Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
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.