September 8th, 2007
09:40 AM ET
13 years ago

Dodd: End Cuban trade embargo

Dodd said it is time to chane U.S. policy toward Cuba.

(CNN)–Senator Chris Dodd says the current U.S. policy toward Cuba is not working, and offered his own proposal.

"Our Cuba policy has neither served America's interests nor brought democracy to Cuba. It has only served to strengthen the current regime," the Democrat from Connecticut said in a campaign release. "I am proposing these changes to the current policy because they make sense and are the right thing to do – for the Cuban people, but more importantly for America. And I refuse to let Fidel Castro or his successor determine the timetable for setting America's policy."

Dodd, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said he would end the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba, open Cuban markets to American farmers, bring families closer together by lifting travel restrictions and cap remittances, and opening a full American embassy in Havana.

Dodd spoke in Miami on Saturday, a day before he and the other Democratic candidates are to appear in a debate hosted by Univision.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Chris Dodd • Race to '08
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Christian, Tampa FL

    Interesting that Senator Obama was widely criticized for similar remarks. I wonder what the reaction will be to a second Democratic candidate speaking out against the embargo.

    September 8, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. LoserLarry

    YEAH! Let's prop up that failed communist country now while Fidel is still alive. It doesn't matter if it makes Democracy impossible until the next Castro dies, that's what Democratic Presidents do best..

    September 8, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. John, Michigan

    What embargo? About the only thing affected are those with wet feet. Gee, maybe if Cubans could speak Chinese they would be treated better.

    September 8, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. RM (Austin, TX)

    I agree – let's lift the embargo against Cuba. The embargo punishes innocent people.

    We should go even further and lift economic sanctions against all countries.

    September 8, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Dan, Tx

    Yes, Dodd is right and Clinton is wrong on Cuba.

    September 8, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    Hey LoserLarry, Even with Reagan as our president we could not topple Fidel with the embargo. If Reagan couldn't cause Fidel to collapse with the embargo, no one can. Reagan was the best president ever, therefore IT PROVES the embargo doesn't work. We need a new strategy. Letting real Cubans see how much better our society is is the obvious way to bring change to Cuba. We can always go back to the embargo if that doesn't work.

    September 8, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Tom, Rindge, NH

    Sen. Dodd is absolutely correct. We will do much better to engage Cuba and expose Cubans to our thoughts, our ideals and our democracy. If we can do hundreds of billions of dollars with China, we can certainly do much of the same with Cuba.

    September 8, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. MG - Manchester, CT

    So is Senator Dodd going to propose becoming a U.S. Ambassador to Cuba when the next administration takes over and he's still taking his seat in the Senate chamber??

    September 8, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. fred rawe, kula, hawaii

    At last, a candidate who sees the uselessness of current US policy toward Cuba - a policy that has accompished nothing more than to generate suffering among the Cuban people, while fostering Castro's personal security and power. I applaud Chris Dodd's vision - a vision sorely lacking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    September 8, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Brad, CA

    Oh, how foolish of me. I get it now. Great tactic! How convenient to bring this up when speaking in Miami. Good job, but you need to drop out and go home also.

    September 8, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. Chris, Toledo, OH

    Perhaps Chris Dodd's call is not as much wanting to open up trade, but more an endorsement of the Cuban government. Let's consider Chris Dodd's platform:
    Calls for mandatory national service, universal health care advocate, pro-organized labor on a government level (recent endorsement from the firefighter's union), pro-centralized banking (as the head of the senate banking committee, he met with the Fed chair and the treasury secretary to discuss policy after the recent credit collapse), for central planning (Chuck Hagel and him proposed some sort of infrastructure bank fund after the Minnesota bridge collapse)...
    What Chris Dodd really represents is a collapse of limited, constitutional government. He is more than a borderline Communist. His Cuban stance further supports what I have already felt.

    September 8, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Julio Bobadilla, Amherst, Nova Scotia

    Sen. Dodd is right as is Sen. Obama,
    the embargo has not worked for almost 50 years. Castro's gov. has used it as an excuse for the hardships of the Cuban people, and since he controls the media most cubans inside the island believe this to be the truth. President Carter's approach of allowing the first Cuban-americans to visit Cuba in the 70's had a profound impact on the people and Castro found the first real crisis of his gov. in 20 years. Unfortunately President Carter was not ready for the Mariel exodus. The values of a democratic society must be shared with person to person contacts. At the same time Castro has always found the way to find "wealthy friends" like the Soviets and Chavez.

    September 8, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. L. Amherst - Colorado Spr. Co.

    Why would we interact with a communist country?

    September 8, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  14. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Wow....first John Edwards echoed Obama's position on Pakistan and actionable intelligence (Hillary did as well), and now Dodd is echoing Obama on Cuba.

    Wow...yet Obama was attacked by Dodd and Hillary as "naive" and "inexperienced" for having these positions, but it's ok for THEM to hold the same positions?

    Where is the media on this? The media sure was glad to call Obama inexperienced, so will the media now call Dodd and Edwards and Hillary on their apparent selective amnesia?

    Sheesh....thankfully Americans are on to this nonsense

    September 9, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  15. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "If Reagan couldn't cause Fidel to collapse with the embargo, no one can." – Posted By Dan, TX : September 8, 2007 2:58 pm

    People who are too young to remember the Reagan presidency may actually believe this kind of historical revisionism. I was an adult thoughout his two terms. I remember the huge deficits, which we have not yet paid off. I remember the embarrassing mental lapses – like when he got confused and thought that a movie he made was a battle he had actually fought in. I remember the "voodoo economics" policy of unrestrained deficit spending. I remember the pre-neo-con shoot-from-the-hip foreign policies. I remember the Oliver North evidence shredding marathon. I remember the "Star Wars" defense initiative in which a bewildered Reagan believed anything told to him and signed any check placed on his desk. I remember Nancy Reagan's astrological consultations. I remember that the guy gave a pretty good speech. I also remember that the policies put in place by his staff had nothing to do with his speeches. The Reagan Administration, like most Conservative administrations, did not mean what it said and it did not say what it meant.

    It was an unfortunate coincidence of history that the Soviet Union collapsed during his term in office, permitting those who read only headlines to imagine that he somehow caused it. As presidents go, he was definitely better than Hoover or Buchanon. Let's not try to pretend now that the old boy was some kind of statesman.

    As for Cuba, let's drop the embargo. We have gone to bed with Communist China. A peck on the cheek from Cuba can't sully our reputation any further.

    September 9, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Wish someone cared, Rox, NC

    The embargo is another foreign policy

    failure. When Dodd speaks of opening

    markets to American farmers, I wonder

    what farmers? The probable outcome

    will be another "screw the Americans"

    trade deal. Fat cats like Dodd will

    buy cuban cigars and cuban rum. The

    rest of us will compete for jobs in

    the service sector for the lowest

    possible pay because of course we'll

    not have illegal immigrant enforcement.

    September 9, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Paul Conley, Palmetto Bay, Florida

    The embargo, Radio/TV Marti and the unbelievable wet foot-dry foot rule are baldfaced pandering to the vocal Cuban community. Not to mention the squandering of millions of dollars a year.

    The embargo has not worked for more than 40 years, radio and TV Marti are 100% blocked and broadcast to nowhere yet the gov. continues to pump millions in to the programs.

    The wet foot-dry foot farce makes no sense and makes us undefendable hypocrites.

    It's time for Alice to leave Wonderland and enter the world of common sense.

    September 9, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Joe, Boulder, CO

    I'm voting Mrs. Clinton, but this is one issue I agree with– to open Cuba again. It seems like an old grudge for no reason.

    September 9, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Yes, our government and corporate leaders sell us out to Communist China and then expect us to follow them in their tired embargo against a tired old man.

    September 10, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Chip Celina OH

    Great job Senator! Go to Miami, speak about Cuban policy, especially after Obama beat you to that punch. Just like John Kerry in 2004, decades in the Senate without addressing anything, but now when it's campaign time "I have a plan...." Nice try bud, go back to Connecticut and hire a security guard.

    All of these candidates waste years in the Senate, then when they want more power, all of these 'needs and important issues' jump off of the backburner and become national priorities.

    Vote tha Barnum/Bailey ticket. Doesn't Dodd look like a midway barker at the carnival in that picture?

    Have a fun day,


    September 10, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. Tim, Dayton OH

    Scott what does any of this we are involved in now have to do with Clinton?

    September 11, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |