Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Document Type



This paper examines ideology and congressional roll call voting in the post-Cold War period (1991-2005) on free trade and trade policy with Cuba. While members with a more conservative ideology are found, as expected, to be supporters of free trade generally, there remains a curious disconnect between this general support for free trade and the opposition to liberalization of trade with Cuba. Yet despite this perceived inconsistency, ideology remains consistent on both, thus we seek to test this exception to conservative support for liberalization. A combination of factors is at play to which make Cuba a special case in the post cold war era. For one thing the Castro regime, one of the last “true communists”, remains in power. This alone could explain some of the deviation from support of liberalized trade and the ideological opposition. With China ideology is not an issue, but with Cuba it is. Further complicating relations, the Cuban American National Foundation and its powerful PAC branch that exert political clout through donations and lobbying tactics. The study of ideology is crucial to understanding the persistence of the elite commitment to open markets since the 1970s in the face of a powerful resurgence of protectionism. The continuing power of free trade politics stems from the consolidation of a widespread aversion to the protectionist policies.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

David Sobek