Cuban officials say U.S. economic sanctions hurt ordinary Cubans, including children. Embargo supporters say the sanctions are needed to force the socialist government to adopt democratic reforms and respect human rights.
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a research center in Washington, D.C., urges Barack Obama to pursue normalized relations with Cuba even if it means taking political risks. In a piece published Monday, the council said:
President Obama has not taken any decisive steps to veer away from Washington’s benighted, near half-century trade embargo against Cuba. By refusing to take advantage of the opportunity to reject a longstanding and morally-bankrupt policy, which has achieved very few successes and which has been based on hypocrisy, double standards, and inconsistencies, President Obama has turned his back on the possibility of a new beginning for U.S. policy towards Latin America based on constructive engagement.
If Obama is to remain a worldwide emblem of hope and change, he will have to undertake the some political risk that is necessary to break with an old paralytic habit, by ushering in a new generation of Cuban-U.S. relations.Sophia Weeks, a research associate at the council, wrote the piece.