From Confrontation to Negotiation: U.S. Relations with Cuba
By Philip Brenner
Westview Press, 1988, 118 pp
Terrorism: The Cuban Connection
By Roger W. Fontaine
Crane, Russak, 1988, 206 pp
These books, written from sharply different perspectives, highlight the need for informed and dispassionate analysis of Cuba's international role and its relations with the United States. Brenner, a long-time proponent of a U.S. initiative to normalize relations with Cuba, argues persuasively that U.S. policy toward the Castro regime has failed to achieve its objectives. But his hopeful suggestion for a "sensible policy" is ultimately unconvincing because he fails to address Cuba's motives and policies with the same critical independence he shows in analyzing U.S. approaches. Fontaine, a former National Security Council official in the first Reagan Administration and then a diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Times, mars his potentially illuminating, detailed account of Cuba's alleged relations with terrorist movements by engaging in crude psychohistory, broad-brush polemic, and unsubstantiated assertions.