The His­tory and Con­text of US Pol­icy Toward Cuba

April 7, 2003 - 5:00 PM

John Coatsworth
Har­vard University

John Coatsworth will address two issues that have shaped the his­tory of the Cuban-US rela­tion­ship. The first is the prob­lem of democ­racy and depen­dence. To what extent is it pos­si­ble for the small states of the Caribbean basin to develop and sus­tain polit­i­cal sys­tems that are pro­ce­du­rally demo­c­ra­tic and at the same time rep­re­sen­ta­tive of cit­i­zens’ pref­er­ences? The sec­ond is the issue of reverse depen­dence. To what extent have gov­ern­ments in the Caribbean man­aged to exter­nal­ize their inter­ests by influ­enc­ing pol­i­tics and polit­i­cal out­comes in the United States? Coatsworth will dis­cuss the impli­ca­tions that these issues have for the future of US-Cuban relations.

John H. Coatsworth is Mon­roe Gut­man Pro­fes­sor of Latin Amer­i­can Affairs at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity and direc­tor of Harvard’s David Rock­e­feller Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Affairs. The author of sev­eral books and numer­ous schol­arly arti­cles on Latin Amer­i­can eco­nomic and inter­na­tional his­tory, he is a for­mer pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can His­tor­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion. His most recent book is an edited vol­ume, “Cul­turas Encon­tradas: Cuba y los Esta­dos Unidos,” co-edited with Rafael Hernán­dez and pub­lished in 2001 jointly by the David Rock­e­feller Cen­ter and the Cen­tro de Inves­ti­gación y Desar­rollo de la Cul­tura Cubana in Havana.