Posted March 12, 2009 by Carl Unger
A recent decision to ease some travel restrictions to Cuba has many wondering if the U.S. will lift its trade embargo against the island nation. The new rules will allow U.S. citizens with family in Cuba to visit once a year for as long as they like. Existing rules permit one visit every three years and limit the length of stay to 14 days.
I know what you're thinking: CIGARS! Well, let me put that stogie out for you, because it doesn't sound like the Obama administration has any intention of lifting the decades-old embargo against Cuba. This embargo prevents Americans from traveling to Cuba without a special license, and imposes big fines on anyone who does (and gets caught). The embargo, in place for 47 years, is meant to pressure Cuba into making democratic reforms by depriving the communist nation of U.S. trade dollars.
But the fact is that Cuba is still a communist country, which suggests the embargo has done little to sway Cuba toward democracy. Many are now calling for President Obama (who has, at times, said he favored easing some restrictions) to take further steps toward undoing more of the embargo.
Could a Cuba vacation be in your future? Maybe, but probably not in the near future. Still, the prospect seems likelier than ever, so I ask: Would you travel to Cuba if the U.S. lifted its embargo?
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