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Cuba Restrictions Lifted….Why The Wait?

April 13, 2009

For many of us the decision by President Obama today was the correct and moral one to take in regard to Cuba.  But there still remains the obvious question, why has it taken so many administrations to get even to this point?  I am not trying to point the finger so much at Republicans, or even conservative Democrats, but instead question how logic has been so far removed from foreign policy in regards to Cuba for all these decades.  When can all these arcane restrictionsbe lifted with one of our neighbors?  Let the trading and working relationship get underway.  The people want it, even if some out-of-touch politicians are not yet in the loop.

President Obama lifted all restrictions Monday on the ability of individuals to visit relatives in Cuba, as well as to send them remittances.

The move represents a significant shift in a U.S. policy that had remained largely unchanged for nearly half a century. It comes days before Obama leaves for a key meeting of hemispheric powers, the Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago.

“President Obama has directed that a series of steps be taken to reach out to the Cuban people to support their desire to enjoy basic human rights and to freely determine their country’s future,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Obama also ordered new steps to promote the “freer flow of information among the Cuban people and between those in Cuba and the rest of the world, as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian items directly to the Cuban people,” Gibbs added.

The president took “these steps [in part] to help bridge the gap among divided Cuban families.”

  1. Merko permalink
    April 14, 2009 7:28 PM

    It was one of those right-wingers that blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In case anyone forgot!! Not a liberal. A frickin conservative nut case. So before anyone gets all pissed about the warning in the news look in the mirror. If you see a conservative jag looking back you have reason to think the govenment is talking about you. And rightfully so. If you see a normal American looking back then you are like the majority who also fear the right-wing nut jobs.

  2. April 14, 2009 5:21 PM

    The GOP has had no problem dealing with China and a whole array of nations with very different outlooks and moral codes from ours. And yet Cuba makes you upset. I am lost in your thought process.

    I think that progress is made in part by trade and open lines of dialouge. Even though China is still on the other side of the divide (in my way of thinking) much progress has been made, and I can argue from the time of RN going to China to this day open markets and free trade has been a major reason for that evolution.

    As to North Korea let us not forget China and Russia are the players who are at odds with ‘doing soemthing’. And I would be the first in line to argue against ‘doing something’ that upsets the long-term talks (in spite of today’s news) as it is these diplomatic moments that will bear far more fruit than a nasty ‘bold’ action that will only inflame the tensions. Cooler head throughout history have paved the way for better and more lasting gains.

    Whereas Bush only used the international community when he felt it necessary, the Obama White House understands a world effort is more important if truly long term problems are to be solved.

    After all, when Bush left the White House the world was sufferning…..and all the problems still needed to be fixed.

  3. Thomas J Canton permalink
    April 14, 2009 3:45 PM

    This is interesting from a new Homeland Security memo:

    “Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

    So now I am considered a right wing extremist because of my opposition to abortion and immigration and we make nice-nice with Fidel Castro, a regime who has repressed his people for 50 years. We overlook Iran making nuclear weapons, and we do nothing when North Korea launches a missile over Japan.

    Me and my fellow moral conservatives are now basically “Enemies of the State” while the Obama regime overlooks the real terrorists, sorry no longer supposed to use that word that threatens our own country’s survival..

    Something is just a little F***ed up here folks!!!!

    I will change my avatar soon to some more politically correct.

  4. Patrick permalink
    April 13, 2009 11:30 PM

    This is one area where I believe Obama has done the right thing. I believe that a policy of engagement through tourism and, I hope, increased commerce will do more to change Cuban policy than unilateral restrictions followed only be the U.S. However, if we fail to see democratic reforms within a decade, the change will have meant nothing. I hope he will lift all trade restrictions as it would be better if Cuba were our trading partner, rather than Russia or China.

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