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April 20th, 2009
07:45 AM ET

Vote! Lift trade embargo against Cuba?

Should the United States lift the trade embargo against Cuba?

US policy on Cuba has remained largely unchanged since 1962, when the US government imposed a trade embargo. President Obama reached out to the Cuban government before the Summit of the Americas by lifting all restrictions on U.S. citizens wishing to visit or send remittances to relatives in Cuba.

Cuba was not represented at the summit, but Obama noted that the leaders of other countries highlighted Cuba's program that sends "thousands of doctors" throughout the hemisphere. A number of countries depend heavily on Cuba's medical assistance program.

"It's a reminder ... that if our only interaction with many of these countries is drug interdiction - if our only interaction is military - then we may not be developing the connections that can over time increase our influence and have a beneficial effect," he said.

Obama called Cuban President Raul Castro's recent indication of a willingness to discuss human rights issues "a sign of progress." But he said the Cuban government could send a much clearer, more positive signal by releasing political prisoners or reducing fees charged on remittances that Americans send to relatives in the country.

Change in Cuba will not come quickly, but it is good for other countries to see that "we are not dug in into policies that were formulated before I was born," Obama said.

What do you think? Should the U.S. lift the trade embargo against Cuba?

Filed under: Cuba
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Dave Burton

    If you've never lived in Cuba, you cannot have an informed opinion about her until you have read Against All Hope, by Armando Valladares:

    April 23, 2009 at 2:56 am |
  2. William Morris

    John Roberts,

    It seems the Miss America contest is basically an overgrown job interview. Miss California's response may not have pleased Mr. Hilton or some in the audience. More importantly why don't we look at appropriateness of the question. A more appropriate question may inquire as to how as Miss America will you respond to politically charged questions or situations.

    It seems Mr. Hilton's question may have been agenda driven. I really would like to know the qualifications needed to be a judge of the Miss America contest. Miss California clearly did not give the best response. Mr Hilton was more out of line with his question.


    William Morris

    April 21, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  3. LIN

    Yeah, lets lift that embargo. Why not, you have just opened up another border for illegals to cross into this country without consequences so why not just send a ship over with goods and services while bringing more people back into this country to feed!

    Sorry folks, but with all our current problems with the Mexican border, do you really want to open yet another area of this countrty which allows poeple to come and stay while our tax dollars are paying for the upkeep?

    Not me! I am sick of this entire administration. And I am a democrat!!!!!!! At this moment not a proud one.

    Why do we always have to give away everything when a Democrat is in office, and absolutely nothing while the Republican's are in office? I just wish there was a choice that could be a happy medium of the two extremes. (very sad time for America)

    April 21, 2009 at 6:04 am |
  4. Kevin

    It's about time that we stop playing by Castro's rules. Castro has used the threat of the imperialist boogeyman for decades to justify his communist regime. If we normalize relations, the common Cuban will finally have a chance to see that we're not planning another "Bay of Pigs" operation.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Christopher Lewis-Ewell

    We NEED to have the Cuban infulances lost by the Communist take over... because it is a large part of American culture... especially in the Arts.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  6. Dan Nelson

    April 20th, 2009 8:37 am ET

    It looks like the Castro’s realize that communism is not the way to the future and if they are willing to release political prisoners and hold democratic elections then and only then should we lift the trade embargo.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  7. Matt Lord

    It's about time we did lift the embargo, the Cubans need all of the nessesities and we need to export more goods, besides I would rather have a friend off the coast of Florida than a foe.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  8. ray

    the US embargo of Cuba has proven nothing and it should end now. The sooner normal relations between Cuba and the US begin, the sooner the wounds will heal.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  9. Ruben Sepulveda

    It's time that the United States bury the hatchet, are we children still that we can't let go of an embargo that was placed decades ago. Is there no point where we forget and try to take meaningful steps so that we can have a meaningful relationship with our neighbor. Most people if asked with the exception of floridians have no idea about why we have chosen to isolate cuba. It's time we extend our hand out first. Shock the world, forget proper channels and simply lift the trade embargo. Show that we are a new generation of Americans with our eyes on the future and not the past.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  10. Karen

    The cold war is over boys and girls. To NOT lift the embargo is to defy our own policies regarding human rights. Let's get into the 21st Century people.

    April 20, 2009 at 7:48 am |