To end the US embargo on Cuba

Since 1960 the United States has maintained a trade embargo on Cuba under which US citizens are prohibited from open commerce and exchange with Cuba. The current stated goal of the US government and the embargo is to actively promote a "rapid and peaceful transition to democracy" on the island. While the goal of self-determination is worthy, the embargo has failed to enact a change in its 43-year history. The question of the embargo is the subject of an ongoing debate in the United States—within Congress and among US citizens. With the goal of helping both the Cuban people and the US people, a majority in the United States would like to see the embargo lifted, while a very vocal and powerful minority would prefer to see it strengthened. However, in 2004 the Bush administration introduced tough new restrictions for Cuban-Americans visiting their family on the island, including making travel available only once every three years, no exceptions, and strictly defining what constitutes a family member. Consequently, support for the embargo among Cuban-Americans is at an all time low.

Even ending the entire embargo is gaining support in Congress and among the US people. Recent polls show that the overwhelming majority of US citizens support a change in US policy toward Cuba. Many of these people have come to the correct conclusion that the embargo is a failed policy which only hurts the Cuban people. In fact, even a majority of the Cuban-American community in Miami, the political factor largely responsible for the US government's hostile policy toward Cuba, now favors engagement with Cuba in the form of trade and travel. Punitive policies of isolation against the island, and the futile hope that punishing the Cuban people would cause them to rise up against their government, have been more effective in giving the Cuban government a scapegoat for any failures of its own economic and social policies than in bringing the revolution to its knees. By engaging with Cuba, the United States' ability to have an impact on Cuba's human rights record and democracy issues would likely increase dramatically.

The Latin America Working Group Education Fund's goal, driven by the policy positions of our coalition partners, has been and continues to be to end the US embargo on Cuba--for the benefit of both our peoples. The history of hostility between our two countries is obsolete and should be changed.

You can learn more at http://www.lawg.org/countries/cuba/explore.htm

1. The embargo has not achieved its stated goal of toppling the Cuban regime, but instead has only hurt the Cuban people.

2. The new restrictions on family travel are inhumane and hurt families.

3. The time has come for the US to end its embargo on Cuba for the good of both Cuba and the US.