Is democracy next for Cuba? Don't count on it.

The U.S. this week took another step toward normalizing its relationship with Cuba, with the State Department reopening its embassy in Havana. The conventional wisdom in foreign policy circles is that this is long overdue. Fair enough — but if you believe that opening up to Cuba will somehow lead to a democratic revolution, then you might be smoking something.

The rationale for Cuba's decades of isolation, which included a strict trade embargo, was twofold. The first was the Cold War:

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