April 17th, 2009
10:43 AM ET
5 years ago

Should the U.S. open the door to Cuba?

Obama heads to the Summit of Americas Friday in Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba is expected to be a topic of discussion.
Obama heads to the Summit of Americas Friday in Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba is expected to be a topic of discussion.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Nearly 50 years after the U.S. imposed an embargo on Cuba, President Obama took steps this week that may lead to improved relations with the island nation.

The president loosened restrictions on Cuban-Americans visiting and sending money home to relatives who still live in Cuba, and a White House spokesman said the U.S. will begin sending humanitarian assistance "directly to the Cuban people."

Obama heads to the Summit of Americas Friday in Trinidad and Tobago. Cuba is expected to be a topic of discussion.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows that 71 percent of Americans support reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, while 64 percent of Americans back lifting the U.S. ban on travel to the island nation.

What do you think? Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


Filed under: Cuba
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Pat F

    Sure, since the US has become a Socialist country, we should have no objections to Cuba anymore. Heck, Homeland Security is already on the hunt for political dissidents – the Castro brothers will feel right at home.

    April 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. GrandOldFlag

    Absolutely not. Obama has us in bed with enough enemy states, we don't need one more. What happened to America being the independent leader in the world?

    April 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Joyce Becker

    Yes, it is about time, we should no longer be afraid of little Cuba corrupting the US just because they adhere to communist principles.

    April 17, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Suzanne

    The embargo on Cuba hurts the Cuban people most and it's way past time to stop punishing those people because we don't like their form of government. We trade with; actually we are practically owned by China, which has a communist government, so that isn't sufficient rteason to not have diplomatic relations ships with a nation. During the election process, Obama said he would include Cuban Americans in a review of our policy there and slowly moved toward improving our relationship with Cuba.

    April 17, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. RDKirk

    Cubans have wanted to be "influenced" by the US since the revolution. Even Castro himselve initially wanted to be in our pocket–but was repeatedly spurned. If we'd opened relations with Cuba at the same time we opened relations with China, today Castro would have a box seat for every Yankees home game and Cuba would be petitioning for statehood by now.

    April 17, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Vedant

    If US can open doors to China then why not Cuba.

    April 17, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Peachy Keen

    Frankly, as Americans, I don't believe our government has the right to tell us where we can and can't go. If a country does not want to allow an individual in, that's one thing. But for my own governent to tell me I can't go somewhere, that is flat out wrong.

    April 17, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. FreeNLovIt

    We opened the door to CHina, why not Cuba? I think the more they see the color of money and freedom, the more they understand they need to set their people FREE..

    April 17, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. libertarian

    why not? their system of stealing from the rich and keeping the wealth within government seems to be popular these days. All the refugees chased oout of Cuba might have a different view on the wonders of communism, but who really cares as long as our President is loved abroad?

    April 17, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Yes! The U.S. imposed an embargo on Cuba should be lifted soon as possible like today. If America can help China and Russia why not Cuba and loosened restrictions on Cuban-Americans visiting and sending money home to relatives who still live in Cuba. also have a diplomatic relations with Cuba soon.

    April 17, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. phoenix86

    Obama should open the door to Cuba, then emmigrate there.

    April 17, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Memphis Gal

    I am glad to see Obama making an effort to restore relationships with other countries. I do support opening the door to Cuba. Part of America's problem for many year (too many to count) is that "we" alienate other countries if they do not agree with us on every issue and that isn't right. I support MY PRESIDENT when he tries to restore global relationships, because when it comes down to it, America is not the only country in the world, we need to have better relationships with other countries; Cuba, Russia, France, China, Japan, etc. at least he is making an effort to talk and restore relationships that have been damaged over the years.

    April 17, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Melissa

    Why not? The embargo hasn't worked in 42 years so there's no point in its existance. An embargo only works if every nation in the world does it, and frankly Cuba can get American goods easily by going through other countries. The embargo is worthless and it could open the market up to a new place to directly sell American goods.

    April 17, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Brandon

    One of the reasons Russia beccame a democracy was it's exposure to Western culture. I am not suggesting that a couple of rock and roll records will change the entire culture. However, Cuban Americans coming back to Cuba may inspire Cuban citizens to look for their own equal rights.
    We may not even have to invade them to create a democracy.

    April 17, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. joe, Florida

    I'd say it's about time this happens. We deal with China, why not with Cuba. I know a lot of Cubans, they're hard working people, and they just want to help and go visit their family members, they don't care about politics.

    April 17, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Shari, NY

    Yes we should.

    April 17, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Capt Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes, why not?

    April 17, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. John G

    I think it's a little funny that we haven't had diplomatic ties to Cuba for 50 years and the first thing they want to do is start handing money to the Cubans...

    April 17, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Rob in Austin

    opening the door is a small step that can lead to great futures. we deal with North Korea which has threatened the lands around them and bullied their needs out of other countries. why should we not help a smaller nation that has the potential to be prosperous on its own.

    April 17, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Mississippi Mike

    No, Cuba is still a despotic, socialist state that denies a large portion of its population basic human rights. Nothing has changed since we cut them off except for the DNC's ideological shift toward a socialist, despotic agenda.

    April 17, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Mary

    Once again we are going to bail out another country with humanitarian aide. When will the government look in its own backyard and bail out the middle and lower classes here? When will the unemployed workers have a job again? I guess since we as proud AMERICANS do not beg for charity we appear unworthy. It is time to stop helping other countries and help our self first. That is why we are in the shape we are in now from past presidents and their cabinets promising money to everyone and anyone. Simulate the economy with a bailout for the people, not the companies that waste it on ski resort renovations and bonuses. I would prefer to be employed rather than laid off as would many people I personally know.

    April 17, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Suzanne

    It is about time. The embargo has not brought any changes to the regime on the island but rather made the life of the ordinary people even more difficult.

    April 17, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    Brilliant move President Obama! Always keep your enemies close.

    April 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    When Castro and Che overthrew Battista in 1959, Eisenhower had a golden opportunity to head off the spread of Communism in the Western Hemisphere by offering relations with the new government in Cuba. But, instead, he followed the advice of that great thinker, Nixon, and shut the door and drew up the Bay of Pigs plans – yes, Ike drew them up, Kennedy inherited them.

    I'd much rather have a ticklish situation 90 miles away than a bigger headache potential!

    April 17, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  25. Kevin

    Way to go Obama!!! I'm sure they will "respect" us now. What a beautiful concept. Open the doors to pumping millions of American dollars into the Cuban economy, which will only help strengthen the Communists who run the island. What is wrong with demanding Cuba show some respect for human rights before we open our wallets? Obama and all of you other libs are dillusional if you believe this will help the Cuban government change. I guess it's more important to be liked.

    April 17, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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