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William M. LeoGrande
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Dr. William M. LeoGrande is Professor of Government in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. He has written widely in the field of Latin American politics and United States foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on Central America and Cuba. In the 1980s he worked on staff in the U.S. Congress, serving with the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Central America. He is the author of Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977-1992 (1998), Cuba's Policy in Africa (University of California, 1980), and co-author of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana ( forthcoming 2014). He co-editor of A Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution under Raúl Castro (forthcoming 2014); A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Reinventing the Revolution (2007). The Cuba Reader: The Making of a Revolutionary Society (1988); Political Parties and Democracy in Central America (1992). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Le Monde Diplomatique, the Nation, and the New Republic.

Entries by William M. LeoGrande

The Maxwell Smarts of USAID Are at It Again in Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 1:03 PM

Those of us of a certain age will remember secret agent Maxwell Smart (who was anything but), the bumbling TV spy who, while battling KAOS, spread chaos wherever he went. Well, the Maxwell Smarts at USAID are at it again. They just aren't as funny.

Four months...

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The Party and the Army: Civil-Military Relations in Cuba

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 9:44 AM

When Raúl Castro became president of Cuba in his own right in 2008, he replaced most of his brother Fidel's cabinet with ministers of his own choosing. In March 2009, he announced a sweeping reorganization of the government bureaucracy, replacing nine veteran ministers and firing Fidel's proteges, Carlos Lage, the...

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New Poll of Cuban Americans Confirms Growing Support for Engagement With Cuba

(4) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 10:22 AM

The new poll of Cuban Americans in south Florida by the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University confirms the long term trends in Cuban American opinion that FIU has tracked for the past thirty years. Gradually, but inexorably, Cuban Americans are embracing more moderate views...

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Denying Visas to Cuban Scholars Cripples Obama's Policy of Engagement

(6) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 11:38 PM

Despite the stalemate in relations between the U.S. and Cuban governments, President Barack Obama deserves credit for deepening relations between the two societies. His 2009 decision to lift restrictions on Cuban American family travel and remittances has led to a five-fold increase in family visits and remittances have more than...

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Yasiel Puig and the Embargo on Cuban Baseball

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 2:35 PM

Recent reports in ESPN Magazine and LA Magazine about LA Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig's perilous journey out of Cuba highlights the risks facing Cuban athletes, especially baseball players, who want to test their talents in the U.S. professional leagues. To get off the island, Puig had...

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How the Pentagon Views Threats in Latin America

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 2:15 PM

On February 26, 2014, General John F. Kelly, Commander of the United States Southern Command, presented Southcom's annual "Posture Statement" to the House Armed Services Committee. The Posture Statement surveys threats and concerns in the command's Area of Operations (AOR), in this case, Latin America and the Caribbean.


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When Is Covert Action Not Covert? When It's 'Discreet.' USAID's Indiscreet Twitter Program in Cuba

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 1:58 PM

Ever since the Associated Press revealed that USAID created a short-lived, free text message app for Cuban cell-phone users called ZunZuneo, Obama administration officials have been indignantly denying that the program was covert.

"Discreet does not equal covert," agency spokesman Matt Herrick wrote on the

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Cuba's New Foreign Investment Law Is a Bet on the Future

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 7:52 AM

The new foreign investment law passed unanimously last Saturday by Cuba's National Assembly is a key component of President Raul Castro's program to "update" the economy. Castro deemed the law so important that he called the assembly into special session to pass it rather than wait for the regularly scheduled...

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