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

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugeesi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    May 06, 2016 9:24 PM
    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video British Government to Resettle Unaccompanied Child Refugees

    After criticism from lawmakers across the political spectrum, the British government has signaled that it will accept thousands of unaccompanied Syrian child refugees who have fled to Europe. It follows a campaign by a group of former Jewish refugees who were given refuge in Britain from Nazi persecution in the 1930s. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Strangers Share Secrets Through Postcards

    Frank Warren owns a million secrets. Strangers from around the world send him postcards with their confessions, their disappointments, and their hopes for the future, all anonymously. He displays his favorites online and in exhibits, and shares them with audiences in sold-out appearances around the globe. As VOA's Julie Taboh reports, what started as a simple social experiment has evolved into a multi-faceted and hugely successful global phenomenon.
    Video

    Video Largest Ground-based Telescope Under Construction

    While NASA's engineers are nearing the final phase of assembling the new James Webb space telescope, scheduled to be deployed in 2018, an international consortium led by the U.S. is laying foundations and building parts for a ground-based telescope, much larger than any other. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Colombia to Use Air Bombing Raids Against Crime Gangs

    President Santos authorized attacks on three groups, which include some 3,000 members and earn millions of dollars from illegal drugs and mining

    Tens of Thousands Flee Raging Wildfires in Canada

    Firefighters battle blazes that forced evacuations of some 80,000 people earlier this week in Alberta, with thousands more to be airlifted Saturday

    Brazil Senate Committee Votes for Rousseff to Stand Trial

    Move a step closer to likely suspension of the leftist leader from office next week

    Video Security, Traffic Cameras Record Chilling Advance of Canada Wildfire

    Indoor security camera gives world a haunting 5-minute glimpse of one of worst wildfires in Canadian history as it roars through a living room in Fort McMurray

    Colombia Arrests Alleged Big Money Launderer From Panama

    Colombian police arrested Nidal Waked who is sought by US, dismantled an empire of businesses that Washington says were part of a top worldwide money-laundering organization for drug traffickers

    FIFA Imposes Life Bans for 2 S. American Officials for Bribery

    FIFA ethics committee judging chamber says it found Luis Bedoya, a former FIFA executive committee member from Colombia, and Sergio Jadue of Chile guilty of wrongdoing including bribery and conflicts of interes