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Should the U.S. finally end Cuba embargo?

October 28th, 2009
12:42 PM ET

Calls for an end to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba are growing louder. After nearly 50 years, most Americans, even many Cuban exiles, say it's time to lift it. On Wednesday the United Nations voted overwhelmingly once again to condemn the resolution and urge an end to the policy, as it has for the past 17 years.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/28/art.cart.afp.gi.jpg caption="The trade embargo prevents Cubans from buying new goods from around the world."]

Washington imposed the tough sanctions on its Cold War foe in a bid to topple Fidel Castro but it's found itself increasingly isolated on the issue.

Susan McDade, U.N. resident coordinator, says: "I'm not an expert on U.S. politics but what I do know is that any head of state, if they were to see the overwhelming majority of countries being against a domestic policy would use that as part of their domestic discourse."

The embargo has blocked almost all bilateral trade, making it hard to get many medicines and spare parts for everything from cars to refrigerators. Cuba says the embargo has caused $96 billion in losses while cargo ships from any country that dock at Cuban ports can't trade in U.S. ports for the following six months.

Many Cuban dissidents call it a failure and argue that it gives the Castro brothers an excuse for the country's economic woes.

In the U.S., backers of the embargo say it keeps money out of the hands of a repressive regime. And the political strength of the Cuban-American community in South Florida has deterred both Republican and Democratic presidents from lifting the embargo.

But recent generations of Cuban-Americans have been less interested in clamping down on Castro's regime. A recent poll taken mainly in Florida showed as many Cuban-Americans wanted the embargo lifted as those who want it maintained.

So is it finally time to lift the embargo? Is it in fact counter-productive in cementing the Castros' grip on power? Should the U.S. even be using its economic might to topple the Cuban government? Or do you believe the embargo is justified and effective? Send us your comments and we will use them on tonight's show.

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soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. George K

    I have a problem with ANY government trying to topple another, if we're supposed to believe in 'democracy' then why can't we accept what people choose? I really don't think we should be meddling in other countries business, once we have cleaned up our own house, perhaps then we can offer suggestions to another! I see the US no longer being what it once used to be, looked up to – now we're seen only as a big bully.

    October 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  2. Nick Clarke

    Lift the embargo and stop being a big bully. If the United States had an embargo on my country, I would be quite angry especilly after 50 years!

    October 28, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  3. Ian

    Yes, it is time to lift the embargo and allow Cuba to join the rest of the international community. The people of Cuba have suffered enough and they – like any other member of the human race – deserve a share in the riches of the world.
    The embargo was put in place during a time of paranoia and fear; a time when Russia and its Soviet Union befriended the island nation and in doing so caused countless sleepless nights for President after President of the United States. But those days have gone – long gone and we must look to the future and build a strong economic relationship with Cuba. Enough already, lift the embargo and lift it now..

    October 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  4. Samir H.

    The embargo should be lifted. The U.S. has preserved its face and maintained its threats. Lifting the embargo at this time will do even more to bring change to Cuba than maintaining the blockade will.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  5. K Alexander

    It is long overdue for the US to trade with the Cuban people. The reasons are long past, and the embargo only hurts businesses and individuals. Obviously the US embargo is not going to weaken the Castro regime. There are so many more important issues the US can tackle to let nations and people coexist.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  6. Emil Lada

    The embargo should be lifted. Only the everyday people hurts. Castro has enough to eat. China is just as repressive as Cuba so how come we do not have an embargo. A couple of old Cuban in Miami who has no more relatives in Cuba who do not care about the rest of them and has money control our foreign policy towards Cuba. The embargo hurts the
    people there and our businesses here. What about our freedom I escaped from a communist country many years ago because I could not go where I wanted to go. Now here "the land of the free and..." I can go to Cuba. How come Canadians can go where ever they want to go and I can not. May be they have more freedom that we do??!!!.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  7. Indrek Aigro

    I also believe that the embargo has not been justified since the very beginning. Puting economical pressure on Cuba has not collapsed the regime and "outwaiting" tactics have not worked.

    However changing the system now requires mutual efforts, bonds from Cuban side as well, and thoroughlly thought throug strategy. It should be a slow step-by-step process where the next step is decides basis the success of the last one. Change has to come organically, not with a gold rush to Cuba and real estate, consumer prices rocketing through the stratosphere.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  8. Marc

    Well this embargo is not working, obviously the regime has not changed in the last 50 years...

    The people affected by this embargo are mostly the poor people and not the leaders, like in all similar cases in other parts of the world (North Korea, Irak, ...)... maintaining it punishes the population and increase the distrust toward US.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  9. Willman

    I think the embargo should be lifted immediately. We (Cubans) have suffered enough during all this time.
    I think the embargo has a huge impact in most of the decisions taken by Cubans.
    Some of us had to leave Cuba for a better life and not necessarily because we are against the Cuban government.
    Millions of Cubans were born and passed away with the embargo…I don’t think any other country could survive through so much pain made from another country and for such a long time.
    Now it’s all in Obama’s hands!

    October 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  10. Benjamin Rogers

    I hear those cigars are amazing.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  11. Greg

    The US embargo against Cuba merely serves to underscore the Americans' diplomatic immaturity. Internationally, embargoes and other forms of trade restrictions have indeed been effectively used as bartering tools from time to time. In this case, however, the 50-year-old policy more closely resembles a school-girl grudge against a petty rival.

    There are numerous regimes globally that are more cruel, more totalitarian and more threatening to global peace and stability than this tiny despot banana republic. Yet, somehow, the USA sees fit to waste national energies and funds on erecting a pouty, childish defence against a smalltime, ageing dictator and his not-so-youthful brother.

    In the cold, rational light of genuine national interest, it is next to impossible to justify this obsolete and counter-productive embargo, and if Obama fails to overturn it, he will appear yet another cuckolded flunky of a vocal minority.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  12. peter

    I agree with, Indrek Aigiro, the embargo must be lifted, but it must be controlled, so that the poor people who have endured, the long 50yrs, of hardship and suffering, are not exploited for their property by the, FAT CATS, of this world. There will most certainly be a gold rush, type scenario, if America and Cuba, do not put their heads together and look after the VOICLESS, ONES.
    Please President Obama!! Give this your, strongest, most focused, attention, Please Sir!
    Peter Mills, Johannesburg. South Africa.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  13. Kelwyn Hutcheon

    I believe that the embargo no longer serves any useful purpose!!

    It should be cancelled-somebody has to make the first move to

    restore peaceful co-existence between Cuba and the mighty United States.The olive branch should be extended-It is after all more than
    fifty years of animosity and distrust!!!---–LET IT END!!!

    October 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  14. Jim

    Yes, End the blockade. Bill Clinton was a total fool in prolonging this nonsense by signing the "Helms-Burton" Act into Law. Clinton should have vetoed that bill.

    Clinton and Gore both pandered to the Gusanos in Miami the entire 8 wasted years they occupied the Executive branch of our government.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  15. Xavier Baudet

    The embargo should indeed be lifted. America trades with China and it's trading with numerous country's that pose a much bigger threat to its safety (or the safety of democracy in general) than Cuba. But worse, the embargo may have actually helped the Castro-regime. It may have given them an excuse. President Obama should visit Cuba and the huge crowds he will draw will completely undermine the case for communism.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  16. Kylie Aquino

    The Cuban embargo was not effective when it was implemented, and the only thing it has succeeded in doing since is further isolating and impoverishing Cuba's popular classes.

    The embargo is clearly aimed at punishing Cuba for its socialist policies rather than its human rights abuses.

    For 29 years two dictators in my native country, Haiti, committed some of the most violent atrocities of the 20th century in the Western Hemisphere. Washington was well aware of the state-sponsored violence being perpetrated against Haitians by François Duvalier, his son, the Tonton Macoutes, and, later on, FRAPH; yet an embargo was never implemented in the attempt to weaken their totalitarian rule.

    It is time that the U.S. government and those who support the embargo to accept the obvious truth that it is a misguided and failed policy. The U.S. should immediately adopt a more productive route to encouraging the expansion of social and political liberties in Cuba.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  17. Drew

    The embargo should be lifted immediately. With the passing of the Soviet Union, Cuba is not a military or strategic threat to the people if the United states. And while Cuba is a dictatorship, it does not fall into the "maniac-mass-murder-police-state" category. I say that after spending 2 years in Iraq and quite some time ion other non-democracies. The fact is that we (the U.S.) are "friends" with many regimes that are equal or far, far worse than Cuba. Drop the embargo now.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  18. Gary

    Oh I remember those 'duck and cover' drills in school!
    Enough already, just chalk this one up as another of our multitude of failed US policies and let the Cuban populace get on with their life!

    October 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  19. Paul Murdock

    Lift the embargo. We trade with Communist China even after Tinammon square, Vietnam, other states that are not above reproach. The policy is an antique and singles out one country, it is not even handed. lets let americans go to cuba in hoardes and talk about how it could be in cuba, in a few years cuba will be different and better. 50 years of failed policy, its time to try a different approach. I am retired USN.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  20. Gus

    Yes!!! This is a new era. Stop being stubborn. The generation of today's Cuba needs to be helped, not reprimended every day for somebody else's mistake more than 50 years ago.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  21. bayravin

    How is it that we love to trade with China who is totally Communist and have the most atrocious human rights record, but not with Cuba. It is hypocratic that shows that we really do not follow our principles, but use them for our own egoistic stance in the world

    October 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  22. Lee

    YES,
    Without any doubt or more discussion. All countries of the world should embrace each other and stop the bickering over ideologies.

    Envision a world living in relationships with each other that are based in love, compassion and joy.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  23. Finalet Julio

    The embargo, a soft word for what really is a cruel blockade, is and has been a huge crime against the Cuban people. It is time to stop! Let’s enjoy in a friendly relationship the many similarities we share. For example, we (Cubans) have similar sense of humor as the average American and we both love baseball. Besides, allowing the American companies to trade and make business with Cuba, could be right now very important for US economy....

    October 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  24. mike aries

    the only reason that stops us.goverment from lifting the embargo is the cuban-american votes that both republicans and democrats takes from florida. what a shame!!!!!

    October 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  25. Tulio del Cid

    No. The embargo should not be lifted. If the US lifts the embargo, what is there to negociate with the corrupted Castro brothers ?(sounds like a gang of thiefs)?? By the ineffective administration of these guys Cuba has been reduced to a brothel. The way of life of the regular Cuban is diminishing. Of course that the embargo needs to be lifted; but only when the Castros are forced out of office and free, supervised elections are held. The Castro duo have been living off the stupid venezuelan dictator Chavez dilapitating their pertodollars. The USA most regaing its leadership and promote freedom and not support the leftist.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  26. Reed Winfrey

    This embargo started for a reason. Remember when Cuba had missels pointed at the United States? President Kennedy kept a strong and steady hand on this when Cuba wanted to distroy this country. When the people of Cuba get off their rears and remove the Castro brothers from power, then we should reconsider lifting the embargo. This embargo is a peaseful war against communism. When the Cubans remove the problem then we should take another look at it. The Cuban people have to take an active part in removing the threat from office.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  27. Dan Thokoane

    Hi Becky
    Thanks for bringing the subject
    I believe the nearly fifty years embargo against Cuba and her people has to go, the embargo is immoral and unjustifiable, furthermore guantanamo bay should be returned to Cuba as its continual occupation by the US Army constitute an indefensible illegality
    I must also add, the case of the 5 Cuban anti terrorist jailed in Florida is criminal to say the least and it must be dropped

    My assertion is based on the following

    1. Cuba's nationalisation of the land, mines and componies in the aftermarh of the revolution in Jan 1959 in order to deal with challenges of poverty, illitiracy, ill health and corruption brought about by the Spanish and US colonialism as well as the dictatorship of F Batista was correct as evidenced by the quality and standard of life of Cubans inspite of the embargo and the violent harricanes

    2. Cuba had inalienable right to defend itself against the Bay of Pigs invasion by the US mercenaries who terrorised Cubans, scotched their land as well as poisoned their crops and animals, furthermore, it was in their interest to allign themselves with USSR to deter further threats against their freedom, and institute democratic centralism to defend themselves against unpatriotic homegrown terrorist

    3. For us in South Africa, Cuba's involvement in Algeria, Congo and Angola brought us a miracle celebrated by all but whose midwife (Cuban young men and women) is despised by some including the successive US administrations, what a shame?

    President B Obama is intelligent and I want to believe that he wants to do right but I doubt if he has the power to do so

    Dan Thokoane
    South Africa

    October 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  28. Markoos

    Hey George K, the problem is that the Cubans didn't choose Castro, and haven't had a "choice" for 50 years...

    October 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  29. Conrado

    Those who want to keep the embargo belong to the same generation with enough economic resources to put Castro in power. They are in a state of denial because they misjudged Castro for another corrupt president, but when Castro deprived them of that very economic power and keep it for him, they couldn’t stand it. It is not hate for Castro, it is they hate themselves. For them is like the Munchausen by proxy, the only problem is that the proxy is the Cuban people living in the island. They are so blind that they do not understand that the mere presence of a Burger King or a Pizza Hut in Havana is one thousand times more effective than a demonstration in Miami. One million American tourists in Cuba are one million human rights activists. Yes, I say “The Embargo delenda est.” again and again.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  30. Eddy Sanchez

    America should lead the world an set good examples, The Cuban affair is not an example any state should follow (Bullying a smaller State). Stop the embargo because it is hurt the poor citizens of Cuba

    October 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  31. April

    Yes, it's ridiculous to justify continuing the embargo because Cuba is a Communist country. We have traded with "Red China" for years and no one calls for an embargo.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  32. Nicholas

    Isn't the definition of insanity doing something repeatedly with the same result, all the while expecting the result to be different? If the embargo has failed to remove the Castros from power for its first 50 years, what reason is there to believe it will do so in the 51st? 52nd?
    The embargo chokes a poor country and gives the ruling power a convenient external enemy.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  33. richard wacker

    it was time to lift the embargo 20 years ago. we trade with communist China so why not Cuba? The USA needs to be more respectful of other countries choices of government. not everybody is meant to be a democracy.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  34. gilbert price

    It's time, way past time, for the embargo to be lifted. Do it, and do it now!!

    October 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  35. Jaxxy

    As a Canadian I go to Cuba twice a year. It is a second home to me and I just love the culture, the land and it's amazingly polite and beautiful people. I worry if US intrerests get into the country that everything wonderful about Cuba will disappear through American greed. Imagine a place so simple, where a smile is something you see 24/7 and there is not a McDonald's or Wendy's or Walmart or Target to be seen. It is pure heaven. The Cubans get free health care and free education all the way through university. Poverty is grinding but everyone smiles and is so friendly. I fill an entire suitcase with medicine and supplies when I head down. Europeans and Canadians and others all say when they are there that they go to Cuba because there are no rude Americans (altho I love the States and it's people) to have to deal with. The sentiment is all across the island. My one worry is corporate greed will rape the island and there will be a myriad of dollar stores selling cheap chinese goods. There are many ways to help the Cubans in their poverty. Corporate greed is not the way.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  36. George

    It was time to lift this idiotic embargo 20 years ago. How sad that presidential candidates have been held back by a voting block of Cuban exiles in Miami. It is good to see now that a younger generation of Cuban Americans holds a different view. We fought a ten year war with Vietnam and lost 50,000 Americans. We have been trading with them for decades. The Cuban embargo is an embarrassment and a crime against the long suffering Cuban people. We can be sure that it has not caused any suffering for the Castro regime.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  37. Edward Crews

    1) So is it finally time to lift the embargo? YES
    2) Is it in fact counter-productive in cementing the Castros' grip on power? YES
    3) Should the U.S. even be using its economic might to topple the Cuban government? The embargo is not meant to topple the Cuban Government. The Unites States was bound by an agreement with the Soviet Union not to take action to topple the Cuban Government. This agreement was one of the agreements which ended the stalemate during the Cuban Missle Crisis. The Soviets had nuclear missles in Cuba 90 miles away from the US and Fidel Castro was a strong advocate to for a nuclear missle attack on the US.
    4) Do you believe the embargo is justified and effective? Effective NO. Justified IT WAS. The embargo was a political gesture to signal to the world that the US was against a dictatorial government ruled by ruthless madman who was not elected to power 90 miles away from its coast. No other country has had this stance, not even democratic Latin American governments who for decades looked the other way as the Castro regime repressed the Cuban people to submission with a considerable degree of success.
    But that was then, today the embargo should be lifted because the best way to help the Cuban people liberate themselves is to connect them to the world, and the most important part of the world for any country is its neighboring countries.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  38. Ronald Baron

    Enough already! This sillyness has gone on for far too long! Let us just get trade going, and above all, JUST GET ALONG!

    October 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  39. Mohammed

    We are in a big mess economically and there is is no end in sight. Cuba has lot of american products including cars which are not functioning for lack of parts. If we lift the embargo on Cuba and some of the Middle Eastern countries , it will help the American companies sell their products to these countries. By imposing sanctions we help the other countries to do business in our neighborhood, while we are sitting on the sidelines. If we can mend our relations with communist countries like China, Russia, Vietnam etc and it has changed their attitude toward America, why can't we do the same for Cuba. Sanctions have never worked, it has only hurt the common folks.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  40. Allen Manuel

    The US needs to concentrate on a rational approach to foreign policy in our own hemisphere. Lifting the Cuban embargo would be a good start. The billions we spend in the middle-east disappears seemingly without value to the US citizens who paid it. That money could well be used to foster development and cooperation in our own hemisphere.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  41. Lennox Campbell

    I sincerely hope that Pres. Obama has what it takes to end this repressive policy. The entire world rejects it as the UN will demonstrate today.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  42. Patricio Brockmann

    It's about time the US stops suffocating the Cuban people that have NO negative intentions against the US. The Us has gone from world leader to world bully and is loosing the battle in every conceivable front.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  43. og warner

    what the U.S has created with this 50 year embargo is make Cuban citizens more miserable than what they are living with the Castro regime.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  44. Joan Stuchner

    It makes no sense to have an embargo against Cuba, whilst being in bed with China.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  45. PRIMO RODRIGUEZ

    MONEY TALKS... LIFT THE EMBARGO AND FIDEL IS HISTORY.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  46. Andrew Naylor

    Cuba could easily grow all the sugar the USA needs for ethanol production, all they need is fertilizer. One simple thing and growth in there country would be fast. Helping the world with its global fuel problem. The USA could then sell its corn for food rather than feeding our gas guzzling cars and trucks.
    Free Cuba from its antiquated political imprisonment imposed by Tobacco driven politicians and help save the world

    October 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  47. romdrom

    Lift the embargo. Enough already.

    October 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  48. Cacimar

    Yes, it is time to lift the embargo. The US has normalized relationships with other communist countries like Vietnam and China. Lifting the embargo will enhance the lives of millions of Cubans, the time to act is now, and while the US is at it, it is also time to end colonialism in Puerto Rico as well. The US cannot go pointing fingers around the world preaching democracy when it still has territories. Allow the Puerto Rican people to chose to either be a State of the Union or an Independent nation.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  49. Dan Pennington

    So is it finally time to lift the embargo? Emphatically YES! The past 50 year policy has been a great failure. Instead of placing faith in open commerce, free travel and the opportunistic actions of many US individuals ( likely millions) to bring the ideas of democracy and freedom to Cuba, (incrementally overtime) – we have instead been frozen under an old cold war policy trying to wish our way to the downfall of Castro's communism. There has been a complete lack of faith in our own free enterprise, free trade, and open expression of ideas to help foster change. This has allowed Castro and his minions to frame the U.S. as the problem – and seek and find U.S. adversaries with money/resources to sufficiently support their economy. As Reagan said, tear down this wall. Let's practice what we preach.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  50. KENO

    As a Democrat I voted on change, lets start by lifting the embargo on Cuba which as we and the rest of the world realize if it has not work in 50 yrs and time has change let show that we can forgive the pass and build a friendly future with the Cuban people. We’re friends with Russia, Germany etc why can’t we be friends with the Cubans as well what have they done to deserve this treatment. Now is the time to lead a change and the rest of the world will follow.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  51. James Munz

    Of course, we are on twenty-one century. If we believe that a World new order has begun we should recognize what wrong steps we did in the past and make the right decision in order to get what we want is in a short term a duty. If we also believe to live in democracy we can´t accepting embargo of any kind.Talking we can understanding each other. Do you don´t think so?

    October 28, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  52. Robert

    who the hell the US think they are, to keep a hole small country in prison during decades because off ideas that do not exist anymore ? what a shame..No wonder people all over the world hates US...come on, is this democracy ? Is US affraid to admit such a disaster ? Let them live.....

    October 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  53. Mark S.

    Of course the US should lift the embargo on Cuba but the US government is extremely slow to react to most things. Even if the reason for the embargo many decades ago was justified, which it was not, this is not the same world that existed back in the 1960's. Worse still, the US government tries to force other countries to follow its suit even though those countries do not agree with the embargo. For example, forcing Canadian companies to cease business activity in Cuba because those same Canadian companies do a great deal of business in the US. This is an example of antiquated laws that exist in the US.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  54. Robert

    are you awaiting moderation ? what about being moderate with Cuba.?

    October 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  55. Robert

    history is going to judge the US

    October 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  56. Sandino Ramos

    Have to conditions un CUBA, that forced the us to lift an Embargo, changed ? NO

    Communism is coming back, and its getting stronger, now its called 21st century Socialism, potato potatoe, what ever they (Chavez and Castro) want to call it its RADICAL COMMUNISM,

    The USA must be carefull they have LOST their position in America as the "Main" Country and now its just another struggling economy.

    I would not lift the embargo till they hold ELECTIONS in Cuba, Those Castro Brothers have to call it quits.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  57. Jose F. Alrod

    The embargo (or blockade that extends to other contries that otherwise will trade with Cuba) is criminal, unjustifiable and against humanity. When I hear that Cuba is an enemy country, I have to laugh. Cuba has long been the victim of actions of sabotage coming from the United States. We are harboring terrorists against Cuba in this country while we say we have a war against terrorists?
    How long do we have to wait to lift the so called "embargo" and allow Americans to travel freely to Cuba? We can go to any country in the world but Cuba.
    If our purpose is to change Cuba and force the Cuban people to adopt democracy as their own government policy, then we have miserably failed...for over forty years! If what we are doing isn't working, does this make sense? We need to change what we are doing!

    October 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  58. Antonios

    I believe that the world ,is not sharing the Americans sentiment,
    I f you want to win Cuba show Love and compassion,
    People should be free to decide the destiny with out any one imposing to them their believes, democracy for every one, and Americans need to show that they are free and every one else should be also . no more double standards

    October 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  59. Steve

    Can't wait to buy some of that beautiful Caribbean coastline!

    October 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  60. chris

    This mention of China in connection with U.S. policy towards Cuba is so off the mark that I feel the need to clarify things: China is a major ally of the U.S. It sided with the U.S. to defeat the Soviet Union (remember Nixon's trip?). China's "Communism" is not such and the ruling elite in China is as marxist as George Bush is (i.e., not at all). And that alliance to defeat the soviets lies at the base of the most-favored trade status relation with the U.S. that China enjoys now. Of course no U.S. official will acknowledge this in the media because the antidemocratic behavior of the chinese rulers is so repulsive that it will only bring contempt on any country that recognizes itself as being an ally of China.

    As regards the embargo on Cuba, I say this: lifting it will go a long way to defeating Castro and his thugs. Let the Cuban people see for themselves what is really out there in the world. If the embargo is lifted, the dedicated brainwashing that they have been subjected to by Castro will slowly but inevitable crumble. And Democracy will arrive in Cuba one day, but just not in the way the proponents of the embargo thought.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  61. Nestor

    Yes, by all means, lift the embargo, immediatly. Not only is it the right way to behave in the community of nations: It's original intent was to topple communist Castro. And I can bet you, once the US lifts the embargo, and the Cubans get the taste for those international goods they are deprived of today, they'll kick both Castros out in no time.

    October 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  62. Papa Jim

    YES, we should lift the embargo. It's a beautiful country... a much-missed travel destination. Lifting the embargo would have an immediate positive effect on Cuba's economy just from increased tourism. There are plenty of sailors itching to sail the short 90 miles to Cuba and spend money while they're there. (And, of course, why should Bill Clinton be the only American who gets Cuban cigars?)

    October 28, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  63. Gino

    When Jean Paul II was in Cuba he asked the of Cuba to open to the world. In 1958, Cuba was the third wealthiest country in Latin America and one of the largest food producers with a huge industrial base. No need to argue that this wealth was highly concentrated, like in many countries at the time. But Castro won his revolution by telling Cubans they'd be eating bread with fredom (pan con libertad). He never mentioned that he'd impose one of the most orthodox communist regimes turning a once flourishing economy into a basket case, even to Soviet standards.
    But throughout its existence the US has been the best "ally" the revolution has had by providing Castro with one reason after another to justify his many failures and fierce repression.

    October 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  64. Holly

    I don't think we should lift the embargo because it will be just one more country to ask the US for help and the washington woohoos will just give in like they always do. Cuba is still a commie country how do we know they won't try hurting us or dipping into our dwindling funds. They have survived the first 50 years, whats another 50.

    October 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  65. Kathleen P. Castagna

    It is time to forgive and to forget the past especially things that happened 45 years ago between Cuba and the US of A. We need to get into the present age that we are living in and work toward a better tomorrow for all people in this world that we live in.

    Revenge is no longer its own reward. We need to work towards peace, harmony, and a better life for all people who cooperate with the citizens of the U.S. of America. Holding resentments and grudges is immature and foolish. It is time to grow, mature as a Nation in America and time for our American residents and citizens to grow and mature as people. We need to reach into the future to create a new and a better tomorrow for America and Cuban peoples.

    From Kathleen P. Castagna

    October 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  66. Jecho

    Yes, they should. Give Cuba their freedom back to be who they are and what they want to become and so they can shine as a country as well.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  67. Reed Winfrey

    If the Cuban citizens want the embargo lifted by the United States, I think they must request that themselves. Do the citizens want to be a democratic society?? Do they want the embargo lifted and remain a communist’s society?? Forget both governments and ask the people what they want. I understand why folks might want the embargo lifted so they can trade freely but I also understand the need for security for both countries. What else do the people of Cuba want? What is the whole picture? Does the "Big picture" include foreign aid to Cuba? Would it be counterproductive to lift an embargo on a communist’s country when we fight for the freedom from communism?? As Americans, we are never given the true picture until it's too late to change something. I would love to travel to Cuba and understand the culture there. Like the Cuban government, ours does some very stupid things that make American citizens upset too. Does Cuba want to remain a separate country or does Cuba want to be adopted like Guam, Puerto Rico, U S Virgin islands, etc.?? I am concerned about a communist country trading freely with the world and being 90 miles away from the USA. Until we have the big picture I say no. I would love to say let’s all be friends, the world is just not that way though. Before we kiss and make up, ask yourself this. Would you want a known gunrunner or meth lab operator living next door to your family? Even if they said they would be good now. How about a reformed drug curtail? Mafia, Biker gang, church, drop house, etc.?? Would you want to live close to a prison? Businesses trade with prisons and we have good folks working on the inside there but no one wants one close to their families. When Cuba is no longer a communist country run by dictators, then we should take another look at the embargo. Just my opinion, Thanks.

    November 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  68. Jeff

    Seems funny to me that I am supporting a corrupt regime if I buy a Cuban cigar, yet the US Gov't is doing its patriotic duty by leasing land from the same regime...

    November 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  69. Nsizwa

    Definately the embargo has to go.
    Its unjustifiable and not consistent with the global notion of equality regardless of the way of life those people.
    Cuba has remained strong and think those imposing these sanctions know that Cuba will be unparalleled worldwide because has invested in its people and it will surpus many so called developed superpowers and self-imposed bigdaddy countries.

    RELEASE THE CUBAN 5!!!!!!
    CLOSE GUANTANAMO PRISON!!!
    LIFT THE EMBARGO NOW!!!!

    January 31, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  70. connecttheworld.blogs.cnn.com

    Should the u s finally end cuba embargo.. Peachy 🙂

    April 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply

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