October 28, 2009
Posted: 1610 GMT

...THAT is the question.

Today, as in the last 17 years, the United Nations is taking up a resolution, demanding that the United States end its trade embargo on Cuba. Every year, the measure has overwhelmingly passed. This year, the same is expected.

But, this year, the resolution comes with a bit of a change, in the American attitude towards Cuba. Since President Barack Obama took power, he's slowly tried to ease tensions with the communist island. Yet, the embargo remains in place. And, there are no signs that that will change. Some say the reason is simple: Florida.

The southern U.S. state is among the most important, when it comes to national politics. Arguably, no one can become president of the U.S. without winning the "Sunshine State" - as we all saw in 2000, when George W. Bush took the White House, thanks to the close vote in Florida. Cubans make up a significant portion of that vote, in the heavily populated area of Miami. And, in Washington, the Cuban lobby is also quite strong - with 5 Cuban-American members of Congress.

As a result, presidents from BOTH political parties have shyed away from eliminating the embargo. But, will Barack Obama be different?

One thing going in his favor is the growing generational divide within the Cuban-American community. Namely, younger Cubans are more and more inclined to support the end of the embargo. I can make that claim, because I am one of those young Cuban-Americans. My generation (known by some, as "Generación Ñ") did not grow up, during the early years of the Castro regime. We did not experience the brutality of the revolution. We did not see the drastic changes that happened in Cuba, after Fidel Castro took power. And, for a large group of us (myself included), we weren't even born on the island. Therefore, a lot of people in "Generación Ñ" see the embargo elimination, as a good change. After all, the embargo hasn't resulted in democratic change on the island. So, a new plan is probably a good idea. No??

Only time will tell what Pres. Obama plans to do. But, like he said during the presidential campaign, it's time for a "change" - both in U.S. policy and in Havana's government.

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W. Jones Jordan, MD   October 28th, 2009 6:28 pm ET

The United States looks more like the World's Evil Empire, deciding which right-wing dictators should remain in power (Colombia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia) and which left-wingers should be toppled.

The rightist dictator Fulgenio Batista, a Washington favorite, was involved in American organized crime and, when he and his cronies fled the country with their profits, they were - and still are - embittered.

The Cuban embargo has obviously not harmed the Castro brothers, but it has hurt the Cuban people. The entire world is opposed to it. When will Washington listen to the World rather than the Electoral College?

Jose Sanleandro   October 28th, 2009 6:29 pm ET

I am married to a Cuban top ranking athlete and have many relations and friends in Cuba, as well as spending a lot of time there. I am firmly convinced that lifting the embargo would bring about changes within Cuban society and politics in a timely fashion. The embargo is being blamed for everything that can possibly go wrong, be it economy, social affairs, technology, foreign relations, not paying their bills, even bad weather. The very moment they lose that joker to be blamed for their own inefficiency they will have to move towards a more democratic type of society, whether they like it or not. The Cuban people would no longer put up with all that hardship without a reason.

Matias Perez   October 28th, 2009 6:29 pm ET

Well, it is a bit too late for either choice. You will NEVER win with the Cuban government. What i mean is:

1- Lift the embargo: They will still claim that Cuba is (and will be) under an economic crisis because of so many years of embargo. They will also say that it will take decades before they can recover from that unless the US government pays them back all the "loses".
2- Don't lift the embargo: Will continue the current situation and will keep claiming that it is all because of the embargo.

Direct result of either 1 or 2 -> Cuban people will live in misery for decades to come no matter what.
Don't believe me? Check other cases: Internet –> We don't give access to internet to cubans because we don't have a cable and it's too expensive using satellite connections. Obama offers to put a cable and what do they say? We don't want a cable coming from the US, who's gonna control that?


Liphoto   October 28th, 2009 6:29 pm ET

Embargo must be lifted and this is long overdue, reasons for its inception had nothing to do with human rights, how does the US trade with China and the Gulf states? This is typical US hypocracy – Israel is commiting genocied against the Palestininians with US financial political and military support, end the blockade now!!!


Republic Of South Africa

Keira   October 28th, 2009 6:31 pm ET

Hmmmm tough situation but I say keep the embargo. I'm not Cuban but grew up in Puerto Rico where MANY Cubans go after they leave the island. Most of my teachers were from born in Cuba - math teacher was a prisoner in Mariel, chem teacher has/had a daughter in Cuba & another teacher escaped using fake passports, so I've heard the stories of the horrors from their own mouths.

Having said that, while the embargo might pinch some part of the population, I think it's a necessary evil. While it's true that the embargo hasn't changed the politics of Cuba and has given Fidel Castro a platform to blame the US for everything under the sun, what makes anyone thing that lifting the embargo will change the politics for the better? I think if the embargo is lifted, the Cuban govt will continue to get richer & have more power to incarcerate and/or continue to violate the human rights of those who oppose the regime. The Cuban govt can't have anymore power. They use that power for evil. So keep up the embargo!

Raymond   October 28th, 2009 6:32 pm ET

Diplomacy is not a tool for lifting embargoes.UN should not interfere how Washington and Havana clear their skeletons from their wardrobes.

jmorales   October 28th, 2009 6:35 pm ET

As a Cuban American I enjoyed the report. I totally agree it is time to drop the embargo. The embargo is a joke and the only people who are suffer are the cuban people.

I understand and respect the older generation including my parents on their stance on this topic, but it is time for a change.

Dropping the embargo would help boost the economy in FL/US and would help improve the lived of the Cubans.

Dr Laminu Kaumi   October 28th, 2009 8:57 pm ET

Am a cuban trained medical professional,nigerian by nationality.The embargo doesnt only affects the cuban government but mainly the cuban citizens,it has to come to an end.Hopefully President Obama,as a nobel ward winner for peace,has all the jurisdiction to put an end to this Blockade.


Jose Sanleandro   October 29th, 2009 1:28 pm ET

Just would like to add that W. Jones Jordan is of course totally and utterly right; so is our friend Liphoto from South Africa.
It does not really help the way the US have dealt for ages with totalitarian regimes all around the globe, never caring about how unspeakable their athrocities and human right abuses were, as long as they signed the right papers and treaties to assure to keep the oil, gas or any kind of natural resources coming in a fashion that suited us and/or allowed us to station troops and/or use their ground and air space for our purposes, never mind how sinister they were.

All in all, it is time to move on and settle this once and for all, for us and for our children´s sake. Let us not pass on our doubts and fears, our hatred and regrets to yet another generation. We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to move closer together and look at a much brighter future with hope.


Cory Anderson   October 29th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

A highly decorated former U.S Army officer who distinguished himself in both Iraq and Afghanistan has officially stated that he will return to his native home Kenya in the year 2012 to run for mayor of the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi. David Karuri, who is the son of a wealthy Kenyan businessman with considerable political influence, is expected by many in Kenya’s elite society to win by a record land slide victory in 2012.

Tracy Jones   October 29th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

Is David Karuri going to run for mayor in Kenay?

Jack Peters   January 7th, 2010 8:23 pm ET

David Karuri is a great American war hero and if he goes back to Kenya he will do great things there too.

M. West   January 15th, 2010 10:01 pm ET

The US embargo really means what? Restricted trade and travel between the 2 countries?
The EU (8.1 billion Euros),China (2.2 billion $) and South America all do business with Cuba. In fact, the US is still Cuba's 5th largest trading partner ($491). There are other trade options besides the US.
So the trade embargo gets lifted and then what? A big rush of money into cuba from the US? Hardly.
As noted earlier anyting Cuba needs it already gets.
The embargo is a symbol or lightning rod for anti-US feelings and that is the only reason to get rid of it.
It will hardly do anything great for Cuba.

Evie Roberts   May 21st, 2010 3:10 am ET

Fidel Castro would always be an icon of history evethough he is against the U.S.–.

Lucy Robinson   July 19th, 2010 5:57 am ET

Fidel Castro still have some good legacies despite his not so good repuation.::`

Gas Detector :   October 22nd, 2010 6:39 pm ET

the us hates fidel castro but he has lots of achievements too in Cuba-:~

Diabetic Neuropathy   December 13th, 2010 7:12 am ET

actually, Fidel Castro is not at all a bad man. Cuba has one of the best government medical care in the world .~'

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