[Marxism] Bourgeoisie asks Obama to loosen Cuba embargo
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Dec 4 12:22:15 MST 2008
December 4, 2008
Business Urges Obama to Loosen Cuba Embargo
Filed at 2:02 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama should start soon to
loosen five decades of trade curbs on Cuba and begin a comprehensive
review of U.S. policy toward the communist-run island, U.S. business
groups said on Thursday.
"We support the complete removal of all trade and travel restrictions on
Cuba. We recognize that change may not come all at once, but it must
start somewhere, and it must begin soon," the groups said in a letter to
They recommended the United States start by holding talks with Cuba to
discuss how to repair nearly 50 years of distrust and by allowing
Americans to visit the island.
Washington should also consider exempting agricultural machinery, heavy
equipment and certain other goods from its embargo to help in the
rebuilding of Cuba in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the groups
The groups included American Farm Bureau Federation, Business
Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and
Grocery Manufacturers Association, whose collective membership comprises
a broad cross-section of American industry and agriculture.
"We are pleased that you support suspending restrictions on family
remittances, visits and humanitarian care packages from Cuban Americans.
These are excellent first steps, but we urge you to also commit to a
more comprehensive examination of U.S. policy," the groups said.
The United States expanded an arms embargo on Cuba in 1962 to include
other goods after the Cuban government under the leadership of Fidel
Castro seized the properties of American companies doing business on the
The Cold War-era restrictions were codified into law by Congress 1992
under the Cuban Democracy Act.
Efforts to loosen the embargo remain politically difficult because of
the influence of Cuban-American exiles living in Florida, a key
presidential swing state.
But with Obama's election, the outlook for change has improved, said
Jake Colvin, vice president for global trade issues at the National
Foreign Trade Council, whose members include Boeing, Caterpillar and
"There is a growing optimism that taking the kinds of small steps that
President-elect Obama has promised, like diplomatic overtures and
relaxing travel restrictions, could lead to more substantial changes
later on. Companies want to be ready for that moment," Colvin said.
Obama could take some steps on his own, but completely removing the
embargo would require congressional action.
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