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. conniesz

    I think we need to open full relations with Cuba – isolation has not worked and never will. We should lead by example – how on earth is freedom promoted when our own people do not have the freedom to visit a country that is 90 miles off the Florida coast. How is freedom promoted when we are not allowed to export items to Cuba that we export to China.

    How can we expect the Cuban people to have a clue as to what the US is like if we don't allow them to see us? This whole embargo thing hasn't worked – let's open ourselves up to Cuba and allow a real dialogue to take place.

    I, for one, would LOVE to visit Havana, and I know I'm not alone. We have missed the boat on Cuba so completely it is mind boggling – open it up.

    April 17, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. elana

    YES!! Innocent Cuban people have suffered over 50 years under Castro! Many of them died and have lived a meager life, unable to break free!! FINALLY, we have a President who can understand as well as being understood!! Thank you President Obama for your AWESOME ability to relate to ALL COUNTRIES and their LEADERS throughout the world! America has waited as long as Cuba for a President who was capable of ending these senseless road-blocks to prosperity and peace for ALL peoples of the world! And thank you to the Castro brothers who now are willinging to negotiate a new beginning in relations with America!

    April 17, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Mike

    We won't deal with Cuba because they are communist and treat their people like crap..

    Huh....what's that say about our relationship with China?

    Double standard.

    April 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Phil of Licking Co, Ohio

    Unlike Vietnam, we did not lose more than 50,000 American lives in a prolonged war with Cuba. Yet we normalized relations with that country. Vietnam is a communist country that now makes tennis shoes Nike. Cuba would be a better place if the US normalized relationships and capitalism would seep into their society and like China and Vietnam

    April 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Ehsanul Haque

    I support creating good relations with all countries. A good relation is healthy and always helps to understand the policies of the country and the mind of the government and the people. Cuba will be a very good example.

    April 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. Ted

    We should cautiously open up normal relations with Cuba. Yes, the missile crisis was important. But it is time to move forward and forge new relations, keeping in mind what happened in the 60s.

    April 17, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. don moody

    Establish full diplomatic and commercial relations immediately.

    We should of never established these in the first place.

    Batista was not a good democratic leader, and I was rooting for Castro to over through him.

    I am a WASP.

    April 17, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. James

    One better we should open our borders to them. The more social programs and more democratic voters. Why not?

    April 17, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Rich

    Yes.....basicly I'm for it, BUT, do not open it all at once we have to ease into it for the Cubans sake. Don't forget we are the "Ugly American Tourist" and the Cuban Government is no way ready for us to visit in mass. They don't have the infrestructure in place for it and it would lead to strained relations right off the bat. Remember a lot of things, like culture and infrestructure are as they were 50 years ago
    Lets do it, let's do it slow and we will all be better off.

    April 17, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. The Rev. Graham P. Matthews

    I would welcome full dimplomatic ties and unlimited trvael by all US citizens to Cuba... I want President Obama's trip to Havana to be like President Nixon's trip to China...histroic and dramatic.

    April 17, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Tyler

    Absolutely I agree. This is no longer 1965, and the policies we adhere to should not be from 1965.

    April 17, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Benjamin

    Yes, the US should open the door to Cuba. The US should open negotiations with Cuba without pre-conditions with the goal of lifting the sanctions and ultimately diplomatic relations.

    April 17, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. tom nowak

    I think it is time to develop relations with Cuba. Families can reunite, cigars will flow, and the Yankees can get some new players.
    Seriously, It is over due. Democracy and capitalism can gain.

    April 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Tom Johnson

    We should absolutely lift the embargo. It has not served its intended purpose. but only has helped to impoverish the Cuban people. After the embargo is lifted then all travel restrictions should be lifted. For those who say we are becoming a socialist country I say how ridiculous. I have been to a socialist country and have seen what it is like. Cuba is a beautiful country with beautiful and friendly people. Havana is such an incredible city. The live music scene there is the best. For us to not be allowed to visit our neighbor 90 miles off our coast is unbelievable. Until we can go there just be creative. It is well worth it.

    April 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. B Lewis from Austin

    How will we know if the situation in Cuba will ever get better if we don't try? For all these years, this has been a political hot potato like Social Security. Politicians were more worried about votes than the conditions of Cubans or Cuban Americans. At least our president has the courage to do what is right and worry about the fallout from a bunch of narrow minded conservatives later.

    April 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    Clearly if after 50 years nothing has changed, the strategy is not working. Drop the embargo. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and thinking you will get a different result.

    April 17, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Nero

    My Dad told me when I was a child about his trips to Cuba per Castro and the stories were always interesting.

    Cuba is a part of the Americas and the days of the cold war is over. If we can have trade with China, Russia and other nations; why can't we have open dialogue with Cuba?

    Of course, there are those who have no regard of humanity unless to stricks at home; but that should not be the answer.

    Cuba can change of the betterment of it's people and what better way to begin than by dialogue. This is the era of the Internet and with open systems, the Cuban people will demand freedom.

    Mr. President, I too ask that you tear down that wall!

    April 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. an m rodriguez

    thank you mr obama what you are doing do not surprise me i was waiting for you to do it it don't matter all the cubans who died in the firing squad or the millions that had to leave thir coutry because of their believes i am one of them 50 years has passed and cubans still slaves of thei mayestie the Castros the prisons are full of white and blacks like you mr president but it doesn't matter they are cubans nbody cares about our pain give them everything without asking for nothing in return and you will have slave hands working for the big corporations of this country anyway theonly thin that counts is the cash there is no emabrgo in Cuba the castro's are the ones that have an embargo on his people thank you mr president we will have four hungrad years like the Romanoffs in rusia thanks to you and your socialist ideas

    April 17, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Marty, Grand Rapids Mi

    I think it has been proven that our current policy towards them has failed. I think we should try to change them threw engagement. So, Yes, I'm open to improving relations between our two countries.

    April 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. smokey

    I think this a very good thing the Obama Adm is doing..It is part of their changing the way America has been looked at by other countries this past 8 years..They are trying to re-establish the US as Global and engaging with other countries, and getting ris of the past " going it alone" attitude that was prevalent in the prev WH..It is about time, we have an Adm that realizes that we are entering a new century where we have to and must be a part of the Global World...This is truly CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN !!!!!

    April 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Anne-Marie

    I KNOW this won't get posted but...

    Please don't go into Cuba, you'll just screw them up like you do everywhere you go!!!

    April 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Kim

    YES!!! The innocent people of Cuba have suffered for 50 years, enough is enough! Who are we to tell others how to live in their country? That is why we have the mess were in, in the middle east now causing Americans lost of life. Thank God for President Obama for having the insight and compassion to try to undo 50 years of nonsense. Thank God for President Obama having the guts to stand up and try to open a relationship with Cuba. We have enough bad relationships around the world, lets concentrate on trying to repair them...for the future of the United States.

    April 17, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. WITH CONDITIONS OF RIGHTS FOR THEIR PEOPLE

    The citizens of Cuba have suffered not the Leaders, we as a nation should not dictate how a country runs however, perhaps we should show them that basic human rights and freedom is not a bad thing. Yes open the gates and let the people Flourish.

    April 17, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. David from Southern Illinois

    Yes, the restrictions have been in place far too long and have accomplished nothing but to keep families apart!

    April 17, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. jaye

    Yes...we need to end this nonsense with Cuba, now.
    It's time to befriend this country.

    April 17, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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