Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Obama acts to remove Cuba from terror list

Obama asks Congress to move Cuba off terror list

Obama has continued to make advancements toward opening up relations with Cuba by recommending to Congress that Cuba be removed from the US' list of countries that sponsor terrorism. Since making his intentions public in his State of the Union Address, President Obama has taken various steps to try and ease the tension between the two nations. Last week, Obama and current leader of Cuba, Raul Castro, sat down to discuss the current state of affairs, which is a huge step, as there have been no meetings like this one for over 50 years between leaders of the two countries.

Opening up relations with Cuba could possibly serve both economic and commercial benefits, as continuing to ease the embargo will allow consumers in both countries to purchase goods. Additionally, resolving the tension would hopefully allow transportation directly between the United States and Cuba, increasing tourism in both countries, and easing the process for Cuban-Americans to visit their family and friends back home.

What do you think about Obama's stance on opening relations with Cuba? Do you think that it is safe to end the embargo and open relations, or do you still feel that Cuba poses a threat to our nation's security?


Katie Wysong 6 said...

Taking Cuba off the State Sanctioned Terror list is much more of a symbolic step than anything else. This is because the embargo is still in effect. I think it will be fairly hard to fully remove the embargo, because that would require an act of Congress. The conservative Congress is not willing to take those steps.
I believe that a strategic warming of relations with Cuba is a good idea. Not much has changed in the many decades we have continued the embargo with Cuba. It seems fairly irrelevant with the Soviet Union no longer our biggest threat. However, reopening trade must done strategically as to make sure that it does not just serve to benefit the Castro regime, but rather both countries and more importantly both people.

Elena E said...

Like Katie said, removing Cuba from the terror list in itself doesn't physically do much. But looking at his attitude towards the conservative Congress on this issue, President Obama is seen being increasingly outgoing this past year. From new proposals on free community college, to executive orders on immigration, and now the removal of Cuba from the terror list, he has been pushing for more reforms for his last two years in office.
But in the end, two countries warming up to each other, and at least opening up for negotiations is definitely a good thing. Eventually perhaps, American businesses will be able to find untapped customers and resources to sell their products to, and use as a means for production, respectively.

Alex Ilyin 6 said...

I feel this decision, as Katie mentioned is mostly symbolic, but also may have some political motives. The Cuban American vote could prove important for Democrats moving forward. According to a Politico article, it seems that Cuban-Americans born in America seem to support better relations with Cuba, while older Cuban-Americans who actually immigrated here from Cuba seem a little more opposed to an improvement in decisions. Interestingly enough, a majority of people polled also stated they were not interested in traveling back to Cuba, even if travel restrictions were lifted.

Politico article: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/poll-cuba-obama-cuban-americans-florida-116570.html