The next transition in Cuba : an analysis based on institutional comparisons with Democratic Transitions in Central Europe
Thweatt, Robert M.
Trinkunas, Harold A.
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Decision makers throughout the international community, including the United States, need reliable information on the characteristics of CubaÎ±s next transition to make effective policy towards the island. This work adds to existing research by exploring what lessons can be learned about CubaÎ±s next transition by comparing CubaÎ±s current institutional environment to the institutional environments found in four Soviet bloc countries prior to their transitions to democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Based on this institutional analysis, the study argues that a lack of internal oppositional organizations makes Cuba institutionally unready for a transition to democracy. Instead, an imposition of an authoritarian successor regime will characterize CubaÎ±s next transition. Moreover, CubaÎ±s eventual transition to democracy likely will occur through imposition, but as the distance in time from the departure of Fidel Castro increases, a transition towards democracy through reform or, less likely, through revolution becomes more probable. Finally, this work recommends that international decision makers tailor their policies towards Cuba in such a manner as to avoid a violent revolution on the island, to promote an independent Cuban civil society, and to seek an international consensus on Cuba's future.
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