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Cuba Hopes Obama Will Lift Embargo: Do You?

Leading up to the US presidential elections, 90 miles off the coast of Florida most people were rooting for Barack Obama. Now that he's won, Cubans hope that the new president will take steps to soften the 46-year-old US-Cuba trade embargo.

Way back in August 2007, then long-shot Obama got heat for saying he would meet personally with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Obama also called for unrestricted rights of Cuban Americans to travel and send money to Cuba. Rival Hillary Clinton said that policy should remain the same until a post-Castro government changes course.

Since President Bush made the embargo even more strident, Cubans would probably welcome even a modest retreat from the current policy.


Join The Conversation
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I listen to Canadian pop radio sometimes on my way to school (I'm close to the border) and they're always giving away trips to Cuba! I really want to visit. "It's not our job to fix Cuba's government. And more importantly, we have made no progress so far." Exactly! It's not like Cuba, and the rest of the world isn't aware that the US is no big fan of communism. There are obviously problems with their government, but as Ginger has pointed out, they're resilient, and as long as there aren't gross human rights violations, I don't see the problem. This isn't 1975 anymore! And I say this in the least insulting way possible- us being afraid of the communism in Cuba spreading is like someone squishing an ant because he's "afraid" of bugs. I'm not comparing Cuba to a get the point.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
In 1962, we started the embargo to put pressure on the Cubans to change it's communist dictatorship. It didn't work. It hasn't worked. We are no closer now. We're losing out on trade, and Cuban-Americans are isolated from their families. It's not our job to fix Cuba's government. And more importantly, we have made no progress so far.
Ginger Ginger 8 years
My understanding on the rent for Guantanamo is that Castro has had the checks stacked in a safety deposit box all these years, without cashing them, telling the US to be his guest. The Torricelli act in 1992 made it a lot tougher on Cuba, because the US told other countries that they wouldn't do business with them if they did business with Cuba. Any ship that had been to Cuba could not enter the US for a six month period. The big exception is China, who does loads of exporting to Cuba and never lost their favored nation status with the US. Not to mention that China's human rights record is worse than Cuba. So other than humanitarian aid, countries who trade with the US are supposed to be also boycotting Cuba. Yet Cuba perseveres. Very resilient country. And beautiful. Popular vacation spot for the rest of the world who don't hold US passports.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
That would mean a lot more influence of the US towards Cuba, honestly I don't think it is a good idea, but again i want to visit Cuba with my husband so bad, and as of now, he would get a big fine if he went there with his american passport...
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Damn I hate this key board. *It should be lifted.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I should be lifted it needs to be lifted. What we have hoped to accomplish with the embargo has had minimal success compared to it's purpose and that was regime change. We've twisted Cuba's arm for over forty years and there comes a point where you have to realize their not going to say Uncle. Now we could wait until the younger Castro brother dies but why wait another twenty years and leave the Cuban people in their current state of affairs. We should lift the trade embargo build economic relations which would not only stimulate the Cuban economy but ours as well. Tourism yet another benefit on both sides. This seriously needs to be considered by President Elect Obama.
HappyKate HappyKate 8 years
man 'bluesteyes' chill out what a way to talk
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
As someone who was Castro for Halloween, I feel as if my country is greatly misunderstood.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
What they need to do is get rid of that wet-foot dry-foot. That is so unfair.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
Since Raul Castro took over it appears that Cuba is making changes. Countries that make slow and steady change are better able to have long term success than countries that completely change their lifestyles all at once (look at the Middle East when they came into oil wealth). For that reason alone, I don't think completely lifting everything all at once would be the best step, but I think the embargo is so completely ridiculous at this point that we have got to give it up.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
gooniette gooniette 8 years
So Jillness, if Cuba wants to trade with us, we have the right to tell its people how to live their lives and what kind of goverment they should have? That seems incredible unfair. Imagine if Saudi Arabia said they wouldn't sell us oil unless we make our president a king instead. It's none of our business. Communism is not a threat.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I was once engaged to a cuban guy whos dad was a cuban exile (he was batistas nephew, tortured and imprisoned) he finally was able to leave with his family on one of the "freedom flights" in 1972 (sponsored by the archdiocese of miami for whom his parents STILL work for) but he knew they could never ever go back. He came before the mariel Boatlifts and used to get really mad when someone called him a marielito!! I once asked him if the embargo was lifted and the exiles were aloud to go back would he? No, too many bad memories.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I think that we HAVE to change up our strategy some how. We have been beating our head into the wall for 50 years with no success, why continue when we know it is pointless? I think that if we ease up a little bit as an incentive, and clearly explain that we need to see them take a modest step in return, I think that could lead to a much better situation over time. I think it is tragic when people can't visit their relatives!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I say open the tables up for discussion with Castro 2.O and see what he has to say about what his country has done to change things. We are still the 7th largest exporter to them at the moment. The embargo is there because of the agrarian reform laws of Cuba (1940) which were there to break up large landholdings (mostly American ones) and redistribute them to those who worked them, to cooperatives, and the state. this caused economic strife, blended with the ever present soviet communist presence and therefore embargo(1959). Castro shot down a rescue plane "brothers to the rescue" which was in cuban airspace trying to rescue cuban refugees. This led to the Helms-burton act of 1996. Both Clinton and Bush backed it but allowed for provisions.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
YES! My God this is the main thing I am waiting for. To see my family in Cuba, to be able to visit them! There is already some progress going on since Raul Castro became president like allowing ordinary citizens to buy DVD-players, PC's, scooters and other energy-consuming products. He has also signed two United Nations human rights agreements, given unused state land for farming, freed many prisoners and loosened up travel restrictions for Cubans. It's not a complete turn around buts its getting better! Hopefully Obama does do something!
ladychaos ladychaos 8 years
Yes. Besides, how is there really an embargo when the U.S. is RENTING Guantanamo implies there's some kind of transaction for land...meaning there's an active trade going on, which implies there's no real embargo. But yes. There are so many freaking Cubans here who aren't allowed to visit home/ their families, so why not? Not all Cubans are anti-Castros...some left because of Batista and the formers. But yea. My answer is yes. I've been waiting.
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
I think he should lift it, I do feel like Cuba has some steps that they need to take to better themselves (like everyone) but just because a country is not operating the way the U.S will like them to it does not mean that they are the devil.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
Iit's not like Castro is pulling a Mugabe and practically burning his country to the ground.
kia kia 8 years
I hope things work out so that Raul Castro compromises with our government and our sanctions are relaxed. The island is a relic of the threat it posed half a century ago. The people there get by but can have MUCH better lives with U. S. cooperation. Bush promised liberation for Cuba in his 2004 campaign (when he campaigned in Miami) but only brought harsher sanctions with the amount of money people could send back home. To most of the U. S. this is a forgotten issue but it is still major in south Florida. It is funny not living there anymore because this was all I heard of then. I remember it means a lot to those with family still back home. There is a lot of emotion behind this issue. It is just easier to forget now that I am not around talk of Cuba every day.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I have family in Cuba that I would love to be able to see freely.
bluesteyes bluesteyes 8 years
You debate on this guys, I'm out of here
bluesteyes bluesteyes 8 years
Cuba is different but does this mean it's terrible? Has it got a bad record of human rights? I mean compares to China, Does Cuba has a worse record? And has it got Nuclear? Compares to Iran which one is worse?
bluesteyes bluesteyes 8 years
HE SHOULD LIFE IT! What is the problem? Why not? Why the superpower is afraid of one little island? Huh?
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