A Strategy for Dealing with Cuba in the 1980s

by Edward Gonzalez

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Cuba poses a threat that could, if unchecked, fundamentally alter the U.S. geostrategic position in the Caribbean Basin and cause severe problems in the event of a U.S.-Soviet conflict elsewhere. The complex dimensions of this challenge make effective, viable policy options toward the Cuban government imperative, but elusive. This report proposes a strategy for gaining and applying leverage over Castro to bring about needed changes in Cuban foreign policy. Part 1 of the study provides the background against which a new Cuban strategy must emerge. Part 2 discusses a possible leverage strategy against Cuba and demonstrates how it could exploit the Castro regime's vulnerabilities and core interests. The military dimensions of the plan are assessed and specific military policies are proposed. The report elaborates the additional political, economic, and diplomatic policies needed to ensure an effective strategy. Potential problems and questions for future study are identified.

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