The United States and Cuba
Routledge – 2011 – 208 pages
A great power and a weaker, rival neighbor can eventually have normal relations. Prior to 1959, Cuba and the United States didn’t have a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship, and amid the Cold War, Cuba’s alliance with the Soviet Union made U.S.-Cuba normality even more elusive. What the United States and Cuba now face is relating to each other as normally as possible, a task made all the more difficult by the shadow of the Cold War. After 1989, regime change returned to the heart of U.S.-Cuba policy, a major obstacle for Washington-Havana dialogue. In turn, Cuban leaders have generally shirked their responsibility to do their part to ease the fifty-year enmity with the United States.
This book systematically covers the background of U.S.-Cuban relations after the Cold War and explores tensions that extend into the twenty-first century. The author explores the future of this strained relationship under Obama's presidency and in a post-Castro Cuba.
"The United States and Cuba is a useful addition to the expanding literature on this unique relationship in the Cold War’s aftermath. Pérez-Stable provides important background on the domestic and international pressures on Havana during the period." - Jessica Gibbs, International Affairs, Vol. 88, 4, July 2012
"Marifeli Pérez-Stable presents a balanced and judicious explanation of the forces that created and now perpetuate one of our generation’s most peculiar relationships—the existence of Intimate Enemies." - Lars Schoultz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
"Marifeli Pérez-Stable's book presents—the author's distaste for Fidel Castro notwithstanding—an interesting and useful survey of the dynamics of U.S.-Cuban relations and Cuban-American politics. As far as reconciliation is concerned, she echoes William LeoGrande's pithy observation that, when it comes to the Washington-Havana case, ‘making up is very hard to do’. Pérez-Stable does an excellent job of chronicling this stormy relationship, providing in the process some suggestions to the Obama administration for breaking the Gordian Knot that has persisted for more than fifty years." - Michael Erisman, Indiana State University, USA
"Marifeli Pérez-Stable’s book, The United States and Cuba, is not only a splendid piece of historical scholarship but also a singularly relevant work book for the present and the future. By explaining in detail the ups and downs, the enigmas, expectations and failures of U.S.-Cuban relations, since the late 50´s, and through Fidel Castro´s intermittent retirement, she shows how near and how far a reconciliation between these two ‘intimate’ enemies is today. For anyone who wants to understand what will happen in the myriad exchanges across the Florida Straights, this is indispensable reading." - Jorge G. Castañeda, Mexico's former foreign minister, New York University, USA
"In this concise, readable survey of U.S.- Cuban relations over the past two decades, Perez-Stable explores the collision between Washington’s presumption that tiny Cuba should bend to its will, and Cuba’s insistence that the United States treat it as a sovereign equal. Neither side shows any willingness to yield, but compromise, Perez-Stable argues, is the sine qua non for escaping perpetual hostility." - William LeoGrande, American University, USA
1. The United States and Cuba Have Never Had Normal Relations 2. "Next Christmas in Havana" 3. "Half Drunk and Throwing Bottles at Each Other" 4. "We Need to De-Americanize the Problem of Cuba" 5. "The Policy We’ve Had in Place for 50 Years Hasn’t Worked" 6. The United States and Cuba: Comparative Reflections (essay by Ana Covarrubias Velasco)
Marifeli Perez-Stable is professor of sociology at Florida International University and vice and non-resident senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue. She writes a regular column on Latin America in the Miami Herald and her opinion pieces have appeared in a broad range of U.S. and Latin American outlets. She is the author of The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy (2nd edn.) and the editor of Looking Forward: Comparative Perspectives on Cuba's Transition. In 2001-2003, she chaired the task force on Memory, Truth, and Justice which issued the report Cuban National Reconciliation.