Republican Lugar Urges Obama To Lift Cuba Ban

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Barack, Cuba, Republicans

This comes as a bit of a surprise, but it’s certainly long overdue. And now that Raul Castro is starting to shake things up, it could actually be politically realistic.

From Wash Post:

The nearly 50-year-old economic embargo against Cuba, Lugar (R-Ind.) said in a March 30 letter to Obama, puts the United States at odds with the views of the rest of Latin America, the European Union and the United Nations, and “undermines our broader security and political interests in the Western Hemisphere.”

The April 17-19 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago would present a “unique opportunity for you to build a more hospitable climate to advance U.S. interests in the region through a change in our posture regarding Cuba policy,” Lugar wrote.

Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is in the forefront of a broad movement advocating a new policy that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups, a number of state governments and human rights groups. A bipartisan majority of Congress has repeatedly voted to ease restrictions on travel and other contact with Cuba, although the measures died after threatened presidential vetoes during the Bush administration.

Still, I wonder if House Republicans will reject this idea now that Obama is in office. Seems like an easy thing to hit him with politically since Cuba is an easy boogeyman. If I were Obama, I wouldn’t spend ANY political capital on this right now.

But that’s where having a friend like Lugar comes in handy. Especially since it has a definite tie to the nuclear non-proliferation agreement that the US and Russia seem to be drawing up in the coming year.

More as it develops…

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 and is filed under Barack, Cuba, Republicans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Republican Lugar Urges Obama To Lift Cuba Ban”

  1. TerenceC Says:

    It’s about time. This has been a counter productive economic policy for nearly 50 years while providing the Batista’s in Florida a ridiculous rallying point. It’s a potentially large trading partner and it’s a hell of a fun place to visit – way better than Mexico. The new tobacco tax wouldn’t apply to their cigars either.

  2. kranky kritter Says:

    And, as an added bonus, if Obama supports this, we get to watch Newt Gingrich twist himself into a pretzel to explain why its wrong.

  3. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Obama To Lift Family Travel Ban To Cuba Says:

    [...] Republican Dick Lugar proposed normalizing relations a few days ago, and now we’re seeing some movement. And even though Obama has said that he’s opposed to normalization, I can’t help but think this is a first step towards that. [...]

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