The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

Foggy Bottom

Obama Lifts Some Restrictions on Cuba


A man rides his bicycle along the Malecon in Havana on April 9, 2009. (Javier Galeano/Associated Press)

Updated 5:55 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama is lifting some restrictions on Cuban Americans' contact with Cuba and allowing U.S. telecom companies to operate there, opening up the communist island nation to more cellular and satellite service, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced at his regular news briefing today.

The decision does not lift the trade embargo on Cuba but eases the prohibitions that have restricted Cuban Americans from visiting their relatives and has limited what they can send back home.

It also allows companies to establish fiber-optic and satellite links between the United States and Cuba and will permit U.S. companies to be licensed for roaming agreements in Cuba.

Communications of those kinds have been prohibited under tough rules put in place by George W. Bush's administration to pressure for democratic change in the island nation.

But under the new policy promoted by Obama, satellite radio companies and television providers will also be able to enter into transactions necessary to provide service to Cuban citizens.

It will also provide an exception to the trade embargo to allow personal cell phones, computes and satellite receivers to be sent to Cuba.

"All who embrace core democratic values long for a Cuba that respects the basic human, political and economic rights of all of its citizens," Gibbs said. "President Obama believes the measure he has taken today, will help make that goal a reality."

As a candidate, Obama promised to seek closer relations with Cuba, and courted Cuban voters in the key state of Florida. As president, he has signaled that he intends to move toward a greater openness.

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, praised the move. "President Obama has made the right call. . . ," he said in a statement this afternoon. "These changes are both compassionate and responsive to reality."

A White House aide said the president believes that democratic change will come to the Cuban nation more quickly if the United States reaches out to the people of Cuba and their relatives in the United States.

But the move is highly controversial, especially among those who supported Bush's hardline policy and view the restrictions as a way of spurring political change.

The news drew quick criticism from Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and his brother, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who called it a "serious mistake." In a statement posted online, they said, "Unilateral concessions to the dictatorship embolden it to further isolate, imprison and brutalize pro-democracy activists, to continue to dictate which Cubans and Cuban-Americans are able to enter the island, and this unilateral concession provides the dictatorship with critical financial support."

Obama's administration takes a somewhat different view than the Bush administration, but has resisted a wholesale elimination of the trade embargo and travel ban, which has been pushed for by some in Congress.

The announcement comes as the president prepares to leave Thursday for the Summit of the America's in Trinidad, and a stop in Mexico.

Posted at 12:16 PM ET on Apr 13, 2009  | Category:  Foggy Bottom
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: White House Egg Roll Transforms South Lawn | Next: Obama Marks 2,000th Stimulus-Funded Transit Project


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Although President Obama may be easing restrictions on Cuba, a tightening of restrictions is occurring on Facebook of all places. Under the new governance code, "You will not use Facebook if you are located in a country embargoed by the U.S., or are on the U.S. Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals." I would be very surprised if facebook unilaterally made the decision to add such a clause. This raises questions regarding Obama's actual policy towards Cuba

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=83985877000&ref=nf

Posted by: suziemcc | April 17, 2009 4:31 PM

Posted by: Bush_Not_Obama_Liar_in_Chief | April 14, 2009 12:03 PM

Spare us your dishonest straw man BS.

If you want to talk about "Entire civilizations have been led to ruin... in ideology... ruinous designs do not spell hope but rather demise," let's talk about the "ruinous Designs" of the Dubya/dick misadministration.

The Republican Party now lies in ruin.

That is exactly what they deserve!

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 14, 2009 9:12 PM

Socialism strikes a balance between the greed which overwhelms capitalism and the smothering of ambition inherent in Marxism.
Neither capitalism nor Marxism can exist for long in their pure form.
China has evolved past a Marxist past. If America is to survive, it must do likewise with capitalism.

Posted by: seemstome | April 14, 2009 1:49 PM

... crack in U.S. embargo? Looking from the sides, actually nothing was given … the holes do not even exist. So as not to insult, let me just say – hehehe!

The left-right reproofs are musty and wet. Ex-President Fidel Castro, in forgetting to close his mouth, seemed patronizing from varied angles. I thought he had resigned already?

And unless the U.S. is shifting back to the dreaded low-intensity conflict (LIC) strategy, the unilateral move towards Cuba is obviously an amalgam of the carrot-on-the-stick and a Trojan horse – a proven model ever since man broke the ground. So, the Cubans aiming for a better life may now celebrate ... albeit noiselessly.

Let me say ... knowledge is but a manipulation of words ... hehehe ... again ...

Posted by: wwt101 | April 14, 2009 12:25 PM

kevinschmidt...


If you only understood what taking away ones' ambition your socialistic ideas will do to a country. Entire civilizations have been led to ruin by men so similar to Obama in ideology his ruinous designs do not spell hope but rather demise.

May you learn from history before your children and grandchildren are forced to suffer like 50 years of Cubans!

Posted by: Obama_Liar_in_Chief | April 14, 2009 12:03 PM

This is a pathetic attempt.
Are we ever going to learn the lesson that we can't impose "democratic" values on others?
What will it take before Obama realizes that we're strangling these people over outdated cold war ideology?
It's time enough for us to out grow our hypocrisy and free Cuba.

Posted by: mcipper1 | April 14, 2009 9:44 AM

Wow! Reminds me of a rich guy eating a Big Mac and giving some old cookies to a bum.
This is one bad joke! There we have a free trade zone with those Gangsters in Mexico while our friends in Cuba keep strangled by an embargo! He must lift all sanctions, Cuba is by the way an interesting market for the U.S. and the other way around. Sanction better North Korea and Iran, not Cuba no more! These people suffered almost 50 years, and without the embargo and with a free media Castro was gone ages ago already!

Posted by: cactyss | April 14, 2009 3:28 AM

For the record, I am not bothered because Bush and Cheney violated no laws. This thread, however, is about Obama and Cuba.

Posted by: JakeD | April 14, 2009 1:03 AM

Yes, not bothered by living in denial, the second fatal characteristic of the Republican Dodo Party of Extinction.

The first fatal characteristic, of course, is their refusal to change and adapt. Instead, they stubbornly continue to use the same failed tactics that lost the 2006 and 2008 elections.

http://www.dogpile.com/dogpile/ws/results/Web/law%20bush%20violated/1/417/TopNavigation/Relevance/iq=true/zoom=off/_iceUrlFlag=7?_IceUrl=true

Republican dodos never change. It's in their genes. They were bred for political extinction.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 14, 2009 1:13 AM

Don't look now, but here comes the Senate Republican Dodos' extinction:

'A Minnesota court ruled Monday night that Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican Norm Coleman and should be granted the election certificate that will allow him to take his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Monday's ruling was a big blow to Coleman, whose legal arguments were roundly rejected. The court went even further by calling on Coleman -- already raising funds for his legal bid -- to pay some of Franken's fees for his attorney and court expenses.'

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/21211_Page2.html

HA! HA! HA! HA!

This calls for a Cuban Cigar!

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 14, 2009 1:04 AM

For the record, I am not bothered because Bush and Cheney violated no laws. This thread, however, is about Obama and Cuba.

Posted by: JakeD | April 14, 2009 1:03 AM


what a simpleton i am

Posted by: Bush_Not_Obama_Liar_in_Chief | April 14, 2009 12:19 AM

Did I hear a squeak?

No, it may have been a squawk.

Actually, it's just another angry, irrelevant, squeaky, squawking Republican dodo.

Enjoy the political extinction, I know I will.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 14, 2009 12:46 AM

If Kennedy and the presidents after him would have supported the cuban people . Cuba wouldn't be a problem today . We lost the cuban people , and the power to deal with the problem . Now tonight on shortwave . Cuba's young Castro converts are saying Castro has won the war . If you don't believe me dig out your shortwave radio and listen for your self .

Posted by: texaskbar | April 14, 2009 12:35 AM

kevinschmidt

you really have bought into that moveon.org lunacy


what a simpleton

Posted by: Obama_Liar_in_Chief | April 14, 2009 12:19 AM

LOL! Did Bush even go to Spain as President? I would like to see them try to arrest Bush AND his Secret Service agents.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 11:27 PM

So would I! But I don't care if it is Spain or any other country.

The fact of the matter is, Dubya/dick and their Neocon-Fascist crime family are now wanted for war crimes and can no longer move about the world freely.

I see you aren't bothered by the criminality of your idiotic misleaders Dubya/dick. Very telling about your lack of moral values.

Just another reason why the Republican Dodo Party of Extinction is doooooomed.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 14, 2009 12:02 AM

Finally, after 50 years the mob can reopen their casinos. I think we should fund the building of a bridge from Key West to Havana.
Who said Castro wasn't convertible?

Posted by: seemstome | April 13, 2009 11:57 PM

Spring_Rain:

Are you an American citizen?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:56 PM

JakeD:

Are you retarded or just a paint chip eater?

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 11:55 PM

Of course he did...

Marxists stick together


Now the rest of The Congressional Democrats can go smoke some Cubans with Castro...

and talk about how they can make everybody equal like in Cuba...

Dirt floors, few people have a car.. but hey everybody has the same AM radio!

Posted by: Obama_Liar_in_Chief | April 13, 2009 11:31 PM

LOL! Did Bush even go to Spain as President? I would like to see them try to arrest Bush AND his Secret Service agents.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 11:27 PM

Don't look now, but add Spain on the list of European countries the Dubya/dick crime syndicate can no longer travel to without risking arrest for international war crimes:

'Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast.

The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington and former Under-Secretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.”'

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-04-13/the-bush-six-to-be-indicted/

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 10:29 PM

"No, this is probably not like Richard Nixon's China Ping Pong diplomatic initiative in 1971. Hopefully it's a real break from the past and human rights will not take a back seat this time."

More (from a real Cuban exile) here:
Obama serves it into Cuba and Latin America's Castro side of the Court

http://ddeeee.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Enrique-I | April 13, 2009 10:19 PM

It is hilarious watching the rabid right out of power, irrelevant Republican dodos stewing in their own juices stubbornly continuing down the same path of failure that decimated them in both the 2006 and 2008 elections.

It makes me wonder if they can survive until their next trouncing on Election Day, November, 2010?

After all, they are now known as the Republican Dodo Party of Extinction!

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 10:18 PM

If President Obama has it in his power by executive order to normalize relations with Cuba he should do so. It would be bold and courageous, and totally out of character. Besides, he has a totally infallible indicator: if The Con Men are against it, DO IT!!

Posted by: jmcauli1 | April 13, 2009 10:15 PM

About time! Long overdue. I can tell you that the second and third generation of Cubans in Florida do not agree with our parents or the politicians. We do not see what has been accomplished with this embargo, except that many of us have never met some of our relatives. This makes no sense. We have diplomatic relations with every other communist country in the world with dubious human rights records. Cuba is no different.

Posted by: Carolhxx | April 13, 2009 10:03 PM

Cubans on the island are condemned to live like half animals under communist regime. Hi from Curitiba, Brazil.
Having access to civilized life they can become more aware and kick out the old fashioned uniform men and make him pay taxes like everybody...Ridiculous...that they not dress like normal people...Cubans can now grow more bananas and sell them to Chavez to eat. If he keeps eating bananas all the time there will be no time to scream and chat cause he gets sleepy and tired from digestion...All medias must now press for democracy in Cuba, including telecoms. Better if Cuba could become part of US.

Posted by: kaestnerlotar | April 13, 2009 9:58 PM

josenigrin wrote:
Simply awesome! This new President gets more done to move America forward in one day than Bush and Cheney could accomplish in eight years!

Its about time this 50 year old Cuba policy was relaxed and eventually lifted. It is a FIFTY YEAR OLD FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE! Well done, President Obama!

Hey, Libtard...the Cuba policy dates back to Kennedy you stupid fing moron. I am sure your college professors in their infinite communist wisdom are chear leading this. You are as stupid as any leftard....sure American commerce is good there..what about the political prisoners..do they get a coconut rum special too. Idiot...Cuba is not a free nation...only when it is free then we should accept this.

Posted by: 65apr | April 13, 2009 8:44 PM

I don't know, I have never been afraid of communism. Maybe I should be. Are they afraid of capitalism? There is indeed much to fear. The democracy thing is just a 50 50 shot, like whose turn among the filthy rich. Yes, not including Obama, but I'm not sure he fits the mold.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | April 13, 2009 8:37 PM

Another step forward. Normalization of relations with Cuba is the last wall to fall in the cold war. The humanitarian and economic benefit will be manifest by the opportunity on both coasts. Florida and the entire country will see growth and increased markets in Cuba, perhaps not immediately, but, certainly in the foreseeable future.

The era of Fidel and the other cold warriors is close to being over and the lesson is nothing good can come of mindless confrontation.

Posted by: hadenuff1 | April 13, 2009 8:30 PM

IN A GLOBALISATION WORLD ALL COUNTRIES HAVE TO BE COUNTED IN ORDER TO BE PART OF THE INEVITABLE CHANGE, AND NOW IS THE TIME TO GIVE CUBA THE WESTERN OPPORTUNITIES OF PROGRESS, IN ORDER TO BE ACCEPTED AS PART OF OUR HEMISPHERE.

Posted by: josenigrin | April 13, 2009 8:28 PM

Simply awesome! This new President gets more done to move America forward in one day than Bush and Cheney could accomplish in eight years!

Its about time this 50 year old Cuba policy was relaxed and eventually lifted. It is a FIFTY YEAR OLD FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE! Well done, President Obama!

Has Rush Limbaw bit his own tongue off yet?

LoL

Posted by: free-donny | April 13, 2009 8:20 PM

Clearly, Obama is incrementally backing away from old standoffs that the US has become involved in. Cuba predates Obama's birth date in 1961!!

I would not be surprised if there is some move by the Cuban government, does something to reciprocate. I say that as the Foreign Minister was recently chnaged. The former hard-line Foreign Minister, Mr. Perez Roque, an apparent Castro disciple, who spoke at the Economics Club in the fall of 2005 (and did not take questions), has recently been replaced by an apparent moderate.

In the same way that the fall of the Berlin Wall opened uo Eastern and Central Europe to international investment, there might be a beneficial economic and political thaw between the USA and Cuba.

As Obama says, "Hope, hope, hope!!"

As a Canadian, I see this new policy to Cuba as a positive development.

Canadians have been allowed to travel in Cuba since the events of 1959, just as we were allowed to visit the USSR pre-1989.

In recent years, the big advantage of the “Embargo” is that the Cuban government been able to blame the Americans for its shortcomings. That case is being worn thin by the availability of goods from China, Japan, the EU, Canada and Mexico, but still the Cuban economy is moribund 9except for the tourist sector)

That America is loosening its blockade undermines the appeal of the Cuban revolution, being the nation repelling an adversary.

Clearly, you can get more with honey than vinegar. I would not be surprised if Pres. Obama revisits this revised policy before Christmas and allows unlimited travel in Cuba in 2010 as well as expanded trade with foodstuffs and non-strategic goods (to soak up the American currency spent in Cuba and to promote American products).

Next could be diplomatic relations. If The United States and Libya can have such links, then I believe it can be done by the United States and Cuba. As we Canadians know, establishing diplomatic relations with another nation, such as Russia, the People’s Republic of China and Libya does not mean that there is complete acceptance of everything that the other nation’s government does. Rather, diplomatic relations mean that the there is acceptance of a government in place and appointment of accredited representatives for required and possible discretionary intergovernmental relations.

Posted by: Beprudent | April 13, 2009 8:18 PM

I have a question for anyone who opposes these steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba:

Do you favor an embargo against China? If not, why not?

If so, are you literate?

Posted by: Miss_Hogynist | April 13, 2009 8:16 PM

This is a good first step. I think normal relations should be established between the US & Cuba as soon as possible. There were several conditions delineated by the US in order for this to happen. Among these was the freeing of all political prisoners in Cuba. I know this is a "radical" idea; but, how about the US offering to free the "Cuban Five" - regarded by Cuba and most of the world as political prisoners - in return for Cuba releasing all political prisoners?

Posted by: Jihm | April 13, 2009 8:06 PM

Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother and Ileana Ross are a trio of opportunistic, who when the day ends they go home to their mansions and have a succulent dinner and sleep with air conditioner and their cars parked in the garage... what have they gained with their "hard-line" agenda if not a very selfish gain? For example Ileana who supports whatever the "State of Israel" does, at the same time she criticizes Castro? I hate the dictatorship in Cuba and I suffered it more than most, and I bet anything that our President Obama will make the Island freer than those idiots who when the presidential campaigns where going on, went to "La Esquina de Tejas" to eat "arroz con frijoles negros" and said: "Cuba will be free"...

Posted by: jamil1 | April 13, 2009 7:58 PM

This is just another terrific gaffe by our latest Idiot-in-Chief that demonstrates he lies and cheats like all the rest. One campaign promise after another is put by the wayside as he plunders this once great land. I hope the entire Cuban-American community wakes up to the fact that their votes were hyjacked and their importance was trashed like so many others five minutes after the oath was given. Impeachment is too good for this bum!

Posted by: GordonShumway | April 13, 2009 7:42 PM

This is long overdue. For those saying this is a slap on JFK -- hardly. JFK made his decisions almost 50 years ago. The world was a different place and I'm sure JFK would have understood the futility of trying to extend the sanctions.

I just wish we'd normalize it all....heck, we trade with Viet Nam don't we?

Posted by: mikem1 | April 13, 2009 7:39 PM

This is a good idea that is long overdue. We have sanctioned Cuba for a half century and it has not worked. On the other hand, this isn't about "Cuban Americans" and what they want. This is about getting all of America on the right foreign policy track. As for the the telecom deals, they shouldn't be given any trade green lights that don't apply to the rest of us. The telecoms still need to be charged in court with illegally supplying access to our domestic phone calls. Obam is selling out to them I fear.

Posted by: fishingriver | April 13, 2009 7:30 PM

I cannot believe it, I am outraged, I demand my Barry Soetoro campaign donation be refunded. He is a FRAUD. He promised, he criticized it, he called it illegal, he..he campaigned against it, good lord! He lied! He is doing the exact same thing that EVIL President Bush did. He is tapping my phone, my emails, he is actually increasing these activities! I am very, very upset by this. I demand he be impeached for these highly criminal actions. Everybody, together in the spirit of the great Code Pink that us Libs so admire...chant with me. IMPEACH BARRY, IMPEACH BARRY!...Come on Everybody...IMPEACH BARRY......hey were did all my "progressive" comrades go?

Posted by: FraudObama | April 13, 2009 7:25 PM

Now we will be subjected to reports of how much money the US Telecom companies contributed to the Obama Campaign...spare me the rhetoric, he had planned to do this all along. He needs to go down to Miami and talk to some of the US citizens along Rio Ocho and see just how many of the real Cuban Americans feel about this. Sending a contingent of Congressmen to fawn over the Castros and report back doesn't shed a whole lotta light on America's views.

Posted by: beana2 | April 13, 2009 7:16 PM

"What will it take for these hipocrats to give me my rights?

Posted by: knjon353 | April 13, 2009 4:30 PM"
---
Well, you could start by taking advantage of your right to an education. Learning to spell "hypocrite" would be a good place to start.

Posted by: JRM2 | April 13, 2009 7:01 PM

Spring_Rain:

Are you an American citizen?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:56 PM

STOP THE HYPOCRISY, PRES. OBAMA! END THESE 60'S ERA 20TH CENTURY ANTIQUATED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS! I CAN TRAVEL TO "COMMUNIST" CHINA ANYTIME I WANT, YET THIS TINY LITTLE MUSIC LOVING ISLAND IS SOMEHOW OFF LIMITS? THAT'S INSANE, SIMPLY INSANE!

Posted by: Spring_Rain | April 13, 2009 6:54 PM

Saloplad:

60 million Americans want to leave, to where? LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:40 PM

The First step in the dismantling of the 50Year Old EmbargoIts high time that the US Policies come in to the 21St Century.
The Anti Castro Cubans in South Florida including the two Congressmen will baek but who cares?. The Two faced US Policy is a Baseball player has a 100 Mile an hour fast ball and makes it to the US he is welcomed in with open arms and give a Million Dollar Contract ( El Duke).
It is in the intersest of the US to narmalize relationships with Cuba.
We can sell them food grain auto Electronic Equiptment which helps our business. They can open up their beaches hotels to US Tourist like in the old days which enhanches their Balance of Payments which will result in the improvement of the lives of the Cuban People.
Its a WIN WIN for all people.
Probably the South Florida Cubans dont want to see this.

Posted by: Carprin | April 13, 2009 6:36 PM

It is not enough but it is a good start.
Cuba will now have to double its Police and Customs Officers to filter out the raging sick neo-con Cubans now old and living in Florida, who will send their Sons, Daughters, Dogs, and paid hit men to do their worst.
Communism is banned in America, Capitalism (the Wall-Street Crash), is banned in Cuba.
The worst-off Citizen in Cuba is better off than 60 million Americans.
Now give back all Cuban land stolen in 1898 and butt your nose out of their business.

Posted by: Saloplad | April 13, 2009 6:36 PM

DriveByPoster (another one?):

"... and vice versa."

Therein lies the rub. As someone pointed out, below: "that memo never got to Castro.

Folks, you can always tell what kind of country it is by how many people want to leave. Koo-bah leads the way. There's a Berlin wall, though it happens to be called the Gulf of Mexico. Otherwise Fidel and Raul would have the whole damn place to themselves."

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:32 PM


if obama wants to do something... he should open up the entire island to the u.s. and vice versa.

this cuban/american thing is turning out to be a hatfill/mccoy feud.. america doesn't even know why we have the trade embargo for..

what.. for fidel castro? oh for chrissakes.. that man is as much of a threat to us as friggin porky pig is to the spawnig salmon in alaska.

to impose trade embargos for 30 years on an impoverished country is completely asinine.

WAKE UP AMERICA.. THE COFFEE'S BEEN BREWING FOR A LOOOONG TIME.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | April 13, 2009 6:29 PM


The "courageous" Diaz Ballart boys probably expected the US to send our boys. These self-proclaimed "aristocrats" (what a laugh, as they are all descendants from gallegos, the arm pit of Spain) would not fight...they want us to fight their war also...to send what they would consider "American white trash"... the struggle that THEY, these parasitic CUBANS IN EXILE, should have undertaken themselves, had they been men enough...but no, two shots after Castro entered Havana on January 1958, they were already on a boat to Miami...For fifty years they've been crying like women what they did not defend like men.

Posted by: oscarcury | April 13, 2009 6:27 PM

senatorcat:

Why doesn't the government trust its citizens enough to let them visit North Korea either?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:24 PM

Good for you Obama. Its about time to end this stupid embargo and you are doing it the right way....bit by bit. We should have more of a vested interest in Cuba, as well as all of Latin America, then we should have in Iraq and trying to control what happens in the Middle East. We have abandoned Latin America for far to long and it is time to pay some serious attention to our neighbors and not take them for granted as we always arrogantly do. I have no doubt that Cuba will one day be a more free and open country. We were the ones that pushed Cuba to the USSR in the late 1950's, by rejecting their overtures. We were still enamored with the brutal dictator, Batista, so we rejected the overtures of Fidel after his revolution toppled the dictatorship and before he turned to communism. In our arrogance we missed our opportunity to mold this new government and society back in the 50s and so it is time to hear the voices of the OAS and work together to bring Cuba into the 21st Century as a democratic society through cooperation and not banishment.

Posted by: goofycarly | April 13, 2009 6:19 PM

My post will probably be lost here, but I need to vent.
Obama did not go far enough. Open up unrestricted travel to Cuba for all Americans and do it now. Past policy has failed miserably and Obama has only opened the door a crack. Bull!

Posted by: westcan | April 13, 2009 6:19 PM

This travel restriction is so antiquated.

Why doesn't the government trust its citizens enough to let them visit Cuba?

Posted by: senatorcat | April 13, 2009 6:17 PM

I like it. These targeted changes will allow the Cuban people as much contact with the advantages of democratic capitalism as possible, while not taking the riskier step of entirely removing the economic pressure on Cuba's government.

Posted by: Nissl | April 13, 2009 6:15 PM

What could be more delightful than seeing neo-con twits like Tucker Carlson (breaking walnuts with his tight butt cheeks), Shemp Hannity, Glenn Beck, the fat dope fiend Rush Limbaugh and the $2 hooker Ann Coulter, with nostrils flared, spittle flying and braying like jackarses, as their chokehold on U.S. foreign policy is slowly loosened.

The neo-cons are having a difficult time coming to grips with the reality that the spineless weasel Bush and the blowhard with a pacemaker, Cheney, are no longer in the driver's seat. The madder and louder that the neo-cons bray, hee haw, hee haw, the better for all Americans.

Posted by: DCSage | April 13, 2009 6:15 PM

this is just more crap from obama.

who benefits from this the most?

how about A BUNCH OF SLEAZEBAG AMERICAN CORPORATIOS!!!

YOU FRIEND AND MEIN (sic itentional).. THE TELECOMS!

OBAMA SELLS OUT CUBA TO CORPORATE AMERICA!!!

CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

YEAAAA OBAMA! ! ! !

IS THIS OBAMA'S FIRST OFFICIAL CORPORATE FAVOR TO EAR HIMSELF A KICKBACK IN 4 YEARS?

Posted by: DriveByPoster | April 13, 2009 6:14 PM

the diaz-balart's need to go away, 50 years and nothing. do you think it's time to try something new? if they want to for real take some of the money they've taken over years, finance an army, lead the army(i doubt) and take over the country spread their brand of democracy(selling snake oil, bribes, fraud) business the banana boat way.

Posted by: lookitkup | April 13, 2009 6:14 PM

I think Obama is doing the right thing here, and personally, I would love to see him exercise more strategic soft power, especially in the form of foreign aid. The Borgen Project has good info on the estimated cost of ending global poverty:

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.

$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget.

Posted by: davidwaters1 | April 13, 2009 6:13 PM

He shoots, it flies and whamo... the telecoms get another break like the vote to NOT investigate them last May.....
"Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss"--
The Who (say about 40 years ago or so)

Posted by: RetCombatVet | April 13, 2009 6:10 PM

angriestdogintheworld:

No.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:08 PM

Reply to: kevinschmidt

What arrogance and impunity Bush demonstrated in his flagrant disregard for the fundamental protections afforded all men under the U S Constitution! The cowardice he displayed in failing to take responsibility for the Abu Grabbe incident, not to mention Gitmo, allowing the lowliest soldiers to take the blame for his own policy of torture, and prolonged detention without benefit of judicial review, merely underlines his blatant defiance of those protections guranteed by our U S Constitution.

Even though I consider myself to be conservative and have no proclivity to become a left wingnut liberal, I desire only to uphold that which is right and lawful, for to seek otherwise, breeds tyranny and injustice.

Posted by: Jordan48 | April 13, 2009 6:07 PM

so Jake... ever had a Cuban cigar? I sent my self a box along with a dildo to my girlfriend, while visiting France a couple of years back. She got a visit from the secret police, they would not let her keep the vibrator.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | April 13, 2009 6:04 PM

The Diaz Ballart Clowns should shut their mouths. They are NOT Americans but naturalized parasites who have made a living out of their relationship with Castro! Had they had any "cojones", or valour, they would have led an invasion to their two bit, mediocre country a long time ago, They ought to be ashamed of the fact that, living only 69 miles away from Cuba, and after 50 years in exile, all they can muster is a "protest". No wonder they have the reputation of being opportunists and cowards. Why haven't they organized a movement to liberate their own country, like all Latin Americans have done, when faced with a hostile regime. Jesus Christ! even the Russians got their country back from the Soviets! These clowns ought to be chased out of Washington and investigated by the FBI for the use they have made of the millions of dollars the Cuban exile community has received from the US Government during these last 50 years. Shame on them! Had they had any decency they would shut their mouths and head back to the caves they crawled out of. But then again, this exiled community is so pretentious and señoritos that all they can do is talk pretty...and if you add the size of their holdings in pre-Castro Cuba, the country ought to be the size of Greenland!

Posted by: oscarcury | April 13, 2009 6:04 PM

Farfalle wrote:

THEY'VE JUST OPENED SOME BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS 5 STAR LUXURY HOTELS IN HAVANA-AND THE MUSIC OF OLD HAVANA, AS MY BRITISH AND CANADIAN FRIENDS TELL ME, IS FANTASTIC/

BUT I CAN'T GO THERE-EVEN THOUGH I'VE WANTED TO FOR 20 YEARS OR MORE! I CAN'T, BECAUSE COMMUNIST AMERICAN LAW SAYS I'M NOT PERMITTED TO GO THERE OR I WILL BE CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED!

I ALSO COULD GO TO CUBA OUT OF PUERTO RICO, AND THE CUBANS VERY NICELY WOULD NOT STAMP MY PASSPORT-BUT AS A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, I CAN'T REALLY DO THAT, CAN I? I KNOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE, BUT I HAVEN'T!

SO WHAT ABOUT IT TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND WHITE HOUSE? HOW ABOUT DOING SOMETHING VERY RATIONAL AND TIMELY AND LIFTING THOSE GD USELESS TRADE SANCTIONS AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ON CUBA? (THEY NEVER WORK ANYWHERE, ANYWAY, EXCEPT TO HURT THE PEOPLE WHO NEED FOREIGN REVENUE THE MOST)

HOW ABOUT IT, MR. PRESIDENT? LET'S SEE HOW RATIONAL YOU REALLY ARE!


I agree 100% with this sentiment-TEAR DOWN THE IMAGINARY WALL MR. PRESIDENT! LET US ALL VISIT CUBA LIKE WE WOULD IF WE WERE TRULY A FREEDOM LOVING NATION!

Posted by: Spring_Rain | April 13, 2009 6:03 PM

jameschirico:

No.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 5:56 PM

President Obama fulfills another campaign promise one which I as a Cuban American am grateful for. I supported President Obamas candidacy but unfortunately too many of my fellow Cuban Americans did not. Antonio Maceo is Cubas greatest patriot and was a principal warrior in freeing the island from the Spanish. The Bronze Titan as he was known was as the name implies a black man. I find it ironic that it was a black man who freed Cuba from the Spanish and that another black man is going to be instrumental in bringing the island freedom again. The fact that President Obama is taking these steps without enjoying the majority support from my community just shines a light on the true character of this man. Thank you Mr. President from the U.S. Army veteran and my familia. Obamanos!

Posted by: pedraza1 | April 13, 2009 5:56 PM

The cold war with China or Russia was over and the selective and harsh economic sanction against Cuba has been too outdated. Cuba also stands as a painful reminder of America's flawed foreign policy of supporting the despots and dictators who promised to be anti-communism but otherwise oppressed and impoverished their own citizens all the while. The takeover by communism succeeded only in countries where the mass lost any hope for a better life under oppression and poverty, and Cuba, under the dictator, Fulgencio Batista, was a perfect example. The Cuban-Americans who still insist on keeping the sanction against Cuba are mostly the rich, corrupted cronies of Batista or their descendants whose ill-gotten wealths and properties in Cuba were confiscated by Castro's government. They want communism to fail in Cuba solely for the reason of reclaiming their elite power and wealth, not so much because they care about better life for other Cubans.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | April 13, 2009 5:53 PM

" . . . Regardless of the country, it is still unconstitutional to restrict anyone from traveling to any country . ."
===========================================

I guess that memo never got to Castro.

Folks, you can always tell what kind of country it is by how many people want to leave. Koo-bah leads the way. There'a Berlin wall, though it happens to be called the Gulf of Mexico. Otherwise Fidel and Raul would have the whole damn place to themselves.

Posted by: tifoso1 | April 13, 2009 5:52 PM

Someone, go check the eternal flame on JFK'S grave, it must be out.

Posted by: dashriprock | April 13, 2009 5:49 PM

JakeD I wonder if you studied law with U.S. District court judge John Bates that upheld the lower court ruling that giving away a state secret Valerie Plame is within the constitutional duties of the executive branch. Obama is a wuss concerning this as the Fitzgerald conspiracy theory has not been pursued by the Justice Dept.

Posted by: jameschirico | April 13, 2009 5:45 PM

Also, remember, Cuba was with us before the 1959 event that brought in Fidel.

Cuba will come back once again with the demise of communism and the Comintern econimic ties
------

If I remember correctly, China and Russia have been parking weapons in and around Cuba, 90 miles off the shores of FL.

It would be diplomatically stupid for the US to continue to pretend Cuba has no strategic importance.

OTOH, I wish those Wall Street kooks were in prison -- no market, anywhere, is untouchable to them, they will literally betray the US, their HOME, their country, for a dime.

Someone said they were threatened by China's economic boom but really it's only a problem in terms of our response.

With the right people in charge, it's no problem at all.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 13, 2009 5:39 PM

Of course he did...

As one Marxist to another Obama amd Castro have a lot in common. How else can the rest of Congressional Democrats go for the next coffee and donuts with Castro event to join the Congressional Black Cauacus.

The Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves...

Posted by: Obama_Liar_in_Chief | April 13, 2009 5:32 PM

We sanction Cuba and let communist China go because the own a trillion in T-bills. My view is China more than Russia poses the greatest threat to our nation. Their economy will surpass ours in a few decades or less which will translate into a superior military. Alternative energy, the 5 new giant natural gas plants, and if we ever win in Afghanistan the Tajikstan oil will dampen Russian economic/military ability. Cuba without nukes is a minor irritation that may go away when the Castro's die. Sanctioning countries where no one would want to go like N. Korea and Syria (you can add Somalia, Sudan and Juarez, Mexico to that list) is not the same as Cuba where Americans would be safe.

Posted by: jameschirico | April 13, 2009 5:28 PM

Huh, Obama's a communist sympathizer. Who'd've thunk?

Posted by: tresangelas | April 13, 2009 5:26 PM

Also, remember, Cuba was with us before the 1959 event that brought in Fidel.

Cuba will come back once again with the demise of communism and the Comintern econimic ties.

Cubans are struggling in anachronistic settings due to no fault of theirs, as the totalitarian dictatorship took control without volition.

Time to set them free and put the clock to date and time.

Of course, we can only aid and abet as overt intervention may be counter-productive.

We need to see light and move with a steady hand. Every step they take, we take 10..in an accelerated time-frame.

Totally facilitate democracy, the freedoms and free entertprise and financial transfers and give free opportunity to all Cubans as things unfold and to all Americans and American Corporations who would like to have normal business and personal relations with Cubans.

With malice towards none.

Posted by: mdsubramonia | April 13, 2009 5:24 PM

JakeD – you’re a ranting idiot. How long will you hopelessly cling to your ridiculous conspiracy theory claim about Obama not being a citizen? Isn’t there some other more intellectually stimulating issues to deal with? You sound just as bad as the nut jobs claiming that Bush caused 9/11 to happen (yes, they are crazy too). The trouble is, even if it is true, it isn’t like ranting on this post will do anything. Why not engage in some useful constructive dialogue instead of instead of shouting preposterous noise. How can anyone take you seriously? – much less actually believe you went to Law School.

And why are people angry that Obama granted travel rights to only Cubans? – Is it not Cuban Americans who are mostly affected by this embargo? If you had no plans to travel to Cuba, why care?

Posted by: gabrielwittgenstein | April 13, 2009 5:20 PM

I know this guy who is very cynical about these things, but, you know, he's hip, for the most part, anyway.

He seems really happy today, dancing even, and I've never seen him with happy feet.

Ah, maybe it's his mood stablizer...

ROTFLMAO.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 13, 2009 5:17 PM

You can be sure, almost to clock-work precision, that President Barack Obama will do the right thing at the right time at the right place. He is the right man to be the President of the United States at a very, very critical and trying time.

Let us move very progressively and steadily to have a free relationship with free Cuba as things unfold.

Great job, Barack.

Also, deeply apppreciate the Republican Senators and House Reps who are able to move on this with great agility and speed , being able to see beyond rancour and division in what are essentially statesman-like duties.

Posted by: mdsubramonia | April 13, 2009 5:15 PM

Liberal: Constitutional Law !!

What the Flying F--K !!
-------------------

Big Note: Republican Senator and Head of Foreign Relations, Dick Luger wants and is Pursuing putting a End to the [Cuban-Embargo] all Together and Done Away with...

Why is there No Outrage or Discourse or Mass Media Outcry about that..Hmmm

When Reagan said "Mr. Gorbachev, Tare these Walls Down" as guess Reagan was an [E.German Communist-Socialist]

You People are Dumb..The Embargo is a [Futile Waste]

Tell Faux-News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dennis Praeger, Glenn Beck & Michael Savage..

We Cater to and are [Owned] by the ...

Largest [Communist-Socialist Country] on Planet Earth [[CHINA]]

We a [Democratic Country] made [CHINA] the Most Powerful Nation by, The Bush Family Member Prescott Bush, who started it all, a Republican an his Ties to [Communist-Socialist China], an all Republican President(s} Nixon 8 Years, Ford 4 Years, Reagan 8 years, Bush Sr 4 Years. Bush Jr.8 Years and One Democrat President [Bill Clinton]8 Years...

By the Time Clinton came Along, the Wheels were all in Motion.

Don't leave out Corporate America, selling out this Nation's Factory Workers, with all the Bush Tax Breaks and Encouragement and Support.
----------

The Cuban Embargo is a Waste Of Time and Effort, Damn Appeasing [Miami Residents]

China is far More a Valid Enemy and we are in Bed with those Communist-Socialist, Scoundrels...

Good for President Obama, Very Good Indeed.

Posted by: omaarsblade | April 13, 2009 5:12 PM

I would feel a whole lot better about this if the Wall Street kooks were in prison.

As it is, it's a mixed bag, the US having the opportunity for strategic advancement while at the same time fighting the corrupt kook profiteers.

But again, been there done that, right?

ROTFLMAO

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | April 13, 2009 5:11 PM

Liberal: Constitutional Law !!

What the Flying F--K !!
-------------------

Republican: Dick Luger wants and is Pursuing putting a End to the [Cuban-Embargo] all Together and Done Away with...

Why is there No Outrage or Discourse or Mass Media Outcry about that..Hmmm

When Reagan said "Mr. Gorbachev, Tare these Walls Down" as guess Reagan was an [E.German Communist-Socialist]

You People are Dumb..The Embargo is a [Futile Waste]

Tell Faux-News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dennis Praeger, Glenn Beck & Michael Savage..

We Cater to and are [Owned] by the ...

Largest [Communist-Socialist Country] on Planet Earth [[CHINA]]

We a [Democratic Country] made [CHINA] the Most Powerful Nation by, The Bush Family Member Prescott Bush, who started it all, a Republican an his Ties to [Communist-Socialist China], an all Republican President(s} Nixon 8 Years, Ford 4 Years, Reagan 8 years, Bush Sr 4 Years. Bush Jr.8 Years and One Democrat President [Bill Clinton]8 Years...

By the Time Clinton came Along, the Wheels were all in Motion.

Don't leave out Corporate America, selling out this Nation's Factory Workers, with all the Bush Tax Breaks and Encouragement and Support.
----------

The Cuban Embargo is a Waste Of Time and Effort, Damn Appeasing [Miami Residents]

China is far More a Valid Enemy and we are in Bed with those Communist-Socialist, Scoundrels...

Good for President Obama, Very Good Indeed.

Posted by: omaarsblade | April 13, 2009 5:09 PM

Spent a week in Florida before the presidential election and the opportunity to have dinner twice with wonderful Cuban families. Generally all above 65 were for continued sanctions while their college educated children had the opposite viewpoint. One 75 year old though was very angry at only being able to send $1200 to his ailing sister that needed more help. We all kicked in $20 (he has no family here) to be sent by the homeowner to her.

Posted by: jameschirico | April 13, 2009 5:06 PM

This move is exactly the kind of interaction that will help open up Cuba, not prop up the old regime. It is easier for Cuba to oppress its citizens if information is limited. More phones, computers, and hard connections will increase the ability of the citizens to communicate, always a good thing. Of course, they may also find out that the diaspora really just wants their power back and not really a democratic Cuban society. Pre-Castro Cuba was no more democratic than it is currently, the dictators just leaned right instead of left.

Posted by: ThinkitOut | April 13, 2009 5:06 PM

Regardless of the country, it is still unconstitutional to restrict anyone from traveling to any country.

Enjoy the teabagger!

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 4:44 PM
=========================

Really??? Where in the Constitution does it say that???

Posted by: dkidwell61 | April 13, 2009 5:06 PM

Socialist Birds of a Feather...

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 13, 2009 5:05 PM

"Pillai:
Unfortunately, for your and "your President", if he is not a "natural born" U.S. citizen, he cannot legally be President. That's just the law.
Posted by: JakeD"

Yep, nothing is better to instantly discredit a person's point of view than realization they are just a nutty "Trufer!". Who of course know far more about matters of law and Obama's birth than the 300-500 buck an hour lawyers and investigators the RNC and McCain had check if there was any merit to it.
There wasn't. No "Secret Kenyan Birth", no "renunciation of citizenship" , no "Vast Muslim Conspiracy to put a Cultivated Agent" in the White House.

Just a pathetic small pack of "Trufers" now sending members of their tin foil hat group encrypted emails warning one another to be careful of the ineligible "Obamanation" sending black UN helecopters after them and tampering with their precious bodily fluids...

____________
As for the "lifting of the ban" no, it just lets Obama's telecomm donors get a sugarplum and continues the pre-Bush practice of treating Cuban-Americans as a special class of citizens given privileges denied to fellow Americans (Yes, YOU PEOPLE can visit, vacation, buy stuff there - but not regular Americans. And you can send money to family or invest in family businesses & property - but not any other American. We will HONOR your request to continue to ban others from the privileges you seek...)

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | April 13, 2009 5:00 PM

JakeD you did not take my advice and move to Alaska, so I will try again. South Carolina's senator DeMint also thinks Obama is not American (to tickle rubes like you) and is running again. Help him try to get elected and I'm sure your neighbors in Texas would be grateful. In fact the ones that hate you most might even send a homemade cake to me for giving you this advice.

Posted by: jameschirico | April 13, 2009 4:59 PM

Springtime has finally arrived in DC after a nearly half-century hiatus. Castro will undoubtedly die in bed with his fatigues on, still mocking the failed embargo policies of the previous nine American Presidents.

Posted by: slim2 | April 13, 2009 4:51 PM

Why doesn't he come to Miami or Hialeah and pretend to be an American that can't speak Spanish and see what it is like to live here but OH I forgot he wants everyone to Spanish just like he does of which he does not.
Why doesn't he just give Florida to the Cubans it is already there but it is not offical yet. He hasn't heard about the amount that they are stealing from our medical care or does he care?
Why should he now he is the White House and he gets everything free off of the real Americans back and that is a fact.

Posted by: carolrhill101 | April 13, 2009 3:27 PM

-Are we supposed to believe that English is YOUR first language?

Sorry I just couldn't resist.

Posted by: theobserver4 | April 13, 2009 4:51 PM

To disprove your other argument, I notice there's no response to my point that you can't go to North Korea (or Syria without special clearance) either.

Selective reading. Again, very interesting.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:31 PM

You disprove nothing.

Regardless of the country, it is still unconstitutional to restrict anyone from traveling to any country.

Enjoy the teabagger!

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 4:44 PM

kevinschmidt:

I won't be going anywhere until the Good Devil takes me home. You were "worried" about nothing, then, since Bush-Cheney never once violated the Constitution. Obama OTOH may not even legally be President.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:29 PM

Again, you show your ignorance. You have no credibility, idiotic troll. Enjoy your tea party down the rabbit hole.

"'Mr. President,' one aide in the meeting said. 'There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.'

"'Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,' Bush screamed back. 'It’s just a god da#*ed piece of paper!'" --Reported in Capitol Hill Blue, December 9, 2005.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bush_administration_vs._the_U.S._Constitution

http://uniorb.com/RCHECK/Rimpeach.htm

http://www.dogpile.com/dogpile/ws/results/Web/gorge%20bush%20violates%20constitution/1/417/TopNavigation/Relevance/iq=true/zoom=off/_iceUrlFlag=7?_IceUrl=true

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 4:41 PM

Great new video on Obama and the economy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZxe6xrCYEs

Posted by: cuajitoloco | April 13, 2009 4:35 PM

knjon353:

Per the Constitution, D.C. would have to become a State. You could always move to a State, too.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:32 PM

To disprove your other argument, I notice there's no response to my point that you can't go to North Korea (or Syria without special clearance) either.

Selective reading. Again, very interesting.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:31 PM

Okay, actions like this, get me really upset.

"Communications of those kinds have been prohibited under tough rules put in place by George W. Bush's administration to pressure for democratic change in the island nation." Now President Obama.

Okay, as a resident of DC I have to read this and live with my situation as a person who has no representation in congress whatsoever. What will it take for these hipocrats to give me my rights?

Posted by: knjon353 | April 13, 2009 4:30 PM

kevinschmidt:

I won't be going anywhere until the Good Lord takes me home. You were "worried" about nothing, then, since Bush-Cheney never once violated the Constitution. Obama OTOH may not even legally be President.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:29 PM

Sorry, I just read that the Internets is strictly limited, and monitored by the government, in Cuba. Interesting.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:27 PM

kevinschmidt:

Now, all of a sudden, you are worried about what is, and isn't, Constitutional?! LOL!
Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:15 PM
----------------------

WRONG!

Throughout the entire criminal Dubya/dick misadministration, I worried, about all of their unconstitutional behavior.

Now you can go crawl back under your rock, you idiotic troll.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 4:26 PM

I can't wait to go. Its about time.

Posted by: sherardg | April 13, 2009 4:25 PM

I wonder how many of these posts are from Cuba ISP addresses?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:24 PM

AB68:

We'll see!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:22 PM

Let's see we have had an embargo for about fifty years and how did that work out. Oh my goodness but how can we do business with a communist regime that treats their people so poorly? Can you say China and before that the USSR. And shall we not forget all the non-communist countries we do business with who treat their citizens so wonderfully such as Saudi Arabia and not to mention that democratic paradise Afghanistan.
Come on folks grow up and smell the roses we have done business with and will do business with whatever country serves our purpose regardless of some high flying moral outrage.

Posted by: mindstorms | April 13, 2009 4:22 PM

The countdown toward the removal of the political power of the miami mafia (Balart, etal) has begun, and they know it.

The embargo is no longer in place to punish Cuba, but to enrich these miami people.
Follow the money trail....

Posted by: barbablanca | April 13, 2009 4:22 PM


HOW CAN PEOPLE SAY WE ARE THE "MOST FREE NATION ON EARTH" AS PEOPLE LIKE TO SAY, WHEN WE ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH NOT ALLOWED TO VISIT CUBA, HUH? THE ONLY ONES ON EARTH!

MR. PRESIDENT-TEAR DOWN THAT STUPID IMAGINARY CUBAN WALL! DO IT NOW, MR. PRESIDENT-TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!

Posted by: Spring_Rain | April 13, 2009 4:21 PM

JakeD

Whether you are a Republican or a closet Republican voting as an independent, you as voting block are starting to lose out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/13/pemanent-democratic-major_n_186257.html

And now this... Cuban Americans, who are predominantly black as a population, will now also exit Red and now go Blue!

Posted by: AB68 | April 13, 2009 4:21 PM

spitze:

What makes you think either Castro will allow Cubans to leave simply because Americans can visit?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:19 PM

AB68:

You know that I am not a Republican, right?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:18 PM

If anything we wont have court cases clogged with whether a Cuban landing on a bridge makes him an American or other silly things. Cubans can jump on a plane give Castro the finger, and life will go on.

Posted by: spitze | April 13, 2009 4:17 PM

"... this are Cuban made cars ..."

Couldn't have been said better, even with a Cuban accent!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:17 PM

Vintage cars? A body made in USA, an engine from the USSR, an alternator from China, an fuel system from Cuba. There are not american cars in Cuba, this are Cuban made cars.

Viva la Revolucion !!

Posted by: barbablanca | April 13, 2009 4:13 PM

So that makes the cars that much more valuable.

I was going to say they probably could put Detroit out of business, but Detroit already did that to themselves years ago.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 4:16 PM

If I'm JakeD and the rest of the Republicans, i'd be very, very worried now. They are now going to lose the very loyal Cuban American base in South Florida. Masterstroke BHO!
Once Cuban Americans start to travel back to Cuba, and send money to their families, see their home, they will realize that it was the Democrats that made this happen. That persuasion is always better than force.

Posted by: AB68 | April 13, 2009 4:16 PM

How long will we allow the Diaz-Balart brothers and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to dictate a seriously flawed policy? They are all part of families aligned with Batista, the corrupt dictator whom Castro drove from power, and they all lost wealth when the corrupt clique was exiled. Their policy has been a total failure; it has, instead, strengthened Castro's power. As an American citizen I not only resent the suffering we have inflicted on innocent Cubans but the denial of the rights of Americans to travel and see for themselves. Obama is moving in the right direction, but he has a long way to go before we have an honorable and effective Cuba policy.

Posted by: ejmurphy414 | April 13, 2009 4:15 PM

kevinschmidt:

Now, all of a sudden, you are worried about what is, and isn't, Constitutional?! LOL!

You can't go to North Korea (or Syria without special clearance) either.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:15 PM

Fifty-eight thousand Americans died in Vietnam. We now see that country on the Travel Channel and even McCain has recently visited there. So why are we playing games with Cuba. Well, there are three Cubans in the congress including two senators. Radio and TV Marti which is a total failure provides high paying jobs for Cubans in Miami. Like the soldier in the foxhole who shouted, "it is all politics". On October 22, 1962 I was on alert because of the missile crisis. Now 47 years later it is this Cuba thing that would not go away.

Posted by: truth1 | April 13, 2009 4:14 PM

HughBriss:

As I have told you (several times now) my mother passed away several years ago. If you have nothing to add to the discussion about Obama and Cuba, perhaps you should leave it that way.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:13 PM

It is unconstitutional for the U.S. government to tell any citizen where they can or cannot go.

Just because this law has been on the books for a very long time, doesn't make it any less unconstitutional. It just makes the injustice that much worse.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 4:13 PM

Vintage cars? A body made in USA, an engine from the USSR, an alternator from China, an fuel system from Cuba. There are not american cars in Cuba, this are Cuban made cars.

Viva la Revolucion !!

Posted by: barbablanca | April 13, 2009 4:13 PM

thedefendantx:

I simply answered YOUR question. BTW: what do you mean by "Hopefully, Obama will not only lift our travel restrictions for all Americans, he will also correct some unsavory demographic trends in southern Florida"? I am not Cuban-American. Are you going to deport me too?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:12 PM

nobama2012:
Maybe he will hold hands and walk around a garden with Castro like how Bush did with the King of Saudi

Posted by: spitze | April 13, 2009 4:11 PM

Jake, get off that computer and help your mamma hang out the wash.

Posted by: HughBriss | April 13, 2009 4:10 PM

JakeD: you and your white right wing Cuban American buddies can play the white supremacist card all you want in Southern Florida. It doesn't work anymore. You really have to come up with another political strategy. Think: Why did we lose Elian Gonzalez to Cuba? Hey, here's an idea because I loathe you: Try trotting out a few more right wing foundation paid Afro-Cuban refugees for the media to broadcast protesting Obama's change of Cuban travel restrictions. Make sure that the Afro Cubans all look African. No morena (brown), canela (red/brown) ["cinnamon"], india (Indian), blanca oscura (dark white), and trigueño (literally "wheat colored" to confuse Americans, or raise questions about the charges of racism against the Castro regime, which exists only as a figment of right wing Cuban American propaganda, now that they have lost the presidential election to not only a Democrat, but one who knows their sordid political history in Southern Florida race politics. Joke: How many white right wing Cuban Americans in the 1960s marched with black American civil rights protesters trying to desegregate Florida? Ans. Thousands of white Cuban refugees trying to kill them for their jobs.

Posted by: thedefendantX | April 13, 2009 4:08 PM

LOL! If anyone wants to debate (meaning a civil back and forth where you have to answer my questions too), please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:08 PM

We should all be able to travel to Cuba. Period.

To all other posters: JakeD obviously doesn't have a life except for to rile the rest of you. The best thing to do is to ignore him. Skip over his posts and read those whose writers are interested in honest and thoughtful debate.

Posted by: scoleman1 | April 13, 2009 4:05 PM

It's time to break out the Cuban Cigars!

Also, let's start buying back all of those vintage 1950's cars they've been driving for the past 40 years.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 13, 2009 4:05 PM

Dave56:

I hope that every Cuban-American who voted for Obama realizes that now.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:57 PM

So Obama lifts the embargo for telecom companies, but for the rest of us it's still in place. And this is in the name of freedom and democracy, right? Got it.

Posted by: geezjan | April 13, 2009 3:57 PM

As of right now , It is mean that Pres. Obama is too soft to Cuba and Fidel Castro won his game with our U.S. Even his brother Raul.

Also our congressmen and congresswomen gave up with cuba government. Fidel is big smile and laugh so hard at our U.S.

Posted by: Dave56 | April 13, 2009 3:56 PM

thedefendantx:

1.6 MILLION voters "care" that's who.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:55 PM

Unbelievable that Obama has given special rights to specific Americans....if the shoe had been on the other foot....say...maybe one George Bush......the ACLU would be having a hissy fit of epic proportions......let's see if Barry O bows to Castro when they meet......

Posted by: nobama2012 | April 13, 2009 3:52 PM

I hate the argument that we shouldn't be trading with Cuba because of human rights violations. We trade with Saudi, who stones adulterers to death, China who murders Tibetan activists, and Russia who likes to make people disappear.

Posted by: spitze | April 13, 2009 3:51 PM

As of right now , It is mean that Pres. Obama is too soft to Cuba and Fidel Castro won his game with our U.S. Even his brother Raul.

Also our congressmen and congresswomen gave up with cuba government. Fidel is big smile and laugh so hard at our U.S.

Posted by: Dave56 | April 13, 2009 3:51 PM

Who cares about the Cuban-American refugees in Miami? Let them fight their own wars with Castro! They are all racist right wingers anyway, which makes them unAmerican, the ones at least who brought their absurd Cuban blancoquismo (whites only) or pigmentocratic attitudes and practices from Cuba to southern Florida, and immediately supported white Cubans only enclaves in southern Florida, circa 1950s to the 1970s. They quickly grabbed jobs in the tourism industry and land on the Florida east coast from poor African Americans. No more trying to sing Stephen Foster's 1850 classic "De Camptown Races" (based on black American folk dialect and lyrics) in Hialeah race track country in Spanish! Hopefully, Obama will not only lift our travel restrictions for all Americans, he will also correct some unsavory demographic trends in southern Florida.

Posted by: thedefendantX | April 13, 2009 3:51 PM

be = me (darn Spellchecker ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:41 PM

And, I will keep investigating until the Good Lord calls be home.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:40 PM

Wot? No Cuban CEEEE-GARZZZ? Bummer

Posted by: rikkirat | April 13, 2009 3:39 PM

Is this constitutional? I mean, how can a measure be applicable to a certain class of citizens, but not to the rest of us? Either all citizens are granted the same rights and priviledges, or the they are denied to all.

Where is the ACLU, etal?

Posted by: barbablanca | April 13, 2009 3:39 PM

I've never "ignored" FactCheck.org, Pillai (it is not an "official" agency for verifying citizenship, though, and I spent plenty of time before the election pointing out how that CERTIFICATION OF LIVE BIRTH is different than a birth certificate
- Jake D
------------------

Of course! There is always something else to prove right with you, jakeD? Once we have the real birth cert, then it will be on to something else. Sorry buddy, we will get back on this wagon for your investigative pleasure in 2017 Jan or so when President Obama is on his way home to Chicago for good.

Till then, you can read this. Or grind your teeth at the injustice of it all.. or both.

The document is a "certification of birth," also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents' hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health's birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.

Posted by: Pillai | April 13, 2009 3:37 PM

Great, I'm getting my passport this week cant wait. What were we afraid of ? We deal with China,Russia,all the terrible
Commie countries, why not COOBA ? Lets all
go. They have great music, and who knows
we just might have a good time.

Posted by: rm5431 | April 13, 2009 3:37 PM

It's about time. I could just imagine what would have happened otherwise. Ten years or so from now when both brothers are gone and democracy comes back to Cuba republicans will be saying see, we told ya so. The embargo worked. Stupid trolls.

Posted by: Frigistan | April 13, 2009 3:37 PM

emfuentes27:

Do you now live in the United States?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:34 PM

The embargo doesn’t make any sense. I’m Cuban, I was born there, and I’m telling everybody, that the Castros have been using the embargo an excuse to the failure of their economic policies. We grew up with the idea that US would invade Cuba, and a friendly US is not good for the Cuban government. So! Let Cuban and American to go there, that’s the way the Soviet Union was destroy…from within. Any government can’t export democracy, it has to be the citizen of their own country.

Posted by: emfuentes27 | April 13, 2009 3:32 PM

FrankDog:

Thanks.

coloradodog:

Just as soon as they run for President of the United States ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:27 PM

Why doesn't he come to Miami or Hialeah and pretend to be an American that can't speak Spanish and see what it is like to live here but OH I forgot he wants everyone to Spanish just like he does of which he does not.
Why doesn't he just give Florida to the Cubans it is already there but it is not offical yet. He hasn't heard about the amount that they are stealing from our medical care or does he care?
Why should he now he is the White House and he gets everything free off of the real Americans back and that is a fact.

Posted by: carolrhill101 | April 13, 2009 3:27 PM

BTW: how many other Americans will be able to afford a vacation this year in Trinidad and Tobago, or even Mexico?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:26 PM

Watch "The Obama Deception"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

Posted by: Frank37 | April 13, 2009 3:24 PM

I honestly have a legitimate concern that Bill O'Reilly may be a long lost inbred cousin of Rush Limbaugh because of similar puffy red cheeks and common windbag characteristics. I think we need to see their birth certificates to prove this is not true through genealogical research. It's their obligation to put their birth certificates and family tree on the "internets" to prove to us this isn't true.

Posted by: coloradodog | April 13, 2009 3:24 PM

businesslitigationgroup:

I would not be surprised if Obama and Castro meet on this next trip he's taking Thursday.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:23 PM

"sullen lot" = 1,611,478 Cuban
Americans (and counting ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:20 PM

Meaningless window dressing by the Obamanation adminstration...Posted by: tifoso1 | April 13, 2009 12:48 PM

==============

International diplomacy is an exercise in small steps. Research that out.

What... you expect Obama and Castro to meet, announce the building of several five-star casinos, and for the two to stick gold-plated shovels into Cuban soil? LOL.

If that's your thinking, permit me to suggest a new name for the joint venture. "Barack's and Fidel's New American Cubano Casino."

Posted by: businesslitigationgroup | April 13, 2009 3:20 PM

jrw1:

Carter and Clinton are Democrats.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:19 PM

The only reason this wasn't done decades ago is because of Republicans pandering to a sullen lot of Cuban exiles in South Florida. Just another (minor) example of how much unnecessary misery Republicans cause if you're not a rich white man.

Posted by: jrw1 | April 13, 2009 3:18 PM

tiotom77:

Obama cult members only care about alleged human rights violations if they can blame GWB for it.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:16 PM

i have a feeling that afghanistan and iraq will be failures. the economy will flounder. restoring ties with cuba by lifting the embargo will be necessary for obama. it might be one of the few accomplishments of his administration.

Posted by: davidmatthews | April 13, 2009 3:15 PM

Other free people in the world can visit Cuba. Why can't I? Other free people in the world can drink Cuban rum. Why can't I?
The Cuba restrictions are stale old relics of the cold war like O'Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh.

Posted by: coloradodog | April 13, 2009 3:14 PM

I've never "ignored" FactCheck.org, Pillai (it is not an "official" agency for verifying citizenship, though, and I spent plenty of time before the election pointing out how that CERTIFICATION OF LIVE BIRTH is different than a birth certificate -- just ask BB / FairlingtonBlade -- I am not going to post that all over again). If there's something specific from FactCheck.org you have a question for me about, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:14 PM

Americans have been visiting Mexico for years, really hasn't helped the average mexican any, just their corrupt government and fat cats. So not sure if us visiting Cuba would make any political changes.

I'm for Obama's idea anyways. Mexico is too dangerous nowadays we need another destination. The only benefit to the cuban people will be in the form of tourist related jobs.

Posted by: imaginaryfriend2 | April 13, 2009 3:13 PM

all these right wingers are probably closeted gays lol

Posted by: Cruise2060 | April 13, 2009 3:11 PM

It's good to have an president who's an adult.

Posted by: lip111 | April 13, 2009 3:11 PM

sicksidvt:

If Obama was actually born in Hawai'i, then I would agree with you (except for the ad hominem personal attack, of course ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:10 PM

Also for those interested, this ridiculous whisper campaign that President Obama is somehow ineligible to hold that office has no foundation. Sorry.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

Posted by: rtandrew

---------------------
Thanks rtandrew..

hey JakeDelusional. Would you care to point your browser to the above link?

And care to respond, instead of ignore? And please - come up with something original other than to scream "that website and all of it are just fakery!".

One more thing - I don't need your persuasive 'Liberal lawyers say that you have to be a nat born citizen to be President' argument. I know the law well enough - common people can read rules and the requirements to be the POTUS. I was just being sarcastic earlier.

Posted by: Pillai | April 13, 2009 3:09 PM

I hope President Obama will investigate all human rights violations before getting too friendly with Cuba. The Black Caucus liked the Castro Brothers but never visited any prisons to see how people are treated

Posted by: tiotom77 | April 13, 2009 3:08 PM

Back on topic:

Wikipedia says there are 1,611,478 Cuban
Americans (most of them in Florida and New Jersey). I'm glad to see Obama writing those two States off for 2012 in the Electoral College. As I asked, below, how about California and New York too?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:07 PM

Just end this insane waste of time Embargo.

My dad did signals intercept for the USAF when the Cuban Missile Crisis was on. He was in his early 20s.

His 70th birthday is this fall.

Posted by: WillSeattle | April 13, 2009 3:05 PM

"Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Jr. (assuming Sr. was even his real father) was elected, no doubt. If Arnold Schwarzenegger had run, maybe he would have won too. I would be saying the same thing about Arnold not being a "natural born" citizen though, and therefore could not be legally "inaugurated" as, or exercise the powers of, President of the United States. Let me know if you have any other questions."

Yeah, great analogy, except Arnold was born in another country, Obama was born here. Idiot

Posted by: sicksidvt | April 13, 2009 3:05 PM

See you later, drive-by poster.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:03 PM

"I am neither delusional nor bitter."

Okay, how about "Blind to Reality" or "Desperate for Attention From Total Strangers in Old Age"

See Ya!

Posted by: marSF | April 13, 2009 3:02 PM

It is a FACT that I am neither delusional nor bitter. So, no "bile" either. Next?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 3:00 PM

"Don't kill the messenger."

Exceptions can be made when the tea-bagger in question is full of bile and not facts.

Posted by: marSF | April 13, 2009 2:57 PM

marSF:

I am neither delusional nor bitter. Next?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:56 PM

dikaslogos:

Ouch.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:54 PM

"I honestly believe there's a legitimate question as to whether Obama is a "natural born" citizen, so that's not "trolling". "

It must really suck to be so delusional and bitter.

Posted by: marSF | April 13, 2009 2:54 PM

The embargo has never helped to bring change to Cuba. Time to try a new approach: lift the embargo right away and unconditionally. In the Summit of the Americas, latinamerican leaders expect a real answer. If USA has full trade with China, Vietnam, Saudiarabia, why not with Cuba. Time for change, isn't?

Posted by: JpAcosta | April 13, 2009 2:54 PM

"But the move is highly controversial, especially among those who supported former Bush's hardline policy, which viewed the restrictions as a way of spurring political change."

So how's that political change spurring going so far? Maybe 50 years isn't so long in geological terms, but really, what good has this done anyone?

I'll bet Macdonald's and victoria's secret commericals on cuban TV will spur more political change in 1 year than 50 years of ... whatever it was that's been done thus far.

Posted by: katavo | April 13, 2009 2:53 PM

For the record, I don't "hate" anyone (even MUPPET : )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:51 PM

If JakeD is actually a product of an education at Stanford, his lack of reason, understanding and reality do not carry a favorable image of the institution.

Posted by: dikaslogos | April 13, 2009 2:51 PM

Maybe one day we can all live together peacefully, except of course Jake-D-Idiot.
He will still be on the outside hating.

So sad....

Posted by: MUPPET | April 13, 2009 2:49 PM

MUPPET:

You will note that I never resort to ad hominem personal attacks against you or anyone else posting here. Don't kill the messenger.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:48 PM

klausdmk:

That is where we are headed, unfortunately.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:46 PM

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Jr. (assuming Sr. was even his real father) was elected, no doubt. If Arnold Schwarzenegger had run, maybe he would have won too. I would be saying the same thing about Arnold not being a "natural born" citizen though, and therefore could not be legally "inaugurated" as, or exercise the powers of, President of the United States. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:35 PM

============================================
jake-d-idiot

Posted by: MUPPET | April 13, 2009 2:45 PM

nursehope:

Electing Obama is the stupidest thing we've ever done.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:44 PM

washpost27:

You haven't seen much polling data from West Miami or Hialeah, have you?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:40 PM

It's hard to believe that Florida Cubans would be mad at Obama, he just opened more doors for them than any president before him. Sure, there might be some old Cubans around but that was over 50 years ago and they should be happy that their grandchildren will be able to visit the mother country. I sure hope that Mr Obama opens travel for all americans, I would love to vist Cuba. I don't have a hard on for Cubans or their country. And the embargo is an insulting joke and should have been revoked years ago. VIVA OBAMA!
Thank you. Now let me visit Cuba.

Posted by: washpost27 | April 13, 2009 2:36 PM

MR. PRESIDENT-TEAR DOWN THAT STUPID IMAGINARY CUBAN WALL! DO IT NOW, MR. PRESIDENT-TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 13, 2009 2:35 PM

olddogsarebest:

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Jr. (assuming Sr. was even his real father) was elected, no doubt. If Arnold Schwarzenegger had run, maybe he would have won too. I would be saying the same thing about Arnold not being a "natural born" citizen though, and therefore could not be legally "inaugurated" as, or exercise the powers of, President of the United States. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:35 PM

I hope he opens it up totally....Those restrictions were one of the stupidest things we have done!

Posted by: nursehope | April 13, 2009 2:34 PM

Jake D: Splain please.

Posted by: olddogsarebest | April 13, 2009 2:30 PM

BB / FairlingtonBlade:

I honestly believe there's a legitimate question as to whether Obama is a "natural born" citizen, so that's not "trolling". The golf game is great too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:28 PM

Read book on Hugo Chavez and the War Against America. Cuba friendly Chavez used some the same tactics as Obama. Take over government and expand government power by spending and running private industry out of business.

Posted by: klausdmk | April 13, 2009 2:28 PM

As a people we continue to refuse to solve several of the thorny problems we face as a nation even though well defined.

Ignoring the metrics of consistency and the right of self determination, we fan the flames of hatred with our failure to respect the traditions, culture and preferences of our Cuban neighbor.

Our Cuban foreign policy for the past forty years did not work. It has been and economic, social and political tragedy for both countries.

We have permitted a small enclave of Cuban refugees to dictate policy and define the parameters of interaction and intercourse between the people and the governments of Cuba and America. A policy based on spite and revenge rather than on the welfare of the citizens of both nations.

Enough is enough. It is time to lift the embargo and normalize our relationship.

Posted by: dikaslogos | April 13, 2009 2:28 PM

YES! The first step towards making things right and reasonable with Cooba. Cannot you old persons who always look backwards see the possibilities for a new potential ally? If I only had the bucks I'd invest in an American-friendly vacation resort there. Anyway, go, go, Obama! Next step, normalization of all trade relations and free travel b/w all citizens.

Posted by: moran1 | April 13, 2009 2:27 PM

Bubba Clinton will be the first one to fly down to Koo-bah to pick up some cigars. He might even smoke some.

Posted by: tifoso1 | April 13, 2009 2:26 PM

"I'm retired now (and enjoy tweaking the liberals here)."

And that explains it all. Jake's not out to make any points. Using Obama's middle name during the campaign was the tweak. Now it's the birth certificate. Just rile up some folks. It's called trolling and he's very good at it. Not sure about the golf game, though. :-)

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 13, 2009 2:25 PM

Carrot and Stick
The people expected the world to be a better place under Obama administration. Previous admins used carrot to friendly countries and stick to 'evil empires' to encourage or force changes. President Obama will use the same method to friends and foes and thereby encourage the communist block to join the journey towards a better and peaceful world. We hope a secure Israel can co-exist with Palestinian state and Sri Lanka accommodates the minorities instead of starving and bombing them under the guise of 'war on terror'.

Posted by: shanmugalingams | April 13, 2009 2:23 PM

My husband, along with a couple million, served in viet nam-for his retirement gift from att he chose a set of samsonite luggage when it came in it was made in the "communist country" of viet nam. Stop this ridiculous embargo against the PEOPLE of cuba.

Posted by: kml | April 13, 2009 2:23 PM

Liberal: Constitutional Law !!

What the Flying F--K !!
-------------------

Tell Faux-News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Dennis Praeger, Glenn Beck & Michael Savage..

We Cater to and are [Owned] by the ...

Largest [Communist-Socialist Country] on Planet Earth [[CHINA]]

We a [Democratic Country] made [CHINA] the Most Powerful Nation by, The Bush Family Member Prescott Bush, who started it all, a Republican an his Ties to [Communist-Socialist China], an all Republican President(s} Nixon 8 Years, Ford 4 Years, Reagan 8 years, Bush Sr 4 Years. Bush Jr.8 Years and One Democrat President [Bill Clinton]8 Years...

By the Time Clinton came Along, the Wheels were all in Motion.

Don't leave out Corporate America, selling out this Nation's Factory Workers, with all the Bush Tax Breaks and Encouragement and Support.
----------

The Cuban Embargo is a Waste Of Time and Effort, Damn Appeasing [Miami Residents]

China is far More a Valid Enemy and we are in Bed with those Communist-Socialist, Scoundrels...

Good for President Obama, Very Good Indeed.

Posted by: omaarsblade | April 13, 2009 2:21 PM

farfalle44:

Are you posting from (dial-up service) in Cuba?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:21 PM

rtandrew (I will only ask once more):

QUESTION: Can YOU legally sign an "Executive Order" too?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:20 PM

Bravo Mr. President!

Posted by: yard80197 | April 13, 2009 2:20 PM

MR. PRESIDENT-TEAR DOWN THAT STUPID IMAGINARY CUBAN WALL! DO IT NOW, MR. PRESIDENT-TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 13, 2009 2:19 PM

olddogsarebest:

I'm not disputing that he was elected. It's the "inaugurated" part I am questioning ; )

eaglestrike:

Yes (luckily, we get to "embargo" smaller, insignificant countries -- there's no way we could get away with that re: nuclear powers -- those relationships take a bit more finesse ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:19 PM

This is good news for Cuban Americans like myself who have never visited Cuba. My parents immigrated to the United States in 1960 and I was born in Georgetown University Hospital in 1965. I look forward in visiting my relatives in my parents native Cuba. I know many of the Cubans in Miami will be upset. LOL

Posted by: WhiteCubano | April 13, 2009 2:19 PM

Also for those interested, this ridiculous whisper campaign that President Obama is somehow ineligible to hold that office has no foundation. Sorry.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

Posted by: rtandrew | April 13, 2009 2:16 PM

THEY'VE JUST OPENED SOME BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS 5 STAR LUXURY HOTELS IN HAVANA-AND THE MUSIC OF OLD HAVANA, AS MY BRITISH AND CANADIAN FRIENDS TELL ME, IS FANTASTIC/

BUT I CAN'T GO THERE-EVEN THOUGH I'VE WANTED TO FOR 20 YEARS OR MORE! I CAN'T, BECAUSE COMMUNIST AMERICAN LAW SAYS I'M NOT PERMITTED TO GO THERE OR I WILL BE CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED!

I ALSO COULD GO TO CUBA OUT OF PUERTO RICO, AND THE CUBANS VERY NICELY WOULD NOT STAMP MY PASSPORT-BUT AS A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, I CAN'T REALLY DO THAT, CAN I? I KNOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE, BUT I HAVEN'T!

SO WHAT ABOUT IT TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND WHITE HOUSE? HOW ABOUT DOING SOMETHING VERY RATIONAL AND TIMELY AND LIFTING THOSE GD USELESS TRADE SANCTIONS AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ON CUBA? (THEY NEVER WORK ANYWHERE, ANYWAY, EXCEPT TO HURT THE PEOPLE WHO NEED FOREIGN REVENUE THE MOST)

HOW ABOUT IT, MR. PRESIDENT? LET'S SEE HOW RATIONAL YOU REALLY ARE!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 13, 2009 2:16 PM

Jake D: For the sake of your mental health, you need to drop the birth certificate argument. The Supremes will NEVER overturn the election of President Obama.

Posted by: olddogsarebest | April 13, 2009 2:15 PM

Read the book Hugho Chavez and the War Against American by Douglas Schoen and Michael Rowan. Chavez's rise to dictatorship over Venezuela and the methods he used parallel in many ways what Obama is doing to the U.S.A. Believe it or not. Read the book.

Posted by: klausdmk | April 13, 2009 2:14 PM

Yes JakeD, Russia and China are always trying to influence world events, they are indeed godless communists/evil ones, aren't they?

So when are we going to declare war on them or slam them with an embargo?, after all, we're the U.S.A and we fight for democracy and freedom, don't we?

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 2:14 PM

"All of the cases were dimissed on legal technical grounds. Obama as far as his records is literally a ghost."
******************************************
I suppose the 5th is a legal technicality.

Bush seemed to think so

A right to privacy in your private papers, would include your birth certificate.

All that being said why would you choose not to believe OBAMA, HAWAHI, FLORIDA, ALL THE COURTS AND SO ON AND SO ON?


Posted by: ORNOT | April 13, 2009 2:13 PM

Okay, I see you've removed the offending, and idiotic "communist Cuba" at 1:55pm-Michael Shear. That's better-but why would you write that in the first instance, huh?

Posted by: Spring_Rain | April 13, 2009 2:12 PM

I don't see why he doesn't just bury the hatchet and offer to normalize relations with Cuba. I would if I were president (but I also would have let wall street, banks, and insurance companies do their sink or swim thing with narry a dollar of public money, so it is probably a good thing I'm not).

Posted by: lswinford | April 13, 2009 2:12 PM

Read the book Hugo Chavez and the War Against America, The Threat Closer to Home by Douglas E. Schoen and Michael Rowan. Chavez became dictator of Venezuela by a military and political campaign based on his heros such as Cubas's Castro and other Latin American Communist manipulator of the people in poverty. Hugo Chavez used socialist tactics that parallel U.S. President Obama. Establish government control of the people by spending their revenues and taking over private industry by regulations to drive them out of business. A socialist government deceived the poor and increased the overall economic poverty of Venezuela. Human rights suffered and religion was suppressed with anti-Catholic political campaigns. The Islamic Republic of Iran was helpful to Hugo Chavez's trade agreements and anti-U.S.A. propaganda.

Posted by: klausdmk | April 13, 2009 2:11 PM

farfalle44 = SPRING_RAIN?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:11 PM

For the record, the "off-topic" post was by cgillard at 2:03 PM. Discussing whether a "President" can legally take an action contemplated in the thread is, dy definition, NOT "off-topic".

If anyone else wants to know why "teabagging" is an insult, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:10 PM

p.S. MICHAEL SHEAR, DO YOU ALSO SAY "COMMUNIST CHINA" WHENEVER YOU WRITE ABOUT THAT COUNTRY? SOMETHING TELLS ME YOU DON'T - YOU BIG IDIOT!

Posted by: Spring_Rain | April 13, 2009 2:09 PM

The big OUCH! you guys heard was from the morbidly obese, right-wing, vociferous psychopath of the radio talk show. The squeaky little ouchy! was from Bill O'Bunnie, and the roary SH*T! was from the undefined Coultergheist.

Posted by: analyst72 | April 13, 2009 2:07 PM

I believe that engaging the Cuban people will be the fastest way to bring about change in that country. The embargoes have been in place for forty years. It's time to try something else. If they lift the ban on tourism then the country will be overrun by Americans in short order.

Posted by: fletc3her | April 13, 2009 2:07 PM

Pillai:

LIBERAL Constitutional law professors would all admit that only "natural born" citizens can be President too. Keep the insults coming though.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:07 PM

JakeD wrote:

I am registered Independent. Are you going to start insulting all of us too?
--------------------------

Why? Are you teabagging too? If you are, sure.

Posted by: Pillai | April 13, 2009 2:07 PM

You see: now THAT'S an off-topic post!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:05 PM

Pillai:

Unfortunately, for your and "your President", if he is not a "natural born" U.S. citizen, he cannot legally be President. That's just the law.

-------------------

Jeez Jake. Wow. Insightful. And I forgot all about that piece of the law.

And the small point - He is the President, isn't he? So what does that say?

It says he's a natural born citizen, doesn't it? With a little reverse logic.

Only you right wing nuts think otherwise.

Posted by: Pillai | April 13, 2009 2:05 PM

It has to happen and I guess they can console themselves in having a pretty good run of uninterrupted freedom from American crass commercialization. Hopefully they can keep it under some kind of control.
As for expropriations and their freedoms it is good to remember that the US expropriated land from families that had lived for generations in California, when we took it from Mexico, and that was before communism was even invented.
Everyone however expropriated the land from the Indians and lots of them died from disease but we caught a disease too when we got to the New World, the GET-RICH-QUICK disease, It struck first perhaps on Manhattan Island but has spread far and wide since and is perhaps one of the many, many, curses that we have to face until we become more humble and develop more respect for the land and its people than we have for commercial development.

Posted by: cgillard | April 13, 2009 2:03 PM

Pillai:

I am registered Independent. Are you going to start insulting all of us too?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:00 PM

eaglestrike:

You presume too much. Re-read the very first sentence in the article above and then try "spinning" whether Obama is legally "President" is irrelevant again.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:59 PM

I hear all the Republicans are doing a lot of teabagging lately. Out in the open too.

Posted by: Pillai | April 13, 2009 1:58 PM

Bubette1, you're in the wrong forum.

You haven't written squat about this particular topic: "Obama to lift Cuba travel restrictions".

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 1:55 PM

Pillai:

Unfortunately, for your and "your President", if he is not a "natural born" U.S. citizen, he cannot legally be President. That's just the law.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:55 PM

THEY'VE JUST OPENED SOME BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS 5 STAR LUXURY HOTELS IN HAVANA-AND THE MUSIC OF OLD HAVANA, AS MY BRITISH AND CANADIAN FRIENDS TELL ME, IS FANTASTIC/

BUT I CAN'T GO THERE-EVEN THOUGH I'VE WANTED TO FOR 20 YEARS OR MORE! I CAN'T, BECAUSE COMMUNIST AMERICAN LAW SAYS I'M NOT PERMITTED TO GO THERE OR I WILL BE CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED!

I ALSO COULD GO TO CUBA OUT OF PUERTO RICO, AND THE CUBANS VERY NICELY WOULD NOT STAMP MY PASSPORT-BUT AS A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, I CAN'T REALLY DO THAT, CAN I? I KNOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE, BUT I HAVEN'T!

SO WHAT ABOUT IT TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND WHITE HOUSE? HOW ABOUT DOING SOMETHING VERY RATIONAL AND TIMELY AND LIFTING THOSE GD USELESS TRADE SANCTIONS AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ON CUBA? (THEY NEVER WORK ANYWHERE, ANYWAY, EXCEPT TO HURT THE PEOPLE WHO NEED FOREIGN REVENUE THE MOST)

HOW ABOUT IT, MR. PRESIDENT? LET'S SEE HOW RATIONAL YOU REALLY ARE!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 13, 2009 1:54 PM

I think this is long overdue move. Radio Marti should be on the chopping block next.

Posted by: ghp60 | April 13, 2009 1:54 PM

rtandrew:

QUESTION: Can YOU legally sign an "Executive Order" too?

John1263:

Are you still around?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:54 PM

Bubette wrote:
What would it take for Obama to meet his obligation to prove he is a Natural Born Citizen? First release the vault birth certificate.. blah blah blah blah..

---------------------

Hey Bubette - shut up. Shut the f up. You lost. Go cry some more.

And yeah, the birth certificate. The hell with it. With a proper birth cert, look what your Bush has given us..

So just to get your goat - I say my Pres Obama is a world citizen. He doesn't need to show you or the freakshows such as Rush and Hannitty anything..

Posted by: Pillai | April 13, 2009 1:52 PM

eaglestrike:

I am not the one insulting anyone's intelligence here (I won't take "overeducated" personally ; )

I simply gave you an honest answer to your question. Sometimes, unfortunately: "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know." Do you have any more questions for me?

castenea:

perhaps you missed the news that China and Russia are, indeed, trying to influence world events?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:52 PM

For those interested, the president was given the authority to make these changes as part of the Helms-Burton Act of 1996. There can be no question that the executive order is legal, since it is based on authority expressly given by the Congress. See section 112 of Pub.L. 104-114.

Posted by: rtandrew | April 13, 2009 1:51 PM

eaglestrike:

In terms of power, influence, economic trade, foreign affairs, just about every criteria relevant to the United States. Cuba, not so much.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:34 PM

.......................

Both have similar and atrocious human rights records (political prisoners, torture, etc.)...still China more important than Cuba anyway?......come on Jake!

You have not delivered an honest and non-spinning answer.

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 1:49 PM

About time. When Cubans still in Cuba can see for their own eyes how well their Cuban-American relatives are doing, they'll truly be rioting in the streets.

Posted by: tctexas | April 13, 2009 1:49 PM

p.S. MICHAEL SHEAR, DO YOU ALSO SAY "COMMUNIST CHINA" WHENEVER YOU WRITE ABOUT THAT COUNTRY? SOMETHING TELLS ME YOU DON'T - YOU BIG IDIOT!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 13, 2009 1:47 PM

Sometimes, just to get my daily dose of dumb, I read the comments of rightwingers/conservatives who still think that communists are lurking under everyone's beds and that America will one day be infiltrated by people who will make us bow down to statues of Lenin and Marx.

Keep up the good work, conservatives! Your paranoia keeps us all in stitches.

Posted by: castanea | April 13, 2009 1:47 PM

You're funny. I teach American Government. If you don't take the word of the state of Florida, a birth certificate, and the SCOTUS on matters regarding the eligibility of a president to be president then what exactly would you be looking for as evidence, faux attorney? The blessings of rush and sean? A divine declaration form the Pope?
************
Where did the State of Florida say that they have vetted Obama? Where is there a birth certificate? A certification of live birth is not a birth certificate. It is a short form abstract of birth. The State of Hawaii is allegedly holding the vault birth certificate which could be released if Obama were to sign a release and pay $10.00. To date Obama has refused to do so.
The SCOTUS has only held conferences on this issue and have refused to accept a case to go to discovery to answer the question. The same in all of the courts, not one court has allowed discovery to proceed and ordered the vault birth certificate, school records, draft records, or any records to be produced. All of the cases were dimissed on legal technical grounds. Obama as far as his records is literally a ghost.

It will be interesting to see if Obama runs in 2012. As soon as his name appears on a primary ballot there will be a flood of law suits from every State. This will avoid the delays in the rulings of the courts that then say the issue is moot because the election is already over.

Can anyone cite to any article where the Democratic Party has come forward to say that they have vetted Obama before the primaries? This issue was first raised by Hillary in February 2008 and there was plenty of time for they or Obama to do so. Instead Obama produces a worthless document to factcheck and several pro-Obama websites and the Democratic Party quietly steps back and lets the press handle it from there. It is a sham and a National disgrace. This issue will dog Obama throughout his Presidency. Whatever Obama has been trying to hide will come out at some point.

What would it take for Obama to meet his obligation to prove he is a Natural Born Citizen? First release the vault birth certificate. That would include the name of the hospital, doctors that delivered him and any witnesses. The hospital could then be contacted and the birth verified. Obama could then release his college records to show that he did not register as an Indonesian citizen or a Muslim. While being a Muslim would not impact his elgibility it would impact his credibility as he would be shown as a liar.

At this point nothing is known about his past that can be verified by any records. That is disturbing.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 13, 2009 1:45 PM

JakeD with all due respect, I congratulate you for graduating at the top of your class from Stanford Law but there are certain things you can't even spin with all your acumen.

Call it common sense, call it anything you want, but you or anybody else can't convincingly explain why is ok dealing with communist China and not ok with Cuba without insulting our intelligence. That's a cold fact and no book or thesis can tell us otherwise.

It so obvious that even the most illiterate man in earth can get it in a snap. The problem with the overeducated is that they get lost in their own fastidious arguments, intellectual arrogance and rationale while the real world show them otherwise.

Fact: Cuba is due for an opening, once that happens, Castro's regime will be history.....and I didn't need a Stanford degree to figure it out.

Regards.

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 1:45 PM

"Communist" Cuba-Shearer? Is that the best you can come up with? Isn't that term a bit, passe? When everyone I know in Europe can go and enjoy themselves on the lovely beaches and gorgeous hotels in Havana and I can't, don't you think your attitude needs a little, say, updating?

I don't think any country in the world refers to Cuba as "communist Cuba"-are we showing our bias and preference for the terrorist Cuban-American community in Miami, Shearer? Sheesh! Typical Post reporter BS!

OBAMA DO US ALL A FAVOR, LIFT THIS INCREDIBLY IDIOTIC AND WAY OUT-DATED TRADE SANCTIONS AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR TRAVELING TO CUBA-THIS IS LAW THAT IS WAY WAY ANTIQUATED AND TOTALLY NONSENSICAL-HOW CAN PEOPLE SAY WE ARE THE "MOST FREE NATION ON EARTH" AS PEOPLE LIKE TO SAY, WHEN WE ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH NOT ALLOWED TO VISIT CUBA, HUH? THE ONLY ONES ON EARTH!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 13, 2009 1:43 PM

Just another bunch of new voters for all the libs to take advantage of. They just don't have enough now so lets bring in some more. We are not yet totally in the gutter. Just a few more giveaways and bail outs and we will be all on poverty row. Even the libs.

Posted by: charlie448 | April 13, 2009 1:43 PM

In the meantime, try the veal and be sure to tip your waitress.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:42 PM

jelogan222:

I won't be here tomorrow or Friday thru Sunday, if that comforts you any.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:40 PM

tiankov:

Class of '61 (I'm retired with plenty of time to yank your chain now ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:35 PM

LOL

Posted by: kevin1231 | April 13, 2009 1:39 PM

The use trade embargoes against Caribbean nations who have had revolutions by the USA goes back to Thomas Jefferson and Haiti. Way longer history than just Cuba, JFK and the Bay of Pigs.

Obama really needs to do more than just this token gesture. He needs to lift the travel ban on Americans PERIOD.

Posted by: keithrjackson | April 13, 2009 1:38 PM

Good lord, Jake, you say you graduated in the top of your class at Stanford and all you seem to have to for these days is to trade childish insults on website? Brilliant.

Posted by: jelogan222 | April 13, 2009 1:38 PM

houndog:

I am not an "idiot" and there was never any question about where GWB was born.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:37 PM

Just who are the idiots here wondering if a sitting President has authority do do this? After 8 years of Bush ripping your constitution to shreds and amassing huge presidential powers the bad news for you righties is that yes, this sitting president can do anything he wants and Mr Obama and Mr Emmanuel haven't even flexed a bicep yet. And there is no good news,you lost and that's the long and short of it.

Posted by: houndog | April 13, 2009 1:36 PM

tiankov:

Class of '61 (I'm retired with plenty of time to yank your chain now ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:35 PM

eaglestrike:

In terms of power, influence, economic trade, foreign affairs, just about every criteria relevant to the United States. Cuba, not so much.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:34 PM

JakeD:

I am concerned to see a recent Stanford Law grad, such as yourself, taking the time to educate ignorant laymen on the intricacies of executive privilege constitutionality. May I suggest that you kindly focus your prolific self on client work and keep your billables up? Thank you.

Posted by: tiankov | April 13, 2009 1:33 PM

6thandD:

GWB has admitted that trading Sammy Sosa was his biggest mistake : )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:32 PM

eaglestrike:

China is just a little bit bigger (and, as yaqman pointed out, more important) than Cuba. It has nothing to do with which Communists are "better".

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:18 PM

...............................

More important in WHAT???

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 1:31 PM

WAY TO GO MR. PRESIDENT! This is the first logical step in repairing relations with Cuba. We should have done this the day the Berlin wall came down.

Now 44, work out a trade deal so we can get a little of that Cuban pitching over in Southeast.

Posted by: 6thandD | April 13, 2009 1:29 PM

John1263:

That still doesn't answer my question posed at 12:57 PM (look it up if you "don't believe" me again) which was "How about you?" You've responded to the first part of my post, and every other post of mine, so I hardly think you missed the question. Again, I would be happy to answer all of your later-asked questions, just as soon as you answer my pending question.

adrianadiaz:

They aren't (which is why Coast Guard does not allow them to land on U.S. soil). I was testing monseuirbigstuff's "logic" as to travel in general.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:28 PM

Finally. Some sanity. What has our idiotic policy of the last 47 years gotten us, or the average Cuban citizen? Well?

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | April 13, 2009 1:27 PM

As to the Tea Parties. It would have been an interesting race for Obama if the Independents in this Country had not voted for him. Obama did not win in a landslide in the popular vote (53% to 46%).

The Tea Parties are about citizens who understand what the bloated, disgraceful and unsustainable debt will do to this country. It will be interesting to see if the Country will develop a viable third party through this effort. Due to the control the Democrats and Republicans have over the election rules that is a difficult task.

Come 2010 and 2012 there will be a move to support fiscally responsible citizens. Hopefully by that time our Country will not be driven so far down a hole that it will not be able to recover from this stupidity. When the Congress passes a bloated stimulus bill without even reading it is the height of stupidity. How the money is being spent is now being covered up and hidden by the government. Lawsuits are having to be filed under the Freedom of Information Act to try and obtain that information. So much for transparency.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 13, 2009 1:27 PM

I am glad to see that President Obama is lifting the travel restrictions for Cuban-Americans to Cuba and the taking of and return of items to Cuba without tampering with the trade embargo. I think it is smart policy for a special group of people in Florida who voted for him and regardless of what the Republican right has to say this does not make President Obama a communist. What it makes him is smart and savvy.

Posted by: wmaclean | April 13, 2009 1:27 PM

Are there any Marxists left anywhere? Even communist china uses a capitasit based economic system. The only Marxists are dope fired college kids and North Korea. Communism failed. How dumb would you have to be to think otherwise? The quickest way to rebuke the communist regime in Cuba is to get contact and commerce going. Just like Gorby letting American television and rock concerts brought down the Soviets, new computers and ipods will be the death blow for Fidel's regime.

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 1:27 PM

Again I wonder why the Chinese are better than the Cubans and I can get no answer from anyone, not one. Oh, they'll meander here and there about hemisheres and Castro and other baloney , old missle sites ,whatever but other than that? Nothing.... what,Chinese communists are better than Cuban communists? Really? Boy, Americans are sure weird about this stuff,nothing consistent at all that makes any sense.

Posted by: houndog | April 13, 2009 1:26 PM

Bravo President Obama. The Cold War is over folks. If we can have normal relations with Communist Vietnam and Communist China, certainly we can do the same with Cuba. What better way to bring Democracy to that country than to flood it with American tourists and American cash.
Fifty years is enough! End the embargo.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 13, 2009 1:25 PM

The lifting of restrictions make sense. The fatcat cubans who wanted to keep the sanctions had their own self interest in mind. They were the one who were having a good life at the expense of the average cuban during the killing machine era hosted by Fulgencio Batista. After 50 years, Fidel Castro is still in power but we are trading with China big style and we are even buying oil from Chavez the "neo socialist". Under the old republican regime, Congress was for sale and the "fatcat" cubans knew how to buy them at the right price. I welcome the change. Yoo_mag

Posted by: yoo_magyahoocom | April 13, 2009 1:24 PM

From Nairobi, Kenya with strong commendation for President Obama. While those opposed to the enhancing US-Cuba relations through lifting the travel embargo are entitled to their opinion - the bigger picture is that Mr. Obama is on an important mission - uniting the world against poverty, terrorism, diseases etc. Merely making everyone your enemy, while an easy option for a superpower, does not make a lot of sense. He needs to be a given the benefit of doubt.

Posted by: smutoro | April 13, 2009 1:24 PM

Better late than never...Obama has had a few domestic hic-ups, but his foreign policy has been nothing less than stellar. It's about time we pursue a collaborative foreign policy, instead of one where we dictate to the entire world.

Posted by: sicksidvt | April 13, 2009 1:24 PM

When it comes to toppling dictators, I think the infamous Karl Marx described Capitalism's impact best:
"The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image."

Posted by: gott666 | April 13, 2009 1:23 PM

Bravo President Obama. The Cold War is over folks. If we can have normal relations with Communist Vietnam and Communist China, certainly we can do the same with Cuba. What better way to bring Democracy to that country than to flood it with American tourists and American cash.
Fifty years is enough! End the embargo.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 13, 2009 1:23 PM

Wonderful! Why not have another Freedom Flotilla, like they did in 1980. Then Cuba send us, once again - all the dregs of society that they wanted out of Cuba (the crimals, the insane people) like they did then. those who do not remember history (it was not that long ago) are doomed to repeat it. Seems like this President does not remember anything out of history!

Posted by: vailbunny | April 13, 2009 1:23 PM

Jake D:

Since when is a cuban immigrant ever illegal?

Posted by: adrianadiaz | April 13, 2009 1:23 PM

You're funny. I teach Americna Government. If you don't take the word of the state of Florida, a birth certificate, and the SCOTUS on matters regarding the eligibilty of a president to be president then what exactly would you be looking for as evidence, faux attorney? The blessings of rush and sean? A divine declaration form the Pope?

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 1:23 PM

This is long overdue. Unlike Russia (the nation that, with the consent of Castro, tried to house missles in Cuba in the 1960's) and other Communist or former Commuinist contries, Cuba is a tiny nation that the U.S. can easily push around. We have been friends with Russia for quite a few years now and with Vietnam for a long, long time even though thousands of our soldiers died over there and many more thousands returned home maimed. It is time that Cuba gets full rights in the global community.

Posted by: KathyinArlington | April 13, 2009 1:22 PM

This is great news! Now, finally all the closet commie fawning butt kissing Castrophiles can venture to the crumbling commie island and see classic cars from the 50's and late 40's! They can see what the island looks like after preserving the damage of socialism in that wonderful mosaic time capsule of failure! Go forward, fawning Marxist drones and bow at the alter of the murdering thug and he does smoke cigars so watch out for second hand smoke!

Posted by: vgailitis | April 13, 2009 1:21 PM

eaglestrike:

China is just a little bit bigger (and, as yaqman pointed out, more important) than Cuba. It has nothing to do with which Communists are "better".

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:18 PM

I applaud Mr. Obama's decision to relax the restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba. Embargos seldom achieve their desired purpose: regime change. The current anti-cuban embargo has demonstrably not brought about any political change in Cuba, is inconsistent with our position on trade with China, and is preventing trade that would likely open Cuba's borders and benefit both Americans and Cubans.

Posted by: gott666 | April 13, 2009 1:17 PM

Allowing travel is not the same as endorsing Castro. However, I guarantee that is EXACTLY how sean and rush and glenn will characterize this. They can't go on about how terrible the President is on piracy anymore, of course neglecting to mention that this problem festered for years under the previous administration, so they will pretend allowing people to visit their relative in Cuba is endorsing communism. And their moronic listeners will be parroting those exact sentiments on message boards tomorrow, or even this afternoon. hannity will no doubt site this as proof that President Obama is a communist, just like he pointed out on a cold day this winter that because it was cold global warming was a hoax. GENIUS I say. Genius.

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 1:17 PM

Too many people post before they check the facts - the embargo was enacted by a Democrat as a reaction to a very real threat on our border. Since that time 8 presidents, Democrat and Republican, have continued to support it.

Posted by: m0rgoth | April 13, 2009 1:15 PM

Obama never had the hardline Cuban ex-pat community anyway.

This is a positive step = hopefully there are more coming.

Posted by: goexplode | April 13, 2009 1:15 PM

Sorry but I am not political on the matter of Cuba. Cubans have suffered the cold shoulder from big brother toooo long and its time for change. I am a Realtor excited about the possibility of owning a premiere resort for all you island hoppers. Ever seen the documentary "Buena Vista Social Club?" http://www.pbs.org/buenavista/
Can't wait for the cuffs to come off so that I can get this party STARTED!!

Posted by: Lively1 | April 13, 2009 1:15 PM

Jake D, the demographics of Florida have changed a lot, old cubans are gone, you see more puerto ricans, dominicans and from other nationalities who don't give a rat **s about the embargo.

Again, tell me why communists in China are better than communists in Cuba?, tell me how different is dealing with China than Cuba?

Please make up something since facts are all against you.

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 1:14 PM

John1263:

I couldn't care less what you believe. I would, however, be more than happy to answer all of your question, just as soon as you answer my pending question to you: where did YOU take civics?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:14 PM

Well maybe Jake got his degree applying for foreign aid as a citizen of Indonesia like Obama. Oh, that's right, Obama has sealed all of his college records so no one will know if he applied as a Muslim or as an Indonesian national. My mistake.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 13, 2009 1:14 PM

I don't beleive you went to Stanford Law or could find Stanford's website on the internet if you would even consider the baseless argument about the Constitutionality of the qualifications for president. You would have to be a base idiot to put any credence into such long discredited carp. Let me guess, you think he is sleeper qaeda operative too, a secret Muslim? Are you headed to a tea party courtesy of the republicon party leadship on fox this week? Going to protest having most Americans having their tax bills lowered while the filthy rich (like the commentators on fox who dreamed this up with former republicon congressmen) finally are going to start paying a little more of their fair share again? Why not trot out socialist, communist, Ayers, and ACORN? Run out of catchphrases for the day?

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 1:12 PM

...did somebody say "change"?

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | April 13, 2009 1:12 PM

diesel4:

I'm retired now (and enjoy tweaking the liberals here).

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:12 PM

P.S. to John1263:

Didn't you hear? Florida's electoral votes "don't matter" : )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:11 PM

Bubbette1, next time you start your anti-communist rants, look at your shoes, clothes, appliances,etc. most of them are made in....guess where?.....in communist China and you don't make a big deal about it, do you?

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 1:10 PM

Times must really be tough if a top grad from Stanford law is spending most of his day posting comments on a news story. Didn't realize that took an expensive law degree.

Posted by: diesel4 | April 13, 2009 1:10 PM

eaglestrk01:

If you think that Florida's electoral votes "don't matter", please keep it up. How about California and New York's?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:09 PM

This doesn't even get back to policy of early Bush years, when it was possible for Americans to visit Cuba on educational and other people-to-people cultural trips, and for Cuban artists and others to come to U.S. -- it is a fine humanitarian gesture, but hardly a great breakthrough reaching out to a neighbor.

Posted by: esthermiriam | April 13, 2009 1:07 PM

scrivener50:

I still remember when JFK sent an aide to Cuba to buy 1,200 cigars the DAY BEFORE he signed the embargo. Insider trading at its best ; )

John1263:

We'll see.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:07 PM

Obama is correct to remove our failed Cuba policy in phases, with travel by relatives first. I will travel there when I legally can. Then the last step is to remove the trade embargo. Given the rabid minority hardliners on this issue, it can be regarded as controversial. A one step at a time approach resulting in dropping the trade embargo in the near future will result in the broadest acceptance of the policy changes.

Posted by: wyle1 | April 13, 2009 1:07 PM

I was just in the Miami area last week and the Cubans are pretty angry at Obama and the Black Caucus for their comments about how wonderful Uncle Fidel is. Obama is doing this for his own purposes whatever they are not for Cuban Exiles.

Posted by: jmajane | April 13, 2009 1:07 PM

The time has come that America take the lead in this hemisphere in brokering change in irrational policies toward neighboring nations.

On America's homeland, I tend to find that it is hardline racist conservative Cuban American's who tend to support this silly embargo and, particularly, travel of Americans to Cuba. They remain sore over Castro's nationalization of resources to benefit the entire people of Cuba over their own selfish personal interests. Fidel was a nationalists, no boubt about it.

Today, Fidel is not in the captain's chair and the younger Castro is already moderinizing many of Cuba's policies.

If Cuban Americans want to restrict THEMSELVES from visiting Cuba, then so be it, DONT GO, however, it is high time that their prejudices be restricted from guiding American policy.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | April 13, 2009 1:06 PM

info22 and ggrant9170:

Hopefully, he just lost Florida for 2012.


Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 12:59 PM

....................

Who cares??

All the cuban hard liners are already dying of old age, few of their children, grand children or grand-grand children are interested in an oudated policy and feel no connection to the island. I do have cuban american friends who are very happy at this very moment about this news and who were always partial of lifting any travel restrictions.

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 1:06 PM

yaqman:

China is just a little bit bigger (and, as you just pointed out, more important) than Cuba.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:05 PM

BUT WHEN DO WE GET THE CIGARS?

***

SPECIAL TO: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (staff, please forward)


Ms. Napolitano:

There is strong evidence that the regional "fusion centers" administered by your department are using surveillance of telecommunications as a pretext to harass and censor American citizens.


Are you aware of this? Please see the following article, which also contains a political essay written for a Washington Post political blog -- but which elicits a "held for blog owner" message each time I attempt to post it.


The evidence seems clear that this message is being generated NOT by The Washington Post, but by censors operating under your agency. The Washington Post could confirm this -- if your internal affairs unit would investigate. Thank you.


http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

OR (in link is corrupted):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 13, 2009 1:04 PM

So when will Comrade Obama and Comrade Castro have a meeting where Obama can bow and do a little more arse smooching. It seems to be his strong suit. Will he apologize for the brutish Americans? The foreign press is not being kind to Obama from his recent "Bow and Apologize" tour. Obama achieved none of his goals and only served to embarrass the US and disrespect our Country.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 13, 2009 1:04 PM

When Eisenhower, and then Kennedy, took a hard line stance on Cuba it was viewed as the right thing to do. Of course, it may or may not have been the right thing in the early 1960s, (we cannot take a time machine back and investigate the results of alternative policy decisions) but by the 1970s it was a failed policy and good sense would have modified or ended it. However, domestic politics said you couldn't win Florida without the anti-Castro vote. Politicians Dem and Repub have kept it for that reason alone. President Obama is showing once again that he is willing to do what is right, not just what is expedient.

Look what happened to Al Gore because of a six year old Cuban on a raft. If not for Elian the election would not have been close enough for jeb and george to steal.

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 1:04 PM

Communist China ,does business, lends money to America and the American publiic consumes made in China goods and for the sake of God why would the Republicans continue to talk with both sides of their mouths like Castro is worst than the Communist in China and Russia.Its time that America reconsiders its obsolete foreign policy with Cuba.

Posted by: yaqman | April 13, 2009 1:03 PM

This will not hurt Obama in Florida or elsewhere. Even within Florida politics, the Cuban exile community is a small minority of voters. If we had normal relations with Cuba, the remains of the Castro regime would collapse within a week of the first Wal-mart or Best Buy opening.

Posted by: buffysummers | April 13, 2009 1:03 PM

tifoso1:

Obama cult members don't care about that.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:02 PM

Why is Obama only allowing Cuban-Americans the right to visit Cuba? Shouldn't he allow all Americans the right to visit Cuba?

WTF Obama?????????

Posted by: airtimejunkie | April 13, 2009 1:01 PM

monsieurbigstuff:

Does that "right to travel" apply to illegal immigrants coming to America?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:00 PM

info22 and ggrant9170:

Hopefully, he just lost Florida for 2012.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 12:59 PM

John1263:

Without even getting into the legalities of "Executive Orders" themselves, my first reference was to Obama not being Constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States.

P.S. I graduated at the top of my class from Stanford Law. How about you?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 12:57 PM

A prime example of the difference between most Dems and most repubs. When a Dem does something stupid - like the CUba embargo, Democrats point out that it was stupid, because they are adult enough to realize that even the best, the brightest, the most well intentioned make mistakes. However, when bush authorized torture republicons sought to redifine torture. When he failed they called it success. When he trashed the Constitution they called it necessary measures...

Stubborn ignorance in theface of evidence is not a virtue.

Good move for Presdient Obama. He has done more positive good in three months than we have seen in nearly a decade of poor governance by republcons.

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 12:57 PM

It's refreshing to see a politician campaign on issues and actually do what he promises. Obama does not have to please the diehard anti Castro elements who oppose his policies. matter of fact they did not vote for him, why waste time worrying about a dying fringe of the Cuban American population? These guys are living in the past, they dream about something that only exists in their memories. If they were so strong, why did they flee Cuba?

Posted by: info22 | April 13, 2009 12:56 PM

About time!

Posted by: ggrant9170 | April 13, 2009 12:56 PM

Can someone on the right explain to me the difference between good Commies and bad Commies? I still haven't figured out why it's okay for Americans to travel to China but not okay to hit the beaches of Habana.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | April 13, 2009 12:56 PM

BTW whomever wrote it was a moronic Kennedy policy at the time he made the policy I doubt ANYONE thought it was moronic policy

Posted by: lildg54 | April 13, 2009 12:55 PM

A fundamental human right is the right to travel. This is alluded to in our constitution and more specifically highlighted in various international human rights declarations.

•"Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." -- Universal Declaration of Human Rights , Article 13.

•"Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.... No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country." -- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , Article 12.

• "Liberty of movement is an indispensable condition for the free development of a person." -- United Nations Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 27: Freedom of movement.

The United States certainly made a big issue of the right to travel when it protested the Berlin Wall, which prevented East Germans from mingling with friends and family in the west. However; as the US rejoiced at the destruction of this wall – which was caused by elimination of travel barriers elsewhere in Central Europe, it continues to have our own wall between Key West and Havana.

If the government insists on a trade embargo, that's one thing. However; it should never interfere with Americans’ fundamental right to travel.

Posted by: monsieurbigstuff | April 13, 2009 12:54 PM

About time!

Obama should restore normal relations with Cuba. Then protest each specific human rights violation and press for a resolution in the UN to shut down the Cuban political/cultural prisoner camps.

Once Gitmo is closed, Obama should go there and challenge Cuba to shut down its prison camps and respect human rights.

Posted by: Citizen0 | April 13, 2009 12:54 PM

I have a pair of $200 Nike shoes that say "Made in Vietnam." I fought in Vietnam.

If we can repair relations with a country who killed Americans (and that we killed their citizens) we sure as heck can rethink our relationship with Cuba.

It's moronic in these times to adhere to outdated notions. (I won't discuss them here.)

Besides, isn't getting along with Cuba and making them a friend how things work? The historic events that come to mind and set the precedent include England, Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam... the list is pretty long.

Lastly, I suspect that 90% of Americans can't say why Washington and Cuba are enemies. Assuming that, seems pretty moronic to continue the "war" with Cuba.

Posted by: businesslitigationgroup | April 13, 2009 12:54 PM

why only allow cuban americans to travel to cuba......that weakens the power of his signature

Posted by: mmwgs04 | April 13, 2009 12:53 PM

Why would you question whether the Executive can issue executive orders? How little civics education do you have?

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 12:52 PM

why only cuban americans???
it should be open to all americans
don't play favorites
it weakens obama's decision....

Posted by: mmwgs04 | April 13, 2009 12:52 PM

Excuse me, but China is a "Communist" nation that mows down citizens who are demonstrating with tanks and they received "Most Favored Nation Trading" status with us many years ago.

My question to the readers and journalists and especially to the Obama Administration is this: Why the double standard??

Justice is blind and all that hoo-hah, right?

I say, give Cuba, as a "Communist" (truly more "Socialist" if you ask me) country the same trading status and respect as we give to China (a TRULY "Communist/Authoritarian Regime").

What say other readers and Washington Post journalists? How about posing THAT question to President Obama at the next press conference???

Thank you,
Abbybwood

Posted by: abbybwood1 | April 13, 2009 12:51 PM

It is about time this has happened as someone before said only an idiot would keep the restriction in place translation =Bush

Posted by: lildg54 | April 13, 2009 12:51 PM

frantaylor and momo1tx:

It's not every day you see the left trash JFK -- thanks for the laugh -- is this what you really think of Camelot?

rufkd:

Someday, you may live to regret Carter giving the Panama Canal back too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 12:50 PM

This is a topic that is dear to my heart. My father was a political prisoner in Cuba. Althought we don't see eye to eye on a lot of issues just like a lot of other Cuban families living n the greatest country in the world the USA. The one thing we could all agree about is a FREE CUBA. I don't know how we get there. I do know how we got here, and so far the methods applied have failed. The definition of insanity is repeating the thing we hopes of a different results. We have been doing the same thing for the past 50 years. Let's take a different route. I want to thank Luis Moro for spearheading this and putting out there in our faces. I know Luis from Jersey now although we live at opposite sides of the US we agree TIME TO CHANGE FOR CUBA.

Posted by: juan5 | April 13, 2009 12:50 PM

About time. A policy that has not made sense for 20 years or more.

For those calling the embargo a foolish bush policy, read some history. bush may have kow towed to the small demographic in Miami who still vote based on Castro, but the embargo was in place when bush was a child. bush could have ended it, but he did not invent it. There is plenty that bush did that was inane, counterproductive, foolish, destructive, illegal.... you don't have to blame him for things he did not do.

Posted by: John1263 | April 13, 2009 12:50 PM

Meaningless window dressing by the Obamanation adminstration. Besides, Americans traveling to Cuba is not the big issue. The question is when will Castro lift travel restrictions on Cubans? The answer, over his dead body, which can't come soon enough.

Posted by: tifoso1 | April 13, 2009 12:48 PM

It's about time, only an idiot would continue advocating for a full blockage against the island, especially since we trade with uber-communist China.

President Obama, you just delivered the best news ever to hundred of cuban-americans.

Posted by: eaglestrk01 | April 13, 2009 12:48 PM

All this does is take U.S. Cuba policy back to the Bush years of 2003. It is about time that all Americans and not just Cuban Americans in South Florida take interest in U.S.-Cuban policy. Bill Clinton was way ahead of Obama in allowing people-to-people exchanges and opening dialogue. It's time for the Congress to stand up to the Executive and dare President Obama to veto HR 874 now making its way through Congress in which travel to Cuba will be open to all Americans. Let's see if Obama has the guts to veto the will of Congress.

Posted by: JTFLORIDA | April 13, 2009 12:47 PM

"But the move is highly contoversial" - is irresponsible journalism. Two thirds of Americans believe that all travel restrictions should be lifted. How many issues have that level of support? It is time to lift all of them once and for all.

Posted by: charlie21 | April 13, 2009 12:46 PM

maggots:

It was, actually, a "moronic" John F. Kennedy policy.

keedrow:

It doesn't matter whether the majority of Americans will side with him on this. First of all, does Obama even have the legal authority to issue such an Executive Order?

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 12:46 PM

Hey JakeD, exactly how much success has there been with the current policy of "spurring political change"? It's been in place for as long as I've been alive and it hasn't achieved ANY success AT ALL. Their leaders have not changed their political position in even the slightest bit.

If anything, our position has emboldened them, giving them political ground to entrench their policies, and embed them deeply into their society.

Maybe it is well past the time to rethink a 40-year old policy that has failed so miserably?

Posted by: frantaylor | April 13, 2009 12:45 PM

This idiotic and completely discredited embargo has helped keep Castro in power for decades...hope this is the beginning of an intelligent policy towards Cuba, one that isn't hijacked by old Cuban right wing extremists!!

Posted by: momo1tx | April 13, 2009 12:42 PM

thanks, Mr President, once you've closed Gitmo, return the land we took in 1898.

Posted by: rufkd | April 13, 2009 12:38 PM

Another moronic Bush policy bites the dust.

Posted by: maggots | April 13, 2009 12:36 PM

JakeD: Why should the order be challenged? Cuba has done nothing to threaten the security of the U.S. in years, and besides it may benefit our economy in the long run.

President Obama is surely changing things and I bet the majority of Americans will side with him on this also. YOU GO BOY!

Posted by: keedrow | April 13, 2009 12:35 PM

I'm not Cuban, but I WANT to go to Cuba.

End the embargo, period. C'mon Obama, quit playing at being a moderate and make a decision for once.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | April 13, 2009 12:35 PM

Big surprise (hopefully, someone with standing challenges the Executive Order in court).

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 12:22 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company