News / Americas

New Advocacy Group Urges Obama to Change Cuba Policy

Commuters walks past a poster urging U.S. President Barack Obama to change U.S. policy towards Cuba at the McPherson Square Metro stop in Washington, D.C., April 28, 2014.
Commuters walks past a poster urging U.S. President Barack Obama to change U.S. policy towards Cuba at the McPherson Square Metro stop in Washington, D.C., April 28, 2014.
Reuters
A new advocacy group calling for the United States to change its policy toward Cuba launched an advertising campaign on Monday with posters on the Washington D.C. metro system showing President Barack Obama and urging him to “stop waiting.”
 
The metro ads by the group #CubaNow are designed to highlight economic changes happening in Cuba. The group believes the 52-year-old U.S. embargo against the communist-ruled island has not worked.
 
“It's time to bring the conversation on U.S.-Cuba policy into the 21st century,” said #CubaNow director Ric Herrero.
 
The group said its mission, unlike other Cuba policy groups, was specifically focused on changing U.S. thinking about Cuba policy.
 
While the group opposes the embargo, it recognized that  overturning it in Congress is an uphill battle and other ways can be found to change policy, such as allowing all Americans to travel to Cuba.
 
“There's plenty the president can do within his existing authority,” said #CubaNow founding member Andres Diaz, a Cuban-born former Obama administration official at the Department of Commerce.
 
#CubaNow was founded by a group of mostly younger generation Cuban Americans. Herrero declined to discuss its funding.
 
The group's launch coincides with the fifth anniversary of Obama's 2009 steps allowing Cuban-Americans to travel freely to visit relatives in Cuba as well as send remittances.

That policy shift helped “usher in more change in that time than had been seen in the previous 50 years,” the group said in a press release.
 
Herrero said the group, based in Miami and Washington, wants the White House to take “new steps” to encourage Cuba's burgeoning private sector which has emerged under economic reforms being slowly introduced by the Cuban government.
 
Cuba announced new reforms on Monday loosening regulation of its largest state-run companies including minerals, tourism and telecommunications.
 
The group's founding is part of a new wave of efforts to prod Obama into taking bolder steps to engage the Cuban government.
 
It follows a February poll by the Atlantic Council which found a majority of Americans support normalizing relations with Cuba.
 
In November, Obama told a Miami area fundraiser that it may be time for the United States to “update” its policies toward Cuba.
 
“Blue jeans and rock 'n roll brought down the Berlin Wall, so we have to recognize that there is a new wave of energy pushing a new approach toward U.S.-Cuba policy,” said Alex Castellanos, a Republican political strategist who is Cuban American.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Pope's Relatives Killed in Argentina Car Crash

Family of pontiff's nephew killed after car plows into truck
More

Ex-Guatemalan Drug Kingpin Pleads Guilty to US Charges

Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, linked by authorities to Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, pleaded guilty to conspiring to import more than 450 kilograms of Colombian cocaine into US
More

Landmark Brazil Poll Brings Good News for Rousseff

Facing tough road to re-election, Rousseff has seen sharp recovery in approval ratings, voter support
More

Video Mexico Opens Energy Sector, but Investors May Hesitate

Mexican President Pena Nieto has signed into law changes designed to open it to private investment, though foreign companies are taking cautious approach
More

Video Obama Expected to Take Executive Action on Undocumented Immigrants

Congress has adjourned for a five-week recess without boosting federal funds to house and process child migrants - or reforming US immigration law
More

Saving Premies from Death or Disability

Major study says many eligible women not receiving effective, low cost treatments
More