Important Cuban policy seminar conducted by IRI and the Cuban Studies Institute in Washington, D.C.

In case you miss it, we are sending you a report on a most informative program focusing on Cuba, carried out by the Cuban Studies Institute, led by professor Jaime Suchlicki, in conjunction with the International Republican Institute. IRI has implemented an ambitious and effective program to support a peaceful transition to democracy on the Island, and Dr. Suchlicki and the Cuban Studies Institute are an indispensable source for information, academic research, and policy recommendation on Cuba and Cubans. You may reach him at

Cuban Studies Institute in Washington, D.C., for Cuba Seminar

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The International Republican Institute hosted a seminar on Cuba organized by the Cuban Studies Institute for current and former U.S. officials at the IRI headquarters in D.C. on April 26, 2018.

The morning seminar focused on the succession taking place in Cuba and implications for U.S. policy. From the Cuban Studies Institute, Professor Jaime Suchlicki explained Cuba’s policy to project an image of change and younger leadership. He clearly emphasized the continuity of the system and of General Raúl Castro’s leadership. The lack of support in the military and the party highlights the weakens of Miguel Díaz-Canel. Professor Suchlicki provided possible future scenarios and the probability of change in the island.

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Professor Pedro Roig analyzed Cuba’s power structure emphasizing the role of General Luis Alberto López Callejas, head of GAESA and of Colonel Alejandro Castro Espín, son of Raul and an emerging power figure. Professor Roig displayed several diagrams of Cuba’s military and civilian structures concluding that power still rests on the Politburo of the Communist Party and with the old guard of generals that retain the ultimate power.

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The above presentations, moderated by Dr. Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat, National Secretary of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, were followed by numerous questions and discussion. Participants were impressed with the information and analysis provided by CSI and praised the seminar: “This was a really timely and informative discussion—a deep dive that you can only get from experts who know their subject.” said Stephen Johnson, IRI Director for Latin America.