Cuba remains the Western Hemisphere’s longest standing dictatorship. Cubans are isolated from other societies by sea and from one another by restrictions on freedom of movement, basic rights and opportunities.

Cuba Demonstration in Havana

In this island dictatorship, IRI focuses on demand-driven programs that encourage a more active and invested population prepared for a democratic future. These programs promote awareness of Cuba’s growing community of democracy activists, those laboring peacefully for a democratic opening, and respect for human rights. 

IRI connects Cubans to each other and to the outside world and supports them becoming more informed citizens. IRI helps them overcome the absence of free press, the lack of internet infrastructure, and the high cost of internal and external communications. IRI supports interaction among Cubans around social, cultural, and civic themes.

By building citizen’s familiarity with civic participation, IRI creates awareness of what citizens can do to improve their local communities and hold public officials accountable, as well as help Cubans and civil society groups find ways to discuss everyday problems and propose ways to solve them.

For over a decade, IRI has conducted countrywide public opinion research in Cuba to enhance civic groups’ awareness of citizen interests and concerns. Knowledge of public opinion results have helped Cuban civic leaders propose policy alternatives based on those inputs.

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