Press Clips: Feinberg on Cuba

When news broke that U.S. and Cuba would be healing diplomatic ties, Richard Feinberg's name became a norm in the media, given his first-hand expertise on the topic. Here, we track how the professor at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy has continuously been in the conversation.

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  1. Dec. 17, 2014: U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announce a restoration of full economics ties between their two countries

  2. Interview requests begin pouring in to Feinberg—even via Twitter.
  3. Later in the day, Brookings Institute, where Feinberg is a nonresident senior fellow, gives Feinberg the pen to report on the ground from Cuba.
  4. “The high-profile announcement and the surprise decision to move toward normal diplomatic relations assures White House commitment to the implementation of these and other measures, to institutionalize a new bilateral relationship and to protect the president's initiative against any congressional counter-attack.”—Feinberg for Brookings (Dec. 17)
  5. Finally, Feinberg takes some time to jot down his account of the announcement.
  6. “But none predicted the imminent establishment of diplomatic ties, the mutual opening of embassies, the full-throated reframing of relations replacing decades of mutual hostility with positive engagement. … At the conclusion of the speech, the entire audience, their eyes wet with joyful tears, spontaneously stood and sang the national anthem.”—Feinberg for Brookings (Dec. 22)
  7. From there, Feinberg's name catches fire in the media, including in bylines of his own.
  8. "To open the international financial gates Cuba will have to be much more transparent in releasing economic data, especially on its balance of payments. This new data release is a step in the right direction.”—Feinberg to Reuters (Dec. 24)
  9. "President Obama and other top administration officials had long felt that harsh U.S. sanctions against Cuba were counterproductive and outdated, but it was the action-forcing event of the Panama Summit that pushed Cuba to the top of their to-do list."—Feinberg for Fusion (Dec. 24)
  10. "In general, many Cubans are still of the mindset that large multinationals will take advantage of their power to exploit Cubans and Cuban workers.”—Feinberg to The Baltimore Sun (Jan. 4)
  11. "In the 1950s, the U.S. was really world-dominant ... about 85 percent of Cuban trade and investment was the U.S. The re-emergence of the U.S. as a major partner will really shake things up with alternative partners like China, but in a more diversified world, Cuba should be expected to have more diverse trade relations.”—Feinberg to CNBC (Jan. 6)
  12. "We can usefully promote free enterprise and individual initiative, marketplace incentives and risk management, freedom of expression and habeas corpus, government transparency and popular accountability. But we should also stop a minute and recognize that we have much to learn from Cuba, too."—Feinberg for The Huffington Post (Jan. 6)
  13. “How forthcoming will Cuba be, where the Cubans decide U.S. diplomats should be allowed to travel freely around the island? Will they have better access to ordinary Cubans as well as the Cuban officials? Do the Cubans really want to move toward what (one) would think of as normal relations?”—Feinberg to CBC News (Jan. 21)
  14. “You can sense he (Fidel Castro) is not entirely pleased with the rapprochement with the U.S. but stands loyally by his younger brother, just as his brother always stood loyally by him, when he was president.”—Feinberg to The Miami Herald (Jan. 27)
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