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This report assesses Cuba's current political dynamics and economic prospects, and where Cuba is headed. It analyzes the regime's major civilian and military leaders and institutions, the civil society groups emerging outside the regime, and the respective roles of all these actors in the years ahead. It then evaluates how current U.S. policy, and the options of tightening or lifting the embargo, might hasten or hinder the transition toward a more democratic, market-oriented Cuba. Although it cautions that the final outcome of Cuba's current transition will be determined internally rather than by U.S. policy, the report concludes by proposing a new, bolder U.S. strategy to help accelerate the process of fundamental change on the island.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Part I: Cuba in Transition

  • Chapter Two

    Cuba: Heading for Safe or Perilous Waters?

  • Chapter Three

    Domestic Factors Affecting Cuban Outcomes

  • Chapter Four

    Regime Leaders, Tendencies, and Institutional Players

  • Chapter Five

    Civil Society Actors

  • Part II: U.S. Policy and Cuba

  • Chapter Six

    Present U.S. Policy and Its Options

  • Chapter Seven

    U.S. Policy Options and Cuban Futures

  • Chapter Eight

    A Proactive Policy for Cuba

  • Postscript

  • Appendix

    Actors, Models, and Endgames

  • Bibliography

This project was conducted under the International Security and Defense Policy Center of RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the defense agencies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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