Restoration of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

Go Lean Commentary

The subject matter in this blog’s title does not mean the end of the Castro regime, but rather the beginning of the struggle to integrate Cuba with the rest of the Caribbean.

Let’s get started!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean was designed with this intent: integrate and unify all of the Caribbean into a Single Market with technocratic stewardship and oversight. This stewardship is the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The book describes the process of working for Cuba as heavy-lifting, including all the economic, security and governing engines. The article here describes the catalyst for these changes:

Title: US to Normalize Relations With Cuba
By: Alexander Britell

CU Blog - Restoration of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba - Photo 1The Caribbean changed forever on Wednesday morning.

United States President Barack Obama announced a major shift in more than half-century of American politics, signaling the two countries’ desire to work toward normalizing relations.

The announcement came alongside a high-level prisoner swap of Alan Gross, a USAID contractor jailed for five years on espionage charges, for three Cubans convicted of spying on the United States.

Gross was released alongside an unnamed agent whom Obama called one of the most important intelligence agents the US has ever had in Cuba, who had been imprisoned for nearly two decades.

The imprisonment of all parties had been a point of major contention between the two countries.

In an address Wednesday, Obama said he had ordered US Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to reestablish diplomatic relations severed since January 1961.

The US will also reestablish an embassy in Havana and “high-ranking officials will visit Havana.”

Obama said he had also asked Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

He said the US was taking steps to increase travel, commerce and the flow of information to Cuba.

The plan includes the aforementioned re-establishment of diplomatic relations, a change in travel and remittance policies to increase people to people contact and the overall expansion of travel to Cuba.

That also includes expanded sales and exports of certain goods and services from the US to Cuba, along with the authorization of American citizens to import $400 goods from Cuba, with a maximum of $100 on alcohol and tobacco.

The White House also said US telecom providers will be allowed to establish “the necessary mechanisms, including infrastructure, in Cuba to provide commercial telecommunications and internet services,” in a country that has one of the lowest rates of Internet penetration on earth.

Obama said he would end an “outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests.”

In a statement to the Cuban people, Cuban President Raul Castro said he and Obama had spoken by telephone on Tuesday to address “issues of interest to both nations.”

He also thanked Pope Francis and the government of Canada, who reportedly helped facilitate high-level talks between the two countries.

Of course, much of the President’s actions will take time and face roadblocks, with the biggest impediment, the Cuban Embargo, one that can only be changed with approval by the US Congress.

Indeed, the announcement was immediately met with criticism from a number of US lawmakers and the Cuban diaspora community, including US Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban exiles who criticized the prisoner exchange and said Obama’s actions had “vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government.”

Raul Castro himself confirmed the agreement, but noted the tough road ahead and that the announcement was by no means decisive.

“This does not mean the main matter is resolved,” Castro said. “The economic, commercial and financial blockade that causes enormous human and economic damage to our country must cease.”

“Recognizing that we have deep differences, mainly on national sovereignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy, I reaffirm our willingness to discuss all these issues,” Castro said.

Castor said he urged “the government of the United States to remove obstacles that prevent or restrict the links between our peoples, families and citizens of both countries,” Castro said. “In particular, those relating to travel, direct mail and telecommunications.”

But what does a normalized relationship mean for the wider Caribbean?

Cuba welcomed around 2.85 million tourists last year, the vast majority from Canada and Europe, and a number that, with the proper development of tourist infrastructure and the like, could surpass the Dominican Republic, the current regional leader.

Indeed, that number will certainly increase if and when American travel becomes formally legalized; but will that mean travelers choosing Cuba over Jamaica or the Dominican Republic?

Or will a renewed Cuban tourism sector mean a larger tourism pie for the whole Caribbean?

There is another issue — notably, the impact of the massive size of the Cuban market on the rest of the region’s economy — how will potential Cuban exports to America impact Caribbean exports to Cuba?

The answers will soon become clear.
Caribbean Journal Regional News Site – December 17, 2014 (Retrieved 12/11/2014) –

After news broke that President Obama would use Executive Powers to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, members of Miami’s Cuban and Cuban-American communities have “screamed in agony, cheered with joy, or vowed angrily to dismantle the decision”.

Here are some other headlines from the Miami Herald Daily Newspaper associated with this historic news:

Miami would be a natural choice should Havana want a consulate outside of Washington, D.C., but some elected officials expressed their opposition to such a move.

According to the Miami Herald, the public response was a mix of the opinionated, the emotional and the thoughtful.

“Depending on how old you were or how long you had lived in the United States, especially if you were U.S.-born, your view on Cuba and its politics might have been shaped generationally. [The Herald] asked South Florida Cubans and Cuban Americans for their thoughts on social platforms. This is some of what they shared:”

@Miamiblues – 1st gen immigrants are too stubborn and proud to admit that embargo was epic fail. In complete denial with blinders on.

@PedazosdelaIsla – It’s not a division of young/old, it’s a division of those who want 2 legitimize a brutal dictatorship & those who don’t #Cuba

@mannyafer  – Divide in Cuban-American community– old who lived thru Castro regime want embargo, while young gen wishes to do away with it.

The foregoing article stressed the potential of an imminent re-integration of Cuba. The current regional construct CariCom wants to consider the inclusion of Cuba as a member-state. But the Go Lean book asserts that CariCom is a failed institution and need to correct its own structural defects – they are in no position to claim the burdens of Cuba. The CU on the other hand is designed as a lean technocracy, mastering Delivery Arts and Sciences. This Go Lean book details the step-by-step roadmap for including Cuba in with the rest of the Caribbean to form a confederation of the 30 member-states of the region into the integrated Single Market. The prime directives of the CU are pronounced in these statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

This re-boot roadmap commences with the recognition that Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean are in crisis; they are in the “same boat” despite their colonial heritage or language differences. One crisis is associated with the societal abandonment that has crippled so much of Caribbean societal engines. In Cuba, this transpired in mass, while the other countries experienced a steady draining. The CU member-states need to confederate, collaborate, and convene for repatriation and reconciliation. This pronouncement is made in the Declaration of Interdependence, (Page 12) is included as follows:

xiii.      Whereas the legacy of dissensions in many member-states (for example: Haiti and Cuba) will require a concerted effort to integrate the exile community’s repatriation, the Federation must arrange for Reconciliation Commissions to satiate a demand for justice.

The Go Lean book details the series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies designed to re-boot and integrate Cuba to the region:

Anecdote – Caribbean Single Market & Economy Page 15
Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategic – Vision – Integrated Region in a Single Market Page 45
Strategic – Vision – Agents of Change Page 57
Tactical – Confederating a Non-sovereign Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing to $800 Billion Regional Economy Page 67
Tactical – Separation of Powers Page 71
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Office of Trade Negotiations Page 80
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Federal Courts – Truth & Reconciliation   Commissions Page 90
Anecdote – Turning Around CariCom Page 92
Anecdote – “Lean” in Government Page 93
Implementation – Assemble & Create Super-Regional Organs to   represent all Caribbean Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate to the Caribbean Page 118
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Cuba Page 127
Planning – Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Ways to Model the EU Page 130
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices Page 134
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Anecdote – Governmental Integration: CariCom Parliament Page 167
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Cuba Page 236
Appendix – New CariCom Model Urged Page 255

The foregoing news article relates the bilateral move to re-instate Cuba’s diplomatic relations with the US; this was 55 years in the making – far too long. The next step: the Cuban Trade Embargo. Good luck with Congress … until the Castros (Fidel and Raul) are all gone from Cuban public life – expected for 2017.

This point is the strong theme of so many of these previous Go Lean commentaries/blogs that featured issues on Cuba’s eventual integration into the world’s economic networks; detailed here:

CARICOM Chair calls for an end to US embargo on Cuba
Miami’s Success versus Caribbean Failures
‘Raul Castro reforms not enough’, Cuba’s bishops say
Cuban Cigars – Declared “Among the best in the world”
Cuba mulls economy in Parliament session
America’s War on the Caribbean
Cuban cancer medication registered in 28 countries
Cuba Approves New “Law on Foreign Investment”

The news of President’s Obama Executive Order on Cuba is causing upheaval in the Cuban Diaspora, especially in Miami. But they are not the only stakeholders on guard of these pending changes. Another stakeholder of note is the US business community. What are their expectations? What are their fears? What is their hope? See AppendixVIDEO for a comprehensive report.

The Go Lean roadmap addresses the concerns of all Cuban and Caribbean stakeholders. The book posits that challenges that Cuba must face are too insurmountable for Cuba alone to contend with; there must be a regional solution, a super-national, professionally-managed, deputized technocracy to impact greater production and greater accountability than a re-invigorated Cuba can do alone. This deputized agency is the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. This CU structure is especially inviting to the Cuban and Caribbean Diaspora; it presents a workable plan for the contribution of their time, talents and treasuries in the repatriation to their homeland.

Now is the time for all Cuban stakeholders, the people, business community and governing institutions, to lean-in for the Caribbean/Cuban integration and re-boot. Now is the time to make this region as a whole, and Cuba specifically, a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


APPENDIX – The Nightly Business Report

The “Nightly Business Report produced by CNBC” (NBR) is an award-winning and highly-respected nightly business news program that airs on public television. Television’s longest-running evening business news broadcast, “NBR” features in-depth coverage and analysis of the biggest financial news stories of the day and access to some of the world’s top business leaders and policy makers.

Referenced Video – Nightly Business Report — December 17, 2014 –

President Obama announces sweeping changes to U.S. policy with Cuba and it could, eventually, create opportunities for both investors and business.


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