensuring an orderly and peaceful transition. Moreover,
the disruption of an orderly transition could unleash a host of potential problems for
the United States, including the possibility of mass migration from Cuba that has
occurred in the past during times of economic and political crisis. Some observers
also have questioned the Administration’s planning because they believe it attempts
to micro-manage the transition by providing the minutiae of what the United States
would like to see in a new post-Fidel Cuba. For some, this feeds the Cuban
government’s rhetoric that the United States wants to take over Cuba, and runs the
risk of stirring Cuban nationalism and alienating the Cuban population. For example,
the detailed transition plans in the 2004 report elicited a negative response from
several prominent dissidents such as Oswaldo Payá and Elizardo Sánchez, who
maintained that the future transition should be coordinated and run by Cubans.
The July 2006 Commission report received a mixed response from Cuba’s
dissident community. Although some dissidents, like former political prisoner
Vladimiro Roca, maintained that they would welcome any U.S. assistance that helps
support the Cuba dissident movement, others expressed concerns about the report.
Dissident economist and former political prisoner Oscar Espinosa Chepe stressed that
Cubans have to be the ones to solve their own problems. According to Chepe, “We
are thankful for the solidarity we have received from North America, Europe, and
elsewhere, but we request that they do not meddle in our country.”24 Miriam Leiva,
a founding member of the Ladies in White, a human rights organization consisting
of the wives, mothers, and sisters of political prisoners, expressed concern that the
report could serve as supposed evidence for the government to imprison dissidents.25
Leiva also faults the Commission’s report for presuming what a Cuban transition
must be before U.S. recognition or assistance can be provided. According to Leiva,
“Only we Cubans, of our own volition ... can decide issues of such singular
importance. Cubans on the island have sufficient intellectual ability to tackle a
difficult, peaceful transition and reconcile with other Cubans here and abroad.”26
The Commission’s recommendation to tighten regulations for humanitarian
exports to the Cuban Council of Churches (which the Commission characterizes as
a government-controlled organization) has drawn fire from some U.S. religious
institutions. Church World Service, a U.S.-based humanitarian aid organization,
considers the Cuban Council of Churches an ecumenical partner and has channeled
assistance through the Cuban organization. Although the Commission’s report
maintains that humanitarian agricultural and medical exports will be allowed, Church

24 Nicholas Kralev, “Bush OKs Initiative to Support Opposition,” Washington Times, July

11, 2006.

25 Frances Robles and Pablo Bachelet, “Plan for Change in Cuba Gets OK,” Miami Herald,
July 11, 2006.
26 Miriam Leiva, “We Cubans Must Decide,” Miami Herald, July 15, 2006.

World Service has expressed concern that its ability to provide other humanitarian
items such as blankets, school kits, and sewing supplies will be curtailed.27
U.S. Response to Fidel’s Ceding of Power
In response to Fidel Castro’s announcement that he was temporarily ceding
power to his brother Raúl, President Bush issued a statement on August 3, 2006, that
“the United States is absolutely committed to supporting the Cuban people’s
aspiration for democracy and freedom.” The President urged “the Cuban people to
work for democratic change” and pledged U.S. support to the Cuban people in their
effort to build a transitional government in Cuba.28 U.S. officials indicated that there
are no plans for the United States to “reach out” to the new leader. Secretary of State
Rice reiterated U.S. support for the Cuban people in an August 4, 2006, statement
broadcast on Radio and TV Martí. According to Secretary Rice, “All Cubans who
desire peaceful democratic change can count on the support of the United States.”29
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon
subsequently asserted that the temporary ceding of power to Raúl signifies “the
beginning of political change in Cuba.” Shannon maintained that the Cuban regime’s
attempt to carry out a stable transfer of power would be unsuccessful, maintaining
that “there’s no political figure inside of Cuba who matches Fidel Castro.”30
In response to Raúl Castro’s August 18, 2006, statement that Cuba is open to
normalized relations with the United States, Assistant Secretary Shannon reiterated
a U.S. offer to Cuba, first articulated by President Bush in May 2002, that the
Administration was willing to work with Congress to lift U.S. economic sanctions
if Cuba were to begin a political opening and a transition to democracy. According
to Shannon, the Bush Administration remains prepared to work with Congress for
ways to lift the embargo if Cuba is prepared to free political prisoners, respect human
rights, permit the creation of independent organizations, and create a mechanism and
pathway toward free and fair elections.31
While there is some U.S. concern that political change in Cuba could prompt a
migration crisis, similar to the 1980 Mariel boatlift in which 125,000 Cubans fled to
the United States and in 1994 when almost 40,000 Cubans were interdicted, there has
been no unusual traffic since Castro ceded power. The U.S. Coast Guard has plans
to respond to such a migration crisis, with support from the Navy if needed. In her

27 Church World Service, “Church World Service Decries Bush’s Approval of Cuba Report
and Aid Restrictions Today,” News Release, July 10, 2006.
28 White House, “President Urges Cuban People to Work for Democratic Change,” Aug. 3,


29 U.S. Department of State, “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Message to the People
of Cuba,” Aug. 4, 2006.
30 Lesley Clark, “U.S. Official: Regime Won’t Last,” Miami Herald, Aug. 12, 2006.
31 U.S. Department of State, “U.S. Policy Toward Cuba,” Thomas Shannon, Assistant
Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, August 23, 2006.

August 4, 2006, message to the Cuban people, Secretary of State Rice encouraged
“the Cuban people to work at home for positive change.”
On August 11, 2006, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy
Secretary Michael P. Jackson urged “the Cuban people to stay on the island” and
discouraged “anyone from risking their life in the open seas in order to travel to the
United States.” At the same time, DHS announced additional measures to discourage
Cubans from turning to alien smuggling as a way to enter the United States. The
measures support family reunification by increasing the numbers of Cuban migrants
admitted to the United States each year who have family members in the United
States, although the overall number of Cuban admitted to the United States annually
will remain at about 21,000. Cubans who attempt to enter the United States illegally
will be deemed ineligible to enter under this new family reunification procedure. In
another change of policy, Cuban medical personnel currently conscripted by the
Cuban government to work in third countries will be allowed to enter the United
States; their families in Cuba will also be allowed to enter the United States.32
U.S. officials are also discouraging those in the Cuban American community
who want to travel by boat to Cuba to speed political change in Cuba. Cuban
American leader Ramon Saul Sanchez, of the Miami-based Democracy Movement,
threatened to stage acts of civil disobedience if the Bush Administration does not
allow his organization to send boats to Cuba to pick up those attempting to flee the
island or to aid political dissidents.33 In the past, Sanchez has led flotillas of boats
near Cuban territorial waters as acts of nonviolent political protests.
U.S. Policy Approaches
Over the years, although U.S. policymakers have agreed on the overall objective
of U.S. policy toward Cuba — to help bring democracy and respect for human rights
to the island — there have been contrasting schools of thought about how to achieve
that objective. Most of the debate has centered on the wisdom of U.S. economic
sanctions on Cuba. Some have advocated a policy of keeping maximum pressure on
the Cuban government until reforms are enacted, while continuing efforts to support
the Cuban people. Others argue for an approach, sometimes referred to as
constructive engagement, that would lift some U.S. sanctions that they believe are
hurting the Cuban people, and move toward engaging Cuba in dialogue. Still others
have called for a swift normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations by lifting the U.S.
While there has been growing sentiment in Congress over the past several years
to ease sanctions on Cuba, legislative efforts to make changes to the economic

32 Department of Homeland Security, “DHS Announces Additional Measures to Combat
Alien Smuggling of Cubans,” and “USCIS Will Further Strengthen Measures that Support
the Reunification of Families Separated by the Castro Regime,” Press Releases, Aug. 11,


33 John Lantigua, “Exile Leader Wants Option to Send Boats to Cuba,” Cox News Service,
Aug. 3, 2006.

embargo have not been enacted. President Bush has threatened to veto several
appropriations bills if they contained any provisions weakening Cuba sanctions. At
this juncture, Congress and the Administration essentially agree that any change in
the U.S. sanctions-based policy toward Cuba will only be triggered by substantial
movement toward democracy on the island.
In the new context of Fidel’s provisional transfer of power to his brother Raúl,
observers have advocated two general policy approaches to contend with Cuba’s
transition process: 1) a stay-the-course or status-quo approach that would maintain
the U.S. dual-track policy of isolating the Cuban government while providing support
to the Cuban people; and 2) an approach aimed at influencing the Cuban government
and Cuban society through increased contact and engagement.
Stay the Course
A stay-the-course approach essentially emphasizes the current U.S. policy of
isolating the Cuban government with comprehensive economic sanctions, while
providing support to the Cuban people. Such an approach also includes — in the
context of July 2006 report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba —
increased funding to support Cuban civil society, education programs and exchanges,
and efforts to break the Cuban government’s information blockade. A continuation
of the sanctions-based approach also is consistent with conditions set forth in the
Cuban Liberty and Democratic Act for a lifting of the embargo.
Advocates of this status quo approach argue that only sustained pressure on the
Cuban government at this critical time will ensure that political change will lead to
an actual transition to democracy, rather than a succession that only would prolong
communist rule. Supporters also contend that it is important for the United States to
react cautiously as political change occurs in Cuba in order not to stoke political
instability that could lead to a migration crisis. Observers have also augured that a
cautious stay-the-course approach, without elevated rhetoric, helps emphasize to the
Cuban people that Cubans on the island hold the key to determining their future and
denies the Cuban government fuel for perpetuating the myth that the United States
wants to invade Cuba.34
A potential ramification of this approach is that the United States could end up
watching political events unfold in Cuba without any opportunity to exert influence.
If Cuba’s political transition moves swiftly toward democracy, then U.S. support for
a transition government would be assured, but if Cuba’s political transition involves
a communist successor government, as most observers now predict, then the United
States could be sidelined in terms of influence.
A variant of the stay-the-course policy approach emphasizes tougher rhetoric
with the intent of sparking political change. Soon after Fidel ceded power to his

34 See for example, Helle Dale, “After Fidel; An Opportunity for Freedom in Cuba,”
Washington Times, Aug. 9, 2006; Eduardo Aguirre Jr., “U.S. Ready to Help Cubans in
Rebuilding Their Country,” Miami Herald, Aug. 10, 2006; and William E. Gibson, “Power
Shift Unlikely to Change U.S. Policy,” Orlando Sentinel, Aug. 2, 2006.

brother, a leading U.S. anti-Castro group, the Cuban American National Foundation,
which traditionally advocates for a hardline policy toward Cuba, called for those
within the ranks of the Cuban government to take advantage of the opportunity to
return freedom to the people of Cuba.35 The president of the Foundation, Jorge Mas
Santos, said that such action could take the form of “a military or civilian uprising”
that “will put Cuba on the path toward democracy.”36 At this juncture, the Bush
Administration has adopted a more cautious approach by urging the Cuban people
to work for peaceful democratic change, and emphasizing that the United States
would provide support to Cuba in its democratic transition. To some analysts, the
Administration’s toned down rhetoric stems from its concern about contributing to
instability in Cuba and a potential migration crisis.
An alternative policy approach advocated by some observers is one that seeks
to advance U.S. engagement with Cuba with the goal of being able to influence Cuba
in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s departure from the political scene. Such a policy
approach could entail the Administration taking action to engage the Cuban
government on such issues as migration, drug trafficking cooperation, terrorism
issues, efforts to combat human trafficking, and environmental cooperation. It could
also entail the Administration relaxing some economic sanctions on Cuba (such as
restrictions on travel and remittances), and consulting with Congress about relaxing
other sanctions or providing the President with the ability to lift sanctions in response
to political or economic changes in Cuba. As noted above, pursuant to the Cuban
Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, the suspension and ultimate termination of
the Cuba embargo is tied to the fulfillment of certain democratic conditions in the
country, including that Raúl Castro is not part of the government.
Advocates of this type of approach argue that the United States should not miss
the opportunity to reassess and reshape its Cuba policy to be able to respond swiftly
and meaningfully to events in Cuba. They argue that almost half a century of strong
U.S. sanctions have not brought about political change in Cuba, and that the
departure of Fidel Castro from the political scene allows the United States an
opportunity to forge a new policy aimed at supporting Cuban civil society with
increased contact and establishing diplomatic contacts with the Cuban government.
Along these lines, some U.S. military officials maintain that contacts between the
U.S. and Cuban militaries should be established in order to allow for reliable
communication in case of emergencies. Some supporters of engagement maintain
that the United States needs to be prepared to reduce economic sanctions in
calibrated ways in response to positive developments in Cuba. They maintain that
such an approach would support peaceful transition in Cuba and reduce the
likelihood of civil conflict and a potential migration crisis. Other observers contend
that an engagement approach would put the United States and many of its European

35 Cuban American National Foundation, Official Statement, July 31, 2006.
36 Randy Nieves-Ruiz, Cuban Exile Leader Calls for an Uprising,” Agence France Presse,
Aug. 3, 2006.

and Latin American allies on the same page in terms of Cuba policy, augmenting
opportunities for cooperation in advancing democratic practices in Cuba.37
A variant of this policy approach advanced by some observers is to move swiftly
toward the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations. Supporters of this approach argue
that Cuba is not a security threat to the United States, and point out that the United
States maintains full diplomatic and trade relations with many government around
the world with poor human rights records, such as China, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia.
Normalized relations, it is argued, would increase chances to influence Cuba in
implementing economic and political reforms.
The major concern that critics have with an engagement approach is they believe
it could prolong Cuba’s communist government by providing it with an economic
lifeline, making it unnecessary for the government to implement reforms. According
to this view, U.S. retrenchment from a policy of sustained pressure on the regime
would send the message that the United States is abandoning its support for
democracy in Cuba in favor of stability.
Longer-Term Policy Issues
Beyond the current isolation-versus-engagement policy debate on Cuba, moving
toward normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba will raise a number of important
longer-term policy issues for the United States. These include the restoration of
diplomatic relations, compensation to U.S. citizens and companies for their
properties expropriated in Cuba, trade relations, the status of the U.S. naval base at
Guantanamo Bay, and Cuban migration to the United States.
Within the context of deteriorating U.S.-Cuban relations in the early 1960s, the
United States broke relations with Cuba in January 1961 in response to a Cuban
demand to decrease the staff of the U.S. Embassy within 48 hours. In 1977, under
the Carter Administration, the two countries signed an agreement for the
establishment of an Interests Section in each capital. These two Interests Sections in
Havana and Washington essentially operate as embassies, although not in name and
without accredited ambassadors, and occupy the former embassy buildings of each
country. Full normalization of diplomatic relations to the ambassadorial level would
most likely only occur after an overall improvement in relations.
This would include progress in dealing with the issue of compensation for the
expropriated properties of U.S. citizens. In 1972, the Foreign Claims Settlement
Commission (FCSC), an independent agency within the Department of Justice,
certified 5,911 claims of U.S. citizens and companies that had their property
confiscated by the Cuban government through April 1967, with 30 U.S. companies

37 See for example, Elaine Monaghan and Shawn Zeller, “Revolution vs. Evolution in
Cuba,” CQ Weekly, Aug. 7, 2006; Terry L. McCoy, “It’s Time to Rethink U.S. Policy
Toward Cuba,” Miami Herald, Aug. 15, 2006; “90 Miles and Light Years Away,” New York
Times, Aug. 10, 2006; “Engaging Cuba,” Financial Times, Aug. 2, 2006.

accounting for almost 60% of the claims.38 The original value of the claims was $1.8
billion, but with interest, the value of the claims is today estimated at about $7
billion.39 Many of the companies that originally filed claims have been bought and
sold numerous times. Earlier this year, the FCSC initiated a second Cuban claims
program with a filing deadline of August 11, 2006, for properties confiscated after
May 1, 1967. There are a variety of potential alternatives for restitution/compensation
schemes to resolve the outstanding claims, but it is evident that resolving the issue
would entail considerable negotiation and cooperation between the two
In terms of trade, Cuba could become one of the most significant U.S. trade
partners in the Caribbean Basin upon the normalization of relations. For example,
since late 2001, when U.S. agricultural exports were first allowed pursuant to certain
restrictions under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000,
Cuba has purchased more than $1.3 billion in U.S. agricultural products. Beyond the
overall trade embargo, Cuba also is currently denied normal trade relations treatment
pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974 and is excluded from participation in the U.S.
preferential trade programs for the Caribbean Basin region. U.S. sugar imports from
Cuba are also specifically prohibited. Lifting these sanctions could have a significant
impact on the level of trade between the two countries. Cuba’s population of 11
million and its two-way foreign trade of almost $9.9 billion in 2005 ($2.7 billion in
exports and almost $7.2 billion in imports)41 point to the country becoming the
largest U.S. trade partner in the Caribbean absent economic sanctions.
With the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations, the status of the U.S. naval
base at Guantanamo Bay would most likely change. The mission of the base, which
dates back to 1903, has changed over time and currently includes being the location
of a U.S. military prison for detainees in the war against terrorism. As set forth in a
1934 U.S.-Cuban treaty, the U.S. presence at Guantanamo can only be terminated by
mutual agreement or by abandonment by the United States. However, a provision
in the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-114, Section
201) states that once a democratically-elected Cuban government is in place, the
United States will be prepared to enter into negotiations to return the base or to
renegotiate the present agreement under mutually agreeable terms.
With regard to Cuban migration, normalization of relations could bring about
change to the U.S. policy, set forth in the Cuban Refugee Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-732),
popularly known as the Cuban Adjustment Act, that allows the Attorney General and
now the Secretary of Homeland Security to permit undocumented Cubans arriving

38 “A Road Map for Restructuring Future U.S. Relations with Cuba,” Policy Paper, The
Atlantic Council, June 1995, Appendix D.
39 Lauren Villagran, “Property Claims Party of U.S.-Cuba Trade Question,” Associated
Press, Aug. 10, 2006.
40 Matías F. Travieso-Díaz, Esq. “Alternative Recommendations for Dealing with
Expropriated U.S. Property in Post-Castro Cuba,” in Cuba in Transition, Volume 12,
Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, 2002.
41 “Cuba Country Report,” Economist Intelligence Unit, August 2006, p. 5.

in the United States to stay and adjust to permanent resident status within one year.
In 1996, Congress approved legislation (P.L. 104-208, Division C, Title VI, Section
606) that conditions the repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act upon a presidential
determination that a democratically-elected Cuban government is in power.