April 17th, 2009
10:43 AM ET
9 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. dave

    Yes, we trade with country like Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, and others. But we don't trade with a country ninety miles from us? Come on they have the best Cigars in the world and the Beaches aren't bad either.

    April 17, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Molly

    Yes...it makes no sense that we deal with China but not Cuba other than the economic reasons. We have a lot more to gain financially with China. So I say enough already...lets deal with the commi Cubans as well.

    April 17, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Bips

    I think the time could not be better after all it is time for change.

    April 17, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Bob the Observer

    Yes! Yes! A hearty, enthusiastic Yes! As I fill my WalMart basket with goods made in communist China, I wonder why Cuba continues to be a pariah.

    Our country could do with more friends right now, and Cuba has wanted to be one for four decades. Castro is an old, dying man. Cuba is filled with people who want to be our friends.

    It will be great for both countries.

    April 17, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Joel Stocker

    It is about time we re-establish full relations. We do business with and travel to other communist countries, why not Cuba?

    April 17, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Bill ~ Down on the Bayou

    Naturally obama wants to improve relations whth the Castro brothers of Cuba, their type of government is what the obama is pushing for in this country. And now if Hugo Chavez is ready to sit down and talk with him, advise him, he will be all ears. There is no doubt that obama could profit from the intellect of Chavez. I see no reason to believe that obama has anything short of great respect for the Castro brothers and Hugo Chavez type administrations.
    As the saying goes.....BIRDS OF A FEATHER...

    April 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Doug, New Jersey

    If Ameirca is ignorant and/or hateful and lazy enough to vote in the Socialist for another 4 years, there will really not be much of a difference between our nation and Cuba. There is no doubt that the libs want to supress our freedoms and steal our money, national socialism has been tried before, but those ignorant of history still call it change they can believe in.

    April 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. JAC

    I think it is hypocritical that we deal with China but not Cuba.

    April 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Jimmy the Greek

    The day Castro releases all political prisoners, gives back citizens their lands which he confiscated, pays restitution, and allows Cubans free and fair elections....

    THEN we should open the door.

    Until then – absolutely not. The only thing Obama is doing is legitimizing Castro's oppressing his people.

    April 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Virginia

    We have open relations with other communist countries like China and Russia. It is ridiculous to continue this outdated vendetta against Cuba.

    April 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Judi Baller

    It is about time. For heavens sake, we are dealing with China now, the largest Communist government in the world. This has been a real travesty for decades. Young Cubans are not wedded to those old ideas anymore. Just think of all the American made things they would love to buy in Cuba.

    April 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Bernie

    First, let's make sure that there is respect for Human Rights and Democracy on that Island. Let's make sure we're not ' sucker' into give them 'foreign aid'. Hey, your system of government will provide them with everything, that it's what they promised. As Sponge Bob says ' Good Luck with that'

    April 17, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. E. Riker

    The U.S. should pull the rug out from under the current regime which has maintained power for 50 years through terror and oppression, , all wrapped up in rhetoric claiming all of Cuba's problems are the fault of the U.S.

    End the embargo - it hasn't worked in fifty years - how many more years do you want to give it? Another fifty? Of misery and oppression.

    End the travel restrictions. Clearly it's unconstitutional to create a special class of citizens - those with Cuban ancestors - and single them out for special rights. Are only Vietnamese-Americans allowed to travel to Vietnam? Only Chinese-Americans allowed to travel to China? This policy is absurb.

    End all of the regime's excuses. Show the Cuban people America is with them.

    And then let the Cuban people create their own freedom and democracy. As those sad old men die, let a new generation of Cuban leaders rise up and transform their country.

    April 17, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Peter Riley

    Any justification for the continued ostracism of Cuba has evaporated years ago.
    The US routinely does business with many countries which are antagonistic to us.: e.g. Saudi Arabia, China, Syria, etc.
    It is time for us to grow up and deal with whoever runs our third closest neighbor.

    April 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Bryan

    The embargo gave the Cuban government an opportunity to blame all their people's misery on the United States government. In my opinion, it allowed the Castro dictatorship to last 50 years.

    At the least, we should have removed the embargo when the Berlin Wall fell when the people of eastern Europe felt empowered to challenge their governments without the threat of Soviet intervention. It might have encourage the Cuban people to do the same.

    Lifting the embargo now will have a similar effect, but will probably take longer for concrete results.

    April 17, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Open It Up

    As long as we deal with China we must deal with Cuba. I really don't care what the Miami "elite" think. Many of them are more racist against dark skin than the average Klansman.

    I can't wait to visit this country. The world should be open for us to see.

    April 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Modonn11

    The USA should try to lead by example, not dominate by sanction. Open interaction will put more pressure on the regime than 50 years of failed sanctions by exposing the Cuban population to democratic ideals, free-trade affluence, and an example worthy of emulating. Repressive regimes stay closed for a reason – they fear the light of day.

    April 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It's been way overdue. I've always wanted to visit Cuba.

    April 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Bob in Pa

    Yeah, but only a crack. Let them smell the fruits of freedom only. There is no reason to assist them unless we are going in to remove the dictators and their allies.

    April 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. salas

    Why not?China is a bigger crook/communist country,but US does business with them,just a plain double standard.Am sure if cuba did have something nice to offer,we would be jolly friends with them just like with iraq,while leaving somalia to rot

    April 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. Joe Dokes

    I know a lot of people of Cuban descent are very much against lifting the embargo. However, U.S. policy should represent what's best for all Americans. Frankly, I don't see any real benefit to keeping this embargo in place. The Soviets are long gone. OK, so the Cuban government is communist... well, so is China!!! We seem to be doing a helluva lot of trading with them!!

    April 17, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. LIP

    Raul Castro has shown a williness to talk about those issues that divide us. An offer to talk is a step in the right direction. We should remember that it was our exploitation of Cuba that created Castro in the first place.

    April 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Mike

    In case you imbeciles haven't figured this out, the USA has diplomatic relations with many Socialist countries. So why can't you all get over yourselves and the very tiny universe in which you live and join the real world??

    This embargo has lasted too long and it has done absolutely nothing other than prove that we can actually make a mistake. We have hurt our hemisphere and we have hurt the very people who we believed we were helping, the PEOPLE of Cuba.

    April 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Foreign observer

    The Berlin wall fall down because there was an open door for people meeting between east and west. Fighting for information barriers never improved the world.

    April 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. David Greenville, tx

    The embargo has alway been stupid. It's not like Cuba was a democracy before the revolution. HELLO! Battista was a DICTATOR! Further, if we were actually free, we would be free to visit any country we chose to visit.

    April 17, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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