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View Poll Results: Should the U.S. lift the sanctions on Cuba?
Yes, it's gone on long enough. It's unfair and Cuba is no longer a threat. 14 93.33%
No, there is little or no reason to trust the Cuban government. 0 0%
It should be conditional (explain below). 1 6.67%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
warrior bodhisattva
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Should the U.S. drop the sanctions against Cuba?

If you haven't noticed, there have been some significant changes underfoot in Cuba. Since Fidel Castro essentially handed the reins over to his brother Raul, there have been some unprecedented changes to the government in Cuba.

One example of this change is the massive government layoff that has forced many Cubans to find jobs that aren't a part of the government payrolls. And, more recently, Cubans will now be allowed to buy and sell their homes for the first time since Castro took power in 1959:

Raul's revisionist Cuba embraces home sales
Robin Yapp, Londonlos Angeles Times
April 21, 2011

SAO PAULO: Cubans will be allowed to buy and sell homes for the first time since Fidel Castro seized power in 1959.

It flows from the unprecedented reforms introduced by the Communist Party at its first summit in 14 years.

Since the revolution Cubans have been allowed to swap homes only through a complicated system or pass them on to their children.
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But reforms agreed at the first congress since 1997 includes a plan to legalise property sales. Under the current system of home swaps, a culture of corruption involving ''under-the-table'' payments has developed.

The Cuban President, Raul Castro, who is Fidel's brother, said a concentration of property in fewer hands would not be allowed but no details were given on how sales would operate.

The plan to allow home sales was one of 300 approved by the party. They include more self-employment, cutting a million government jobs in coming years, encouraging foreign investment and reducing state spending.

Political reform was also on the agenda. President Castro used his speech at the weekend to propose that top political positions, including the presidency, should be limited to two five-year terms.

The changes were backed by Fidel Castro, who was president of the country for 49 years until 2008. An almost ghost-like Fidel attended the closing of a Communist Party conclave on Tuesday that marked the formal end of his era.

Fidel, 84, smiled, clapped and nodded but remained silent as his younger brother, Raul, 79, replaced him as the party's first secretary and warned that the reforms, though badly needed, would bring hardships.

While the party's first congress in 14 years renovated about half the membership of its ruling Politburo and the broader Central Committee, there was no sign of the generational change in leadership that many Cubans had hoped for.

Replacing the 79-year-old Raul as second secretary is Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 80 and a long-time party functionary. In the third spot is Ramiro Valdes, a reputed hardliner who is 79.

The new Politburo, which has been cut from 24 to 15 members, has an average age of 68.

Half of the 12 incumbents who retained their places are generals from the armed forces and Interior Ministry who are known friends of Raul, who was defence minister for 48 years.

The Havana dissident and former MiG pilot Vladimiro Roca described it as ''the militarisation of the Politburo''.

Read more: Raul's revisionist Cuba embraces home sales
Cuba actually has been changing at least gradually since the collapse of the Soviet Union. When the U.S.S.R. fell, the oil they traded to Cuba dried up. This caused an economic crisis which eventually led the isolated socialist nation to open up to foreign markets, most notably the tourist industry. Their economy has gradually opened up beyond that, even to the extent of forming strategic partnerships with foreign companies regarding their domestic oil exploration and refining.

Generally speaking, Cuba is going through reforms. There is talk that "revisionist Cuba" will open up opportunities for leadership and will even include term limits. So what you have is both an economic shift (from socialism to a more mixed market system, in some ways like China did) and a political shift (from dictatorship to...something less dictatorial).

So...the Cuba of today is unlike the Cuba of the '60s. Since Obama took office, even the U.S. has shifted its position on Cuba, including easing up on the embargo, lifting restrictions on Cuban-Americans regarding visits to Cuba and sending money back home, and even easing up on travel restrictions for Americans, allowing students and church groups to visit.

What do you think? Is it time to lift the sanctions on Cuba? Do you think their still fair even after all this time and all these changes? What would it take to get the sanctions lifted?

Ideally, I'd like to see them lifted, though I think that it should be conditional on how Cuban-American relations stand. I'm not sure of the current politics regarding this, but perhaps this thread will enlighten us.
Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 04-23-2011 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
immoral minority
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I was thinking of writing a post about this...

I find it strange that we have trade with Vietnam, China, Russia yet little Cuba is somehow going to be a huge problem if the US starts trading and visiting Cuba again.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
Getting it.
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From what I can see the whole sanctions against Cuba has more to do with a specific voting block in southern Florida than anything else.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
From what I can see the whole sanctions against Cuba has more to do with a specific voting block in southern Florida than anything else.
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cuba, drop, sanctions

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