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. Fair is Fair

    Yes, but not unconditionally. Every country that we established or reestablished full diplomatic relations with had conditions put on BOTH sides. Cuba should be no different.

    April 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Pel

    Sure we should. The cold war has ended. We are doing business and have established diplomatic relationship with other nations with whom we have some disagreements. Cuba is our neighbor.

    OAS(Organization of American States and SEATO(South East Atlantic Treaty Organization) should be revisited by the American States and updated so more friendship and trade can be accomplished.

    The problem before was the caste system the government employed and the exploitation of the masses by Batista who was the leader of Cuba when Castro lead a successful revolution within Cuba.

    It is now time for the American Government to stand up and be very proactive with the government of Cuba. Out history with this country was very good before the revolution and it can be again

    April 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. podo3500

    If Iraq, Iran, North Korea, China, Russsian, Burundi, Liberia, Columbia, with all the drugs, Mexicans with all the Criminals, have free access to America. Why Block Cuba? Peaceful people, happy with very high social standards. There is no humanitarian crises there, no human rights problem, no nuclear war heads , no Anthrax. But if the policy of containement continious, the Europeans will or in fact have already invaded the Cuban soil. The Chinese and Russians the sea, and the Wantanama bay will go to the Colombian Drug Masters , when America closes down? Are these not enough signs to open up to Cuba?

    April 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Monrob


    I am a Cuban-American and it is time to end it. The Castro regime has never suffered due to embargo, it is the people that suffer. We need a new beginning.

    April 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. kathy

    The last time we opened out door to Cuba they emptied out their prisons and sent them all over here. They still cannot be trusted. If he cared anything about his people he would treat them as human.

    April 17, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Dana from NY

    Yes... we work with China, we work with South America, we work with Saudi Arabia- goverments all of which do not allow their citizens the same freedom as America... we had no problem with the previous dictator of Cuba- Batista, only until he was overthrown by the next dictator- Castro- did we have a problem...at the end of the day we must keep those we do not agree with closer- not further- there is something to be gained. .. and President Obama recognized this!

    April 17, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. rich

    Doing the same thing year after year after year and getting the same result of NOTHING is madness. It's time to approach Cuba differently. I believe engagement with Cuba, & lifting many of those restrictions placed on that country, it's citizens, and us, will do more for democracy and opening up that country than the rigid policies of the past which obviously have failed. Democracy and openness, if that's our goal in Cuba, will come more readily if their citizens can taste it whether indirectly or otherwise. The way it is right now, they can only dream, and occasionally make a dangerous run to Florida in an all too often unsafe boat across shark infested waters.

    We are being hypocritical in our Cuba policy. For God sakes, if we can deal with the former Soviet Union, now Russia, and China & Saudia Arabia of all countries, we should be able to deal with Cuba as well. None of these countries have perfect so called human right records. Finally, we as Americans needs to learn, understand, and begin accepting that other people see this world differently, and may wish to live it differently as well. It does not mean we cannot voice our human rights concerns for their citizens.

    Many in the South Florida Cuban community needs to understand and accept that the past U.S. policy towards Cuba has been a failure, and their families have been the ones hurt the most by past approaches. It's time to turn a new leaf...slowly, cautiously, but it needs to be turned especially with the regime now stating in historic terms they are willing to talk about everything.

    April 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. demwit

    Why not? Its not like we're supporting communism and the oppression of the Cubian people or anything like that...

    April 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Brian

    yes let's open the door... finish the cold war era....

    April 17, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. demwit

    Is Castro opening the doors to his pro-democracy jails??

    April 17, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Chi Town

    Why not... it's wide open with Mexico... come on up fellas

    April 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. U Amin

    US should end it's double moral and hypocratic foreign policy. On one hand it does business with communist China who now have a financial control on US and a long term military threat while not doing anything for the next door neighbor. China is a greater threat than the terroists also. While US has been persuing it's fruitless double morals China has spread wide and clear in Far Eastern countries and Africa. An intelligent strategic move. It's time for US to cut the wings of China by not buying their products and find other suppliers also.

    April 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. eric

    Since we are now a socialist country we should just work with the world and invite everybody into our country that is going to HELL. WE can start sending money to Cuba, open the borders, talk with terrorists, deplete our military, make our country less safe, become a welfare country, go into Debt, and blame Bush for everything wrong in this country. Oh Wait we are already doing that.

    April 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Susan

    Yes we should normalize realations with Cuba. It is time we stop telling other countries how to live. We become what we fear. The world would be a much better place if we could all just get along and accepts one another for who we/they are.

    April 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Will-South Dakota

    YES, after proof they are walking their talk and provide FREEDOMS to their people.

    April 17, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Larry

    Absolutely open the doors to Cuba

    It should have been done twenty years ago

    April 17, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. micheal fuller

    Yes its about time that's y this country is the best in the world go obama jamaica love u

    April 17, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Irene

    Obviously, 40 + years of embargo has been a huge failure. Yes, normalization is in order – finally. No more Elian Gonzales'.

    April 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Randy

    Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!!!!

    April 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Chris from Va. Beach

    Yes , The US should open it's doors. It's been long enough. Cuba should be given the same respect as China. China human rights records stinks and we deal with them on a daily basis because they buy our debt, but nevertheless they are Communists just like Cuba. Opening our relationship with Cuba will only enhance the whole western hemisphere along with the fact helping that country to bring itself into the 21 century ie: newer hotels , cars and restaurants. Plus the American people could start enjoying good Cuban cigars.

    April 17, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Mary - Independent

    The Cuban people should not be conitnually hurt due to the Embargo.
    I see no problem in changing the format of visits with Cuba; however,
    it should be done with common sense. Homeland Security should be protecting this country, but the decisions in how they are being made, is questionable.

    April 17, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Kelby In Houston, TX

    simple question, simple answer


    April 17, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. YES

    I am in the majority, we cannot continue to have an ethical delima in America. We support China and Russia and other corrupt nations from Israel to the Saud's while we disrupt the lives of our neigbors. FREE CUBA, FREE AMERICA, "CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN, IS NOT A SLOGAN, BUT A WAY OF LIFE"

    April 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Common Sense

    Why does anyone think The USA has any right to interfere in in what a country has for a government? How many Americans have sacrificed their lives and how much money has been invested in "saving the world for democracy?"

    We trade with Communist China: We can trade with Communist Cuba

    Its been a failed policy for 50 years. Are we slow learners? Are the Cuban Americans planning on going back to live anytime soon or are they just enjoying the American dream the boycott denies the other Cubans?

    Time to make some forward progress. How you gonna keep them down on the farm after they've seen Paree!

    April 17, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. JB-Florida

    Let's end this nonsense once and for all! The best way to open the door for democracy in Cuba is to help their people economically and show them a friendly USA.

    April 17, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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