Cuba: Rethinking the Country's Role in World Community

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-2-94-103
V. Kheifets (,
St. Petersburg University, 7/9, Universitetskaya nab., St. Petersburg 199034, Russian Federation; 
L. Kheifets (,
St. Petersburg University, 7/9, Universitetskaya nab., St. Petersburg 199034, Russian Federation 

Abstract. Recently, since the breakthrough in the U.S. – Cuba relations, the discussions about the future of Cuba’s foreign policy became very relevant. The experts are arguing about the possibility of shifts in patterns used by the Cuban authorities and Foreign Ministry, in particular. This paper examines current Havana’s foreign policy priorities. While analyzing the relations between Cuba and the U.S., the authors demonstrate objective limits for improvement of such relations (the main obstacle is the economic embargo, maintained by the U.S. since 1960). At the same time, the new history of Russia–Cuba relations does not signify Havana’s unconditional support for all Moscow’s initiatives in international politics. Cuba needs some kind of cooperation with Russia, however, it maintains its independent stand on the international stage and also does not want to be included in any kind of military and geopolitical schemes as a minor partner. Obviously, Havana has lost some key allies in the region because of decline suffered by left-wing regimes in Latin America. However, these political changes wouldn’t affect Cuba’s foreign policy too much. Havana is continuing to defend the anti-imperialist slogans and rhetoric in Latin America and all over the world, but now this does not include a direct aid to radical anti-governmental left-wing groups. The political reconfiguration in the continent will be, most probably, compensated by expansion of relations with the European Union and consolidation of Cuba’s role in world affairs. In the last years, Havana successfully assumed the role of an international intermediary, in particular, in the talks on peace in Colombia and in the dialogue between the heads of Catholic and Orthodox Churches. All this does not indicate a radical turn in Cuba’s foreign policy, but leads to rethinking of its priorities. The authors conclude that Havana’s foreign policy should not be expected to depend on Washington’s foreign policy, and that Cuba will continue to implement its independent stand in key issues of international politics. 

Keywords: Cuba, foreign policy, anti-imperialism, USA, Russia–Cuba ties, European Union, Latin America 


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For citation:
Kheifets V., Kheifets L. Cuba: Rethinking the Country's Role in World Community. World Eсonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 94-103.

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