News / USA

Obama Calls for Updated US Policy on Cuba

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at Miami International Airport, Nov. 8, 2013, in Florida.
President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at Miami International Airport, Nov. 8, 2013, in Florida.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama says it is time for the United States to revise its policies regarding Cuba.

Speaking in Miami Friday, Obama said it doesn't make sense that policies put in place more than 50 years ago would still be effective in the Internet age.

The president pointed out that Cuban leader Fidel Castro came into power in 1961, the same year Obama was born. The United States cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba that same year and imposed an economic embargo a year later.

The U.S. embargo against Cuba is controversial internationally. In October, the United Nations voted to condemn it for the 22nd time.

The Obama administration has engaged in recent discussions with the Cubans on migration and mail, and has relaxed travel and remittance rules for Cuban Americans.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jorge from: Miami
November 11, 2013 12:39 PM
I cant wait - finally the Cuban-American business community can benefit from an open - trade relationship with our homeland. A Bacardi sponsored Cuban Baseball team. The Fanjul brother's could maybe save the next sugar harvest. Cuba's biggest export won't be it's own people in inter-tubes . Cuban professionals will stop being used as trade currency by the government. Athletes could freely pursue their career without fear of persecution . Maybe they'll even have elections ; mind you they will be corrupt and contested ; but at least there will finally be more than one choice in the ballot. Yeah it is time for a change.


by: Zewdu from: USA
November 10, 2013 7:14 PM
This policy was only to reflect those who Cuban immigrant in maimi Thor who are rich to give money for lobbying .bit most poor Cubans want help there family in Cuba .it had been domiest policy,if we had opened Cuba woul have been democratic country by now.


by: Markt
November 10, 2013 1:40 PM
all throughout this country there are outdated laws still on the books. Here is but one example...
In the State of New York, it is law that a driver, upon approaching an intersection, rolls to a stop, honk his horn three times, exit the vehicle and proceed on foot into the intersection and look in all directions, then return to the vehicle, honk three more times and proceed in crossing the intersection with caution.
Now, regarding Cuba....its America's own fault for its failed relationship in Cuba. We supported a corrupt government that Castro overthrew and so we looked upon Castro with distrust and suspicion. It was America that took refugees from Cuba, trained them, armed them and sent them back to Cuba to stir up a revolt against Castro that failed (the Bay of Pigs invasion). That action pushed Castro toward the Soviets who convinced Castro to allow Soviet missiles in his country (Cuban Missile Crisis). If we had just left them alone, those two events would never have happened and perhaps our relationship with Cuba would have improved toward a friendlier plane instead of fueling a cold war.


by: Henry Delforn
November 10, 2013 1:05 PM
Update US Policy on Cuba? ... yeeaaah i guess so, ok. Well where do we start? ... Oh i don't knoooow, ... what about Guantanamo? ... How about the US take their unwanted imperialist butts out of a foreign and sovereign country? How about that? ... How about starting with the respect of sovereignty established by the revolution? How minding US democracy instead, or is it hypocracy?


by: Gerald La Touche
November 10, 2013 7:42 AM
This ongoing embargo borders on 'crimes against humanity'! While the embargo has strengthened the Castros and fellow Cuban revolutionaries, the people of Cuba has suffered for an entire generation! The opposite, removing the embargo would have brought the much needed pressure from the masses to regain the country towards democracy. This embargo like the Vietnam War will go down in international political history as another major failure of American foreign policy!

In Response

by: Herb from: Florida
November 10, 2013 4:50 PM
The simple truth. As you say the embargo only aids the Cuban Gov. It is time to stop the madness. I had great hopes for Obama and he has consistently proven himself incompetent.


by: John McAuliff from: Hanoi, Vietnam
November 10, 2013 5:10 AM
It would not be a surprise if President Obama laid groundwork for a significant improvement in US policy toward Cuba in Miami and with prominent dissidents in the room.

Will he approve an exchange of prisoners, take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, and grant a general license for all non-tourist purposeful travel, no bureaucratic applications required?

Visiting Vietnam drives home our so far wasted opportunity with Cuba and the benefits both countries will receive from normalization of relations.

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

In Response

by: Gerald La Touche
November 10, 2013 3:54 PM
Well said John, my point exactly. No one is gaining from this embargo and both sides are worse off for it! The US is currently practising self harm with this failed policy towards Cuba!


by: Rich Haney from: Charlottesville, Virginia
November 10, 2013 4:14 AM
I am a lifelong conservative Republican from Virginia who strongly supported President Obama in both of his presidential campaigns. Like many conservative, moderate, and reasonable Republicans, I have come to believe that right-wing Republican zealots -- which now include the likes of Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and their radical/extremist band of Tea Party sycophants -- now represent the biggest threat to the American democracy. Wow! In This second week of Nov.-2013 President Obama makes headlines by saying the U. S. policy regarding Cuba should be "revised." Because, into his second term as President, he has not done more to "revise" America's cruel, greedy, revengeful Cuban policy disappoints millions of Americans who voted for him. As reflected each October by the UN vote, all the nations of the world except Israel (whose vote is, of course, bought-and-paid for) strongly oppose the U. S. policy towards Cuba, including America's most important friends. As history's all-time greatest economic and military superpower, with a penchant for regime change and a tendency to shower billions on "U. S. friends," the wonder is that the U. S. couldn't persuade more small, needy dependents than just Israel to support its Cuban policy.
The U. S. capitulation to two generations of a handful of self-serving, revengeful, power-hungry, greedy Cuban exiles has shamed the U. S. in the eyes of the world since January of 1959, reminding many that in the 1950s the U. S. teamed with the Mafia to support the brutal/thieving Batista dictatorship on the nearby island. To "revise" America's pernicious, self-inflicted wound known as its "Cuban policy," President Obama should use his Bully Pulpit to wage the fight for these immediate changes:
(1) End the embargo that has shamed the U. S. and democracy since 1962; (2) remove Cuba from the Supporters of Terrorism list; (3) close the albatross-like prison at Guantanamo Bay that Amnesty Internationally and the rest of the world calls "the Gulag of our time;" and (4) return Guantanamo Bay, which the U. S. stole from Cuba shortly after the 1898 Spanish-American War, to its rightful owner, Cuba. As a democracy-loving zealot, I am ashamed that the rest of the world rightfully considers the U. S. to be a big bully for endlessly rewarding two generations of a few rich, powerful, self-serving, revengeful Cuban exiles with a Cuban policy that the rest of the world considers insane, cruel, cowardly, and anti-democratic. Batista's Cuba and the Cuban Revolution, and their aftermaths, say a lot more about the superpower United States than about the island of Cuba. America needs to get past its support of brutal dictators like Batista, Trujillo, Pinochet, etc., but its Cuban policy continues to be a daily reminder to even America's friends that greed, hypocrisy, and stupidity remains a "policy" of the U. S. government.


by: Robert A. Solera from: Miami, Fl. USA
November 09, 2013 6:34 PM
What an ignorance! To say that Castro took power in 1961. It was in 1959.!

In Response

by: Bob North from: Minnesota
November 09, 2013 10:50 PM
The cold war is over. The president is correct to end the destructive policies of the United States toward Cuba. The change is very very long over due.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid