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Dear Supporter,

Happy New Year and a special welcome to the new Global Exchange members joining this list who have recently returned from celebrating new years in Cuba! When travelers return to the United States we encourage them to stay active on US policy towards Cuba to help to end the blockade and restore the freedom to travel.

To start the year, we’re passing on two articles of interest. Both present reflections on US-Cuba relations for 2012. The first, Looking Over the Horizon to 2012 is written by Phil Brenner, who is a professor of International Relations at American University, and has spent his academic career visiting and writing about Cuba, and about Latin America more broadly. The second, U.S. policy toward Cuba in 2012 is by Jesús Arboleya Cervera, a writer and history professor in Havana.


Leslie Balog
Cuba Reality Tours Director

PS. Consider traveling with Reality Tours in 2012! A full list of upcoming trips and easy registration is available online. Or please tell your friends about your trip to Cuba, and encourage them to travel with us – a huge number of our travelers come from referrals!

Looking Over the Horizon to 2012
By Philip Brenner

I returned two weeks ago from my first trip to Cuba in one year.  Though I had only a few days there, what I saw convinced me that 2012 will be a watershed year on the island. While predictions about Cuba are best made with crossed fingers, I'll offer you here a brief glimpse of what may lie just over the horizon.

Continue reading this article.

U.S. policy toward Cuba in 2012
By Jesús Arboleya Cervera

The year 2011 ended with the defeat of an attempt by the Cuban-American far right to limit travel to Cuba. The defeat was due to the reaction of the Cuban-American community to the proposal, the fairly widespread rejection of the American public and the government's position, stronger than other times, when it announced that the president would veto the budget bill if it included a proposal of this nature.

Faced with the danger that the travel amendment would prevent the passage of a law of capital importance for the country, the Republican leadership decided to eliminate it and, as a consolation prize, removed an opposing proposal to facilitate trade with Cuba.

On the Democratic side, although the legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of the amendment reducing travel to Cuba, their colleagues in the Senate pushed for excluding it, so it is easy to conclude that it was a dispute that crossed party affiliations, reflecting the complexity of the Cuban issue for U.S. policy.

We should therefore analyze this balance of forces and the trends involved in it and thus have an idea of what can happen in the year just begun.

Continue reading this article.

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