With few concrete human rights improvements since he announced his embargo changes over a year ago, President Obama’s decision to travel to Cuba could be a surrender of U.S. principles or a master stroke of democratic diplomacy. It all depends how he plays it.
The reason why some want to “visit Cuba before it’s ruined,” is because they expect that the “charm” of crumbling facades, cheap rum and cigars, old American cars and low prices won’t survive a transition toward a more open economic system. Some fear that as Cuba attracts foreign investment and continues reforming its economy, development and economic growth will fundamentally change what makes Cuba alluring.
Si Cuba efectivamente fuera un país en el cual sus habitantes gozaran de beneficios sociales y buena calidad de vida, como muchos lo afirman, incluyendo el gobierno Cubano y muchos gobiernos en la region, ¿cuál sería entonces la razón por la cual sus ciudadanos desean emigrar?
Cuba is experiencing a wave of U.S. “unofficial” tourism. Even as the hidebound communist regimes claims it isn’t looking for U.S. investment, the contact with tourists and U.S. communications are changing Cuba from the bottom up.
Ser un periodista es peligroso en varias partes de Latinoamérica. La mayoría de los corresponsales de Talking Press, una de las pocas agencias independientes de noticias en Cuba, han pasado tiempo en prisión, o han sido víctimas de agresiones por parte del gobierno. Los periodistas saben que por culpa de su oficio se están arriesgado diariamente a ello, o a cosas peores inclusive.
For the first time since 1960s, the United States has leverage over Cuba. Now President Obama is cleverly playing off the Republic congressional critics of his policy to encourage the Cuban regime to change if it really wants to embargo lifted.
Despite the shrinking size of their community over the years due to emigration, Cuba’s remaining Jews have done their best to sustain their ritual and community spaces. Reforms in the 1990s allowed outsiders to visit on religious grounds, including visits, cultural exchanges and support from American Jews. As small as the Cuban community is today, it was, and is, sustained in many ways by the support of those abroad. Their story points to the importance of contact across borders—embodied in the recent U.S.-Cuba changes—and how it builds and sustains the values of tolerance and pluralism.
The Center for International Policy and Global Americans urge President Barack Obama to renew the Trading with the Enemy Act for Cuba. Surprised? According to a white paper by Robert Muse, the President’s authority to make changes to the embargo depends on renewal of the Act. Failure to do so will not only tie the executive’s hands to make further changes but also end the important people-to-people exchanges.