April 17th, 2009
10:43 AM ET
6 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. Absolutely....

    I wholeheartedly agree that the United States needs to re-establish fair and reasonable relations with the Cuban People. They are our neighbors, and this feud has lasted long enough. Let's start to thaw the ice and see if together we can bring about a new era of cooperation between our countries.

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Rick Joel

    As a travel agent, I've longed for a thaw in Cuban relations. What a destination it would be. This idea of keeping Cuba isolated only punishes it's citizens. As people get a taste of what's outside, little by little it picks away at the politics that have frozen them in the past. We trade with the Chinese, heck they just about own us. Keeping Cuba isolated from the U.S. is just foolish politics by old men who have nothing better to do. The rest of the world trades with Cuba, it's about time we did the same.

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. RAG

    We should not only open the door, but we should pay reparations to Cuba for the enconomic warfare that we have waged for the last 40 years and for supporting a series of oligarcic dictators for the previous 60 years.

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Christine

    I think it's about time we grow up a bit as a nation. Since the late 60's we've been at odds with cuba. The course of action we have taken against them have done nothing to make the situation any better. It's time I think American's are ready and I believe Cuba is as well.

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Che

    Our Cuba is just plain the typical double standard of Washington politicians and lobbyists. We have relations with Vietnam, a country where we lost about 54,000 American lives. We trade and borrow from China who is definitely not the poster country for human rights and free speech. Who are we to say what a country can and can not do? Even our country is guilty of the things we blast Cuba over, except Cuba has never tried to assassinate our president. This embargo hurts the Cuban people not their leaders and is plain American pride at worst. When Batista was in charge nearly 92% of the country lived in poverty. I look at Castro as a Thomas Jefferson. He saw the injustices of that regime and decided that he would no longer live under the yoke of tyranny and took back his country so that there would be more equality. We had two years after the revolution to create a stable relationship with Cuba and prevent Castro from becoming too close with Russia, but we did not. Instead we chose to isolate our neighbor. I applaud our President for being smart enough to realize that our current policy will do nothing to change what Cuba is, but only diminishes American diplomacy and our reputation.

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Maybe we can send them humanitarian aid and they could give us cheep health care.

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. Ron

    I just returned from a licensed trip to Cuba. What we heard over and over were two things:
    1) Please lift the embargo;
    2) Our system is not perfect, but please respect our right to work it out.
    The ban on travel and the 47 year embargo has not brought the government down, but has hurt the people. Why does the US keep a policy that hasn't worked in 47 years of implementation?
    It's time for change!

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Mike Syracuse, NY

    People seem to forget that the embargo was to serve two purposes. One was to cause the communist goevrnment to fall. Obviously that hasn't worked. The other was to make Cuba so focused on it's own problems, it would not have the resources to export it's brand of communism to Latin America. In this it has been wildly successful. Particularly since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the loss of former Solviet aid, Cuba has been unable to project any power abroad. In any event, and loostening of restrictions should only be quid pro quo for civil rights reforms, including recognition of other political parties besides the Communist Party. Different than we treat China? You betcha. China isn't 90 miles off our coast.

    April 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Zach in Ohio

    I think it would be interesting to see: 1) What portion of the population was born AFTER the Cuban Missle Crisis, and 2) What portion of the population (such as myself) grew up in or after the 90s and the fall of the Soviet Union...this is an issue that simply seems bizarre to my generation. Economic sanctions on Cuba should have been lifted decades ago.

    April 17, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Mike

    If we can have relations with China and Vietnam we can have relations with Cuba. This is stupid.

    April 17, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. James Michael Roberson

    I think the embargo should be lifted and relations normalized. I would love to visit Cuba. I think it was mistake to isolate Cuba in the first place. We should be a good neighbor and not an enemy to the Cuban people. They could be a good partner if we let them.

    April 17, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Obama Supporter in Colo Springs

    It's about time and I think our President has made yet another good decision regarding diplomatic relations and America's place as a leader in the world. I have long wondered why it is that the USA will deal with other communist countries but continue to boycott Cuba, a nation that could one day, be an ally. Personally, I would love to visit Cuba and am hoping that we will be able to visit this lovely island some day soon!

    April 17, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Paul from Phoenix

    Maybe we should ask the thousands of Cuban refugees who fled Castro's rule about their thoughts.

    I am happy that celebrities are able to go there and receive the grand tour, because they know all.

    I just think that if these people kept fleeing, then something must be bad about that country, and maybe that should be taken into account while the ruler of the country is named Castro.

    April 17, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Andre, Lauderhill, FL

    Oh it's going to happen. Mark my words!

    April 17, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Jorgor Barrie

    Yes! Not only open the door to Cuba but establish full Diplomatic relationship with the country without all the outdated or any (for that matter) pre-condition.

    The Diplomatic path President has chosen to engae the world is the right step in the right direction to rid the world of wars, terrorism and other worldly dangers.

    April 17, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Betty

    My inlaws have relatives in Cuba and they disagree. The cuban people will not see this money. It is all for Castro and the government. He run their live just like he does now. He will not help them with their housing ( I have seen pictures of how they live). This will not change it. The 71% and 64% for the the policy change does not have a clue about Cuba .

    April 17, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Dawn

    Richard Nixon opened the doors to China, and Obama wants to open the doors to Cuba. So where is the difference. I think that if it is done carefully, yeah. There is many Cuban Americans here in the US who would want to see their families. They have to go into Canada to catch a flight to Havana.

    April 17, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Chad

    Why not? We have aligned ourselves with unsavory governments now and in the past (China, Argentina, South Africa, Indonesia, and so on) for one reason or another. I don't think the arguments against Cuba stand anymore. Cuba is a communist country; so what, so is China and Vietnam. Cuba holds political prisoners, so what; so did Argentina under Pinochet and we do as well in Guantanamo and Bagrahm. Castro is a dictator, well so was the guy he ran out of Cuba. Look, the political approach of the U.S. for the last 50 years has not changed anything. So, let's stop this futile practice and start dealing with these people face to face.

    April 17, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Kenny

    I truly belive that after almost 50yrs of no relations and embargo on Cuba has not work in bring down the Govt of cuba, we should now look at a new way and that is open the door to cuba in traveling to and from there and having a more one on one relationship with the people of cuba and with the Govt, there is a old saying and that is you attract more" bee's with honey then vinegar" Lets kill them with kindness instead with Guns, or embargo. We have more to gain let to lose.

    April 17, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Jefe

    I'm fairly certain these and likely-upcoming moves with Cuba will only serve to improve the security of America, and the economy of both nations. Plus, we may soon finally be able to legally purchase Cuban cigars instead of having to smuggle them in from Canada sans wrapper.

    April 17, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    The president loosened restrictions on Cuban-Americans visiting and sending money home to relatives who still live in Cuba,
    I think that this is a good thing. But I also think that if we are doing this we need to have stiff checks to ensure who is returning and what they bring with them. We should not forget that 50 years ago Cuba let Russia park a couple hundred nukes 90 miles from the us border. We should also not for get that a 20 year standoff developed out of those actions and that is no small matter.

    April 17, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. gee I dunno

    Maybe we should try the embargo thing for another half a century – it might be on the verge of working at any time!

    Not.

    April 17, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Simmy

    I agree......President Obama said during his campaign, he would reach out to our enemies, and talk with 'pre-conditions.' I think it's wonderful that he is moving on his promises. Making them an ally is beneficial to both countries.....GO USA!

    April 17, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Pepou

    We should have normal relations with Cuba. After all, we have normal relations with other countries in the world which are a lot worse than Cuba. The embargo has NEVER worked. It just punished Cubans.

    April 17, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Lillie

    YES! And since we roll out the red carpet for Communist China with all its human rights violations....why NOT? I'm waiting for travel restrictions to be lifted for all AMERICANS....can't wait to visit a place 90 miles from our shores to see what all the nonsense has been about for all these years!!!

    April 17, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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