Article by Juan O. Tamayo, published in the Miami Herald on August 29, 2011

For the first time in years, Cuban police used tear gas in a raid over the weekend. Women also accuse police of beating and sexually harassing them over. (more…)

Report by Frank Priess for the Kondrad Adenauer Stiftung, July 7 2011

The 6th Party Congress of the Cuban Communist Party had Raúl Castro’s signature all over it. Debates on the economy were the order of the day, which is hardly surprising, given the Caribbean island’s disastrous supply situation. Raúl’s brother Fidel, who will be 85 in August, has handed his last official state position over to his 79-year-old younger brother. The old guard still dominates the leadership structure. The release of political prisoners and the beginnings of dialogue with the church are signs of a change in policies, but the question is how far these changes can and should go. However, once again there is no talk of political reform or more civil liberties. (more…)

Report by Freedom House, June 9 2011

“In September 2010, Cuban president Raul Castro announced the beginning of sweeping economic reforms, including the elimination of a million public sector jobs, the easing of restrictions on private enterprise, and the first Communist Party Congress since 1997. To explore what Cubans think about the announced reforms, Freedom House conducted in-depth interviews with 120 people in six provinces from December 2010 to January 2011. These interviews also assessed access to information and technology on the island, and explored Cubans’ values and beliefs, which Freedom House compared with the findings from other countries in the World Values Survey study. (more…)

Remarks of Madeleine K. Albright
High Level Democracy Meeting of the Community of Democracies
Krakow, Poland
July 3, 2010

“Through solidarity, established democracies can come closer to fulfilling their potential. Struggling democracies can find the help they need to deliver on freedom’s promise. And future democracies can draw inspiration in their quest for social progress and political change. This was the Geremek formula for building and preserving democracy. And it is the basis for the 2010Bronislaw Geremek award. (more…)

Report by by Yoani Sánchez for Cato Institute’s Centre for Global Liberty and Prosperity, published on June 16, 2010

Fidel Castro’s socialist revolution promised to satisfy the basic needs of the Cuban people, but the price demanded was the surrender of freedoms. The unthinking enthusiasm that greeted the beginning of the revolution helped pave the way for the disappearance of civil, political, and economic rights within a short period of time. Instead of a brighter future, misery in Cuba is widespread and the individual is vilified. (more…)

Can Cuba Change?

January 2nd, 2009   Theme: Cuba Libre!

Published in Journal of Democracy, January 2009

Thomas Carothers is vice-president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author or editor of many books on democracy promotion, including most recently Confronting the Weakest Link: Aiding Political Parties in New Democracies (2006).

As the field of international democracy assistance ages and to some extent matures, it is undergoing a process of diversification—in the actors involved, the range of countries where it operates, and the kinds of activities it comprises. Strategic differentiation is an important element of this diversification—democracy-aid providers are moving away from an early tendency to follow a one-size-fits-all strategy toward exploring varied strategies aimed at the increasingly diverse array of political contexts in the world. A defining feature of this process of differentiation is the emergence of two distinct overall approaches to assisting democracy: the political approach and the developmental approach….

Read the full report

Article by Mart Laar, published on November, 14 , 2008

Today, as the communist system in Cuba is weakening, the natural question being asked is: what will come next? The people of Cuba are constantly being warned by the regime that the fall of communism and a transition to democracy and market economy would destroy Cuba by introducing poverty and inequality. Often the communist rulers’ proof that this could happen is based on the transitions that occurred in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, where transition was followed by harsh economic conditions and a rise in social problems. However, has the transition to democracy and free markets really brought misery to CEE countries? Has it really been failure or has the life of people in these countries improved? (more…)

Report by Jesús Gracia Aldaz, Spanish Ambassador to Cuba 2001-2004, published by FAES November 2007

Fifteen months after the interim transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl, the communist regime still shows no signs of change and continues to deepen its dependency on Venezuelan petrodollars. Yet Fidel’s disappearance from the scene can open an opportunity for Cuba to advance not only towards greater economic openness, but also towards the regime of freedom and democracy for which Cubans long. (more…)