Obama Makes Tepid Call for Change in US Policy on Cuba

November 9, 2013 | Print Print |
US President Obama arrives at the Miami Airport.  Photo: voanews.com

US President Obama arrives at the Miami Airport. Photo: voanews.com

HAVANA TIMES — Without mentioning any specifics US President Barack Obama called Friday for a revision of US policies towards Cuba.

In an address to a fundraiser in Miami, Obama said “We have to be creative and we have to be thoughtful and we have to continue to update our policies.”

Curiously, the term “update” is the same one used by Cuban President Raul Castro and the Communist Party to describe the economic reforms taking place on the island to breathe new life into what they call Cuban socialism.

President Obama added: “Keep in mind that when Castro came to power I was just born, so the notion that the same policies that we put in place in 1961 would somehow still be as effective as they are today in the age of the Internet, Google and world travel doesn’t make sense.”

The US recently received its 22nd annual rebuff from the United Nation’s General Assembly over its half century embargo on Cuba, designed to try and cripple the island’s economy. This year the vote was 188 to 2. However, the resolution calling for an end to the embargo has no enforcement mechanisms or sanctions for non-compliance.

When Obama first took office in 2007 there were hopes that he might move to reestablish US-Cuba relations, take off the travel ban on ordinary US citizens traveling to Cuba, and possibly end the embargo. None of those issues have been addressed thus far in either his first or second term.

Obama did make life easier for Cuban-Americans, who can now freely travel to Cuba and send unlimited remittances to their close relatives, something they couldn’t do under George W. Bush. He also has allowed organized group travel to Cuba if a licensing procedure is followed and approved by the US Treasury Dept.


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Obama’ remarks were aimed at the Castros. It is a shrewd way of sending the message that Obama is willing to make changes if … Keep in mind Obama was attending a fundraiser in the home of the founders son of the most ANTI-Castro organization in the US. He met with and was photographed with two of the three most prominent dissidents in Cuba. Yoani Sanchez being the third. It should be clear what his politics on US/Cuban relations are. Castro sycophants who read into Obama’s remark and see hope for unilateral concessions are sorely mistaken.

    • Okasis

      No one who has watched Obomber for the past 5 years would assume he was open to lifting the boycott, or making any concessions.

      He is the MOST duplicitous President since Woodrow Wilson – Wilson also won two terms running as a ‘Progressive Peace Candidate’ in 1912, and 1916. We entered the 1st WW in ’17, and Wilson signed the Alien and Sedition Act that Obomber is currently using to persecute Whistle Blowers and Journalists.

      • Moses Patterson

        Obama is Commander-in-Chief. He is doing the job he was elected to do. I am glad he is keeping Americans safe, aren’t you?

        • emagicmtman

          That is, safe for the oligarchs, Moses. For most folks the security situation continues to deteriorate, especially economic security. The so-called Affordable Care Act is really a pay-off to the insurance industry (really the extortion industry), whose lobbiest crafted its provisions. The Dems. are just the “friendly fascists;” the Repugs, the not-so-friendly flavor, with the Tea Partiers the “Brown Shirts” of the Right.

          • Moses Patterson

            OK, for the sake of argument, if one accepts your diminished view of US politics, then where on that continuum would you place the Castros? Keep in mind the freedoms, however impotent you make believe them to be, that Americans have to protest against their government. Try painting a sign that reads “Bajo Fidel” and stand with it in the Plaza de Revolucion. You would not last 15 minutes without being arrested. If you had a 3D cinema business in your home in Havana last week, try going to the court in Cuba to get an injunction against the new policy shutting down your business. Don’t be disingenuous or naïve. We both know you have exponentially more freedom of expression in the US than you do in Cuba. On that issue alone, without bringing up all the other problems in Cuba today, you are better off as an American. Were it not so, there would not be so many Cubans trying to come here and not the other way around.

  • YuRaY

    Incredible, even RIDICULOUS that HT would report this story and not mention that President Obama met with two internationally recognized, award winning Cuban activists, during this same event… Shame on HT for being a loyal lap dog of the Castro regime instead of an actual news organization!

  • Henry Delforn

    Change in US Policy on Cuba? … yeeaaah i guess so, ok. Well where do we start? … Oh i don’t knoooow, … what about Guantanamo? … How about the US take their unwanted imperialist butts out of a foreign and soreign country? How about that? … How ’bout starting with the respect of sovereignty established by the revolution? How minding US democracy instead, … did i say democracy? oops … i meant hypocracy.

  • Rehmat

    Barack Obama is a confirmed Israeli lapdog.

    R.M. Schneiderman, editor and writer for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, wrote in the Foreign Affairs Magazine (December 21, 2012) that the single biggest reason Barack Obama cannot make peace with Cuba – is Alan Gross, US Jewish citizen serving out 15-year prison sentence in Havana. Cuban officials claim that Alan Gross was working for the US government and trying to subvert the state while working as a contractor in Cuba.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/01/20/obamas-jewish-issue-with-cuba/