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New direction in Cuban policy brings mixed reactions

April 14, 2009 by  

New direction in Cuban policy brings mixed reactionsPresident Obama has announced he would lift restrictions on Cuban-Americans’ travel and transfer of remittances to the island, a move that has attracted both praise and criticism.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, Obama has also set out to promote free information among Cuban people and with the outside world as well as facilitate humanitarian aid.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for the decision saying, "The Cuban people deserve free and fair elections and basic human rights [but] I believe this can be achieved without dividing families and denying many Cuban Americans a chance to see their loved ones."

However, not everyone agrees with this approach.

Representative Connie Mack, a Republican from Florida, has blasted Obama for acting unilaterally and preventing Congress from debating one of the most sensitive issues in American foreign policy.

"The Castro brothers’ iron grip on Cuba continues to be a clear example of a totalitarian regime that is determined to control the thoughts, hearts and actions of the Cuban people," he said, adding that the Cuban regime is one of the most brutal in the world.

The president’s decision represents a significant shift in U.S. policy, although the nearly five decade-long economic embargo remains in place.

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  • Sandra

    This country is wide open to all communist China for trade, and our esteemed US. businesses have sold out millions of America’s jobs, in the eternal quest for larger profits, under the gise of share holder profits, (more like CEO profits) to China, so who the hell cares if we do business with Cuba. Let it go already. It’s the old Cuban Guard that still hopes that one day they are going back to capture their prior land holdings, that keep this embargo going strong. I wish the best for the Cuban people.

    • Lovey

      Not to worry, all they have to export is sugar (national health has told us how bad sugar is for our health) and tobacco (due to exhorbitant increases in taxes, who’s going to smoke anymore?). Soon enough the Castro government will be stealing all the money coming into the country as usual and visitors will find themselves “locked up abroad”.

      All is well; location of the island gives Communism a closer vantage point for N. Korean missels and remnants of the USSR still on the island!


  • s c

    ACCORDING TO Hillary, THE 40+ YEAR CUBAN EMBARGO IS A FAILURE [is she admitting that JFK and LBJ somehow did something WRONG?).

  • mario

    viet nam,china paying their transation ,the castro regime dont paying to nobody their debts,do you wish to pay with your taxes the castro debts with usa ?
    lift the embargo it is a gift to castros regimen ,what they offering back?

  • Paul Revere

    The Castro brothers’ will never make concessions because they know once money and large numbers of outsiders come to Cuba their regime will fall.

    End all non-military restrictions and sanctions on Cuba now and She will be free in less than 5 years!

    Give the people a taste of Freedom and they will do the rest.

  • caz

    Seems to me all this is terribly crazy thinking. The British and Canadians have been going there on holiday to Cuba for years. I have just booked a holiday …and avoided going to places where Cubans are not allowed ie the Keys. I’m going to Guadalavaca near Santiago de Cuba where the revolution kicked off. Hugely looking forward to it. Why so scared still? They have the best free health service in the world apparently. So looking forward to exploring all the history…its a place in a beautiful time warp….that’s avoided MacDonald’s and Starbucks that has just made the whole world the same. My friends have been and they love the Cubans. They are so friendly. If you do go…please don’t wreck the country with American business ideas.


    It was bound to happen, the circustances for this country to do Biz with another communist country with a history of brutal governing and murder but capitalism is a strange bird it flies to where it thinks oportunity is and influences the transaction. We as a nation may abhor the government but to deny human relations is a hard swallow, there is history here among family and if it is not by open means then another will develop. We, this country will have opportunity to exert the ideals of freedom and the more cubans see of what can be then the more the Castro’s have to worry.

    • Eric Bischoff

      “A history of brutal governing and murder” You must be talking about us!

  • Eric Bischoff

    We profess to be the freest country but yet we are not allowed to go to a neighbor island!. There is a lot to learn from Cuba especially right now. They have one of the highest if not the highest literacy in the world. We will never have the Democracy we are meant to have until our masses are well educated. Even with our embargo, they’ve managed to create a great healthcare system for themselves and they export doctors. Cubans are probably much healthier than we are due to the lack of exposure to crappy overly processed foods. What are we so afraid of?

  • Eric Bischoff

    There is also a lot of hypocrisy. Certain US Corporations (oil) have been dealing with Cuba all along. Why is it that they have more rights than you and I?

  • Jack Walters

    Cubas problem is not the Economic Blockade imposed by the United States but CREDIT or a lack thereof. Anything denied Cuba by the blockade can be purchased
    in Canada or in any European country. Cuba is bankrupt and no one will sell her anything except on a cash and carry basis

    The Castro brothers are not stupid. They are sucking up to the inept, left leaning Obama
    in the hope that Uncle Sugar will come to the rescue and bail Cuba out of its economic
    morass and thus give the tottering regime a new lease on life.

    • alicia

      I totally agree with you Jack.
      My family has had to put with shortages humiliations during 50 yrs in exchange, just for higher literacy and free health system?
      And mark my word, Obama will end up giving $$$$ to them under the auspices of “Humanitarian relief”!

      • Jack Walters

        Much is made of the high literacy rate and
        free health care system in Cuba.
        Cuban media is strictly controlled by anti-government propaganda laws.
        Self serving, stilted news and editorial commentary from house organs such as
        Granma, Juventude Rebelde, and Trabajadores offers slim pickings for the
        vaunted highly literate Cuban Citizenry. It only when Cuban libraries, bookstores,
        newspaper kiosks and visual media are opened up to external offerings can the benefits of literacy be truly lauded.

        As for Cuban health care, it is not widely known, that when Cuban surgeons
        botched Fidels colon cancer surgery, a surgeon from a private hospital in
        Spain was flown in to perform corrective surgery.

        I agree with you Alicia…At what price literacy and free health care?

  • K Gopal Rao

    What Obama has done is one small step in the right direction. As an Indian many thousands of miles away, I dont know whether many of you (Americans) will agree to look inwards and ask why there is an economic blockade at all. The US didn’t have one against Batista’s regime 50 years ago, so why any holier than thou talk of the need for free and fair elections. There may have been some strategic reasons for the blockade after the ’62 missile crisis, but why now, getting on to neary 50 years down the line! The US has normalised relations with every other leftist non-democratic regime in the world, so why single out Cuba? Doesn’t make any sense to the rest of the world, and probably not to many Americans either. My guess is it’ll be withdrawn soon by the US’s now-sensible Pres., as soon as a reasonably face-saving way can be found.

    • KAOS

      The same people are in power that’s why. When the cat is away, the mice will play.

  • KAOS

    No, No, No!!! Obama only wants to open communications with the Brothers Castro so he may learn from the masters on ways best to subjugate his people.

    Funny how he has showed such a willingness to have interactions with the despots of the world,……. isn’t it?

  • Larry W.

    Do you outsource your graphic work for your website? I like them and would be interested in knowing who did yours! I’m in the process of designing my template for my new blog but having a hard time. Looking to pay someone to help.

  • J. David Griffin, Jr.

    I do not know why anyone would act surprised at this action. It is only natural that a Communist would be sympathetic to Communist Dictators. The only thing that surprises me is that the Citizens of the United States actually elected a Communist for President. Just like Jimmy Carter, Barack Hussein Obama has never met a dictator that he did not like. Wake up America or we will be living under the exact same tyranny.


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