issues2000

Topics in the News: Cuba


Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Jan 30, 2018
Sanctions on Communist dictators in North Korea & Cuba

My Administration has imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela. But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.

North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.

Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position. We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2018 State of the Union address

Mike Pence on Foreign Policy : Oct 14, 2016
Reverse Obama's opening of Cuba; restore the embargo

Mike Pence declared to a roomful of Miami Republicans night that the Trump administration would maintain the U.S. embargo against Cuba upon entering office. "Let me make a promise to you: When Donald Trump and I take to the White House, we will reverse Barack Obama's executive order on Cuba," Pence said. "We will support a continuation of the embargo until we see real political freedom in that nation once and for all."

President Obama's executive actions, in part, have lifted a series of restrictions on Cuba, opened a U.S. embassy in the country and established travel and business between the two nations. He issued additional directives to further loosen restrictions aimed at increasing trade with the island nation.

"Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would lift the embargo completely and normalize relations with Cuba for nothing in return," Pence said. He continued: "The truth of the matter is if they could open it up all the way, they would."

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: NBC News on 2016 vice-presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Oct 14, 2016
Reverse Obama's opening of Cuba until freedoms are restored

Mike Pence declared to a roomful of Miami Republicans night that the Trump administration would maintain the U.S. embargo against Cuba upon entering office. "Let me make a promise to you: When Donald Trump and I take to the White House, we will reverse Barack Obama's executive order on Cuba," Pence said. "We will support a continuation of the embargo until we see real political freedom in that nation once and for all."

The GOP vice presidential candidate's statement echoes his running mate, who tweeted two days ago : "@realDonaldTrump: The people of Cuba have struggled too long. Will reverse Obama's Executive Orders and concessions towards Cuba until freedoms are restored."

President Obama's executive actions, in part, have lifted a series of restrictions on Cuba, opened a U.S. embassy in the country and established travel and business between the two nations. He issued additional directives to further loosen restrictions aimed at increasing trade with the island nation.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: NBC News on Donald Trump's Twitter posts

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Mar 9, 2016
Talk with dissidents but Castros are dictators

Q: Your position on Cuba?

SANDERS: I think we have got to end the embargo. I believe that we should move towards full and normalized political relations with Cuba. I think it will be a good thing for the Cuban people. It will enable them, I think when they see people coming into their country from the United States, move in a more democratic direction, which is what I want to see.

CLINTON: I told the president that I hoped he would be able to move toward diplomatic relations with Cuba. And there are no better ambassadors for freedom, democracy and economic opportunity than Cuban Americans. I'm looking forward to following the president's trip. I think meeting with dissidents is important. The Cuban people deserve be able to move towards democracy where they pick their own leads. Both Castros have to be considered authoritarian and dictatorial because they are not freely chosen by the people. I hope someday there will be leaders who are chosen by the Cuban people.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic primary debate in Miami

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Mar 9, 2016
Opposed Monroe Doctrine interventionism in Latin America

Q: Please explain what is the difference between the socialism that you profess and the socialism in Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela.

SANDERS: The US was wrong to try to invade Cuba; the US was wrong trying to support people to overthrow the Nicaraguan government; the US was wrong trying to overthrow, in 1954, the democratically elected government of Guatemala. Throughout the history of our relationship with Latin America we've operated under the so-called Monroe Doctrine, and that said the US had the right do anything that they wanted to do in Latin America. So I actually went to Nicaragua and I very shortly opposed the Reagan administration's efforts to overthrow that government. And I strongly opposed Henry Kissinger and the overthrow of the government of Salvador Allende in Chile. I think the US should be working with governments around the world, not get involved in regime change. And all of these actions in Latin America brought forth a lot of very strong anti-American sentiments.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic primary debate in Miami

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Mar 9, 2016
Ending embargo with Cuba is right step

Q: Your position on Cuba?

CLINTON: I told the president that I hoped he would be able to move toward diplomatic relations with Cuba. And there are no better ambassadors for freedom, democracy and economic opportunity than Cuban Americans. I'm looking forward to following the president's trip. I think meeting with dissidents is important. The Cuban people deserve be able to move towards democracy where they pick their own leads. Both Castros have to be considered authoritarian and dictatorial because they are not freely chosen by the people. I hope someday there will be leaders who are chosen by the Cuban people.

SANDERS: I think we have got to end the embargo. I believe that we should move towards full and normalized political relations with Cuba. I think it will be a good thing for the Cuban people. It will enable them, I think when they see people coming into their country from the United States, move in a more democratic direction, which is what I want to see.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic primary debate in Miami

Hillary Clinton on Homeland Security : Feb 23, 2016
Close Guantanamo detention center

Hillary Clinton said that she backed President Obama's effort to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center but stressed the terrorist suspects would not necessarily be transferred to a military jail: "The president hasn't made any decisions about where the transfers will go," Clinton said in South Carolina.

Clinton was put on the spot when the president announced a new plan to shut down the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer dozens of high-risk terrorist detainees to maximum security prisons in the United States, which could include the military facility in South Carolina. The plan immediately hit opposition from Republicans in Congress, who cited longstanding bipartisan opposition to bringing captured terrorists to the US.

"The president is trying to figure out what to do with people who are too dangerous to be released," Clinton said. "All I can hope is that the Congress will work with him."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Washington Times, "Clinton backs GITMO closure"

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Feb 23, 2016
Keep Gitmo open, and load it up with bad dudes

Donald Trump promised to keep open the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, then riffed on ways that he could do it on the cheap: "This morning I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo," said Trump. "Guantanamo Bay--which by the way, we are keeping open! And we're going to load it up with some bad dudes. We're going to load it up."

Trump then mused about one of the Obama administration's reasons for trying to shut the prison down: "Here's the thing I didn't understand," he said. "We spend $40 million a month on maintaining this place? Now, think of it--$40 million a month! What do we have left in there, like, a hundred people, or something? And we're spending $40 million? I would guarantee you I could do it for a tiny, tiny fraction. I don't mean $39 million. I mean maybe $5 million, maybe $3 million. Maybe, like, peanuts."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Washington Post, "Cuba should take over Guantanamo"

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 12, 2016
The Cold War is over; lift 50-year embargo on Cuba

Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, it set us back in Latin America. That's why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce, positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people. So, if you want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere, recognize that the Cold War is over. Lift the embargo.

American leadership in the 21st century is not a choice between ignoring the rest of the world, except when we kill terrorists; or occupying and rebuilding whatever society is unraveling. Leadership means a wise application of military power, and rallying the world behind causes that are right. It means seeing our foreign assistance as part of our national security, not something separate, not charity.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2016 State of the Union address

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Sep 8, 2015
Cuban embargo: 50 years is enough

Breaking ranks with nearly all of his fellow 2016 Republican contenders, Donald Trump says he supports President Barack Obama's decision to reengage diplomatically with Cuba. "50 years is enough," Trump said, referring to Obama's decision to re-establish U.S. ties with Cuba. "I think it's fine, but we should have made a better deal," Trump added. "The concept of opening with Cuba is fine."

Trump joins libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul as the only Republican running for president to express his support for normalizing relations with Cuba. The rest of the GOP field has slammed Obama's decision to reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana and engage diplomatically with the government of Cuba.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Jeremy Diamond on CNN

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Sep 5, 2015
Normalize relations with Cuba; & respect their independence

Bernie believes improving diplomatic relations with Cuba is essential to promoting democratic values in the region and strengthening our economic and cultural ties with its people.

Bernie supports normalizing relations between the two nations and removing the economic embargo, which he argues is costing American businesses billions of dollars. In February 2014, Bernie shared his hope that "Cuba moves toward a more democratic society while, at the same time, the United States will respect the independence of the Cuban people." He was part of a U.S. delegation that traveled to Cuba in 2014 to discuss trade, healthcare, and human rights issues in Havana.

Later in 2014, Bernie applauded President Obama's announcements on discussions with Cuba, and in January 2015, he sponsored the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which aimed to address the administration's proposal to loosen restrictions on travel to Cuba and remove restrictions on travel-related banking transactions.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Sep 5, 2015
2009: Voted against closing Gitmo; 2015: supports closing it

Bernie supports closing the Guant†namo Bay detention camp the United States maintains on the Cuban island, noting it has "significantly damaged the United States' moral standing, undermined our foreign policy, and encourage terrorism rather than effectively combated it." His opinion refers to abuse and torture, as well as the unlawful detention of inmates at the military prison Amnesty International has called a "gulag of our times."

In 2009 Bernie voted against the proposals the Obama administration suggested for closing the prison. The bill was defeated with strong bipartisan support (90-6). Given Bernie's human rights concerns regarding the facility, he likely voted against it because the plans did not address the human rights violations--including being held indefinitely without trial--that he and so many other Americans are most concerned about with regards to Guant†namo.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 20, 2015
Cuba: When something doesn't work for 50 years, change it

In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you're doing doesn't work for fifty years, it's time to try something new. Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2015 State of the Union address

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jun 6, 2014
End the Cuban embargo; that will shift onus to Castros

Hillary Clinton says she has urged President Obama to lift the US embargo against Cuba, arguing the policy has hurt citizens of both nations. "Since 1960, the United States had maintained an embargo against the island in hopes of squeezing Castro from power, but it only succeeded in giving him a foil to blame for Cuba's economic woes," Clinton writes in an excerpt from her new book.

Clinton said she told Obama the embargo "wasn't achieving its goals" and "was holding back our broader agenda across Latin America."

"I thought we should shift the onus onto the Castros to explain why they remained undemocratic and abusive," Clinton writes. But President Obama ultimately decided to maintain the economic restrictions, she said.

In 2011, the White House said it would allow students seeking academic credit and churches making religious trips to visit the island. Additionally, the administration expanded the number of US airports permitted to offer charter service to the island.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton, A.P. pre-release excerpts

Cory Booker on Principles & Values : Oct 31, 2013
First African-American senator from New Jersey

Democrat Cory Booker was sworn into the Senate on Thursday, becoming the first African-American senator from New Jersey and the first African-American elected to the Senate since Illinois sent Barack Obama to Congress in 2004. New Jersey is now the first state to be represented by a black senator and a Latino senator--Sen. Robert Menendez is Cuban-American--at the same time. Slightly more than 42 percent of New Jersey's population is black and Latino.

"That's kind of incredible," Booker said. "New Jersey is a special kind of place." Booker said that to New Jersey's credit, race was never an issue in his campaign.

Booker will serve out the remainder of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg's term, which ends in January 2015. Booker will serve on three Senate committees: Commerce, Science and Transportation; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; and Environment and Public Works. Two of his assignments--commerce and environment--also were committee assignments for Lautenberg.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: TheDailyJournal.com coverage of 2014 New Jersey Senate race

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Aug 11, 2012
Green Party OpEd: We are not out of Iraq

Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for President, says of Pres. Obama's withdrawal from Iraq, "We are not out of Iraq--we should be out of Iraq and we are not," referring to the US Armed Forces move into nearby Kuwait as Obama's promised exit from Iraq. Dr. Stein disagrees with many of Obama's international policies; our OnTheIssues book details both their stances, side-by-side, on issues like: This book details the issue stances of the presidential nominees from the four leading parties: Democratic, Republican, Green, and Libertarian.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Paperback: Obama-Romney-Stein-Johnson On The Issues

John Hickenlooper on Technology : Jan 12, 2012
COIN: Colorado Innovation Network incubates entrepreneurship

An attraction to entrepreneurship is a climate of innovation. We established the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) to foster collaboration and idea-sharing across private sector, academic and public lines, including the 29 research laboratories in Colorado. This will multiply occurrences like Primestar Solar, where an innovation at the National Renewable Energy Lab translated into more than 400 jobs in Colorado.

COIN gives us a unique opportunity to incubate entrepreneurship and facilitate the transfer of new ideas to the marketplace. While COIN is privately funded, we are asking for a modest public investment to continue the success we had with Arrow and GE. We are requesting $6 million to support the work of the Colorado Economic Development Commission, and $3 million for a revolving loan fund to provide low-risk gap financing so Colorado can compete with other states for film, video gaming and electronic media productions. These investments will repay the state many, many times over.

Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: Colorado 2012 State of the State Address

Barack Obama on Energy & Oil : Jan 27, 2011
OpEd: Sunlight & water into fuel? Share info with the world

[Obama says], "At the California Institute of Technology, they're developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars."

The planet has been saved! Or, at least, it won't perish due to an excess of CO2 or for lack of energy. It reminds me of something that happened over 40 years ago when a group of enterprising young Cuban scientists spoke to me with great enthusiasm about this same idea, based on theoretical principles. My blind faith in science led me to find everything they asked for, including an isolated facility where they would work for years.

I'm not denying a great Californian institute, but please, Mr. President, share this information with the world so that other scientists can work on this same project. This is not a matter of profit, as humanity would be prepared to pay anything your scientists want.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Castro on 2011 State of the Union, in "Obama & Empire" p.141

Barack Obama on Health Care : Mar 24, 2010
OpEd: ObamaCare was achieved by Cuba 50 years ago

We harbor no antagonism toward Obama, much less toward the US people. We believe that health reform has been an important battle and a success for his government. It would seem, however, to be something truly unusual, 234 years after the Declaration of Independence that the US government has passed [a law for] medical attention for the vast majority of its citizens, something that Cuba achieved for its entire population half a century ago.

I cannot stop thinking about a world in which more than 1/3 of the population lacks the medical attention and medicines essential to ensuring its health.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama and the Empire, by Fidel Castro, p.121

Jesse Ventura on Foreign Policy : Mar 8, 2010
Visited Cuba & Fidel Castro, despite presidential opposition

In 2002, I got the opportunity to meet Fidel Castro. A few of America's sanctions against Cuba dealing with food and agricultural products had finally been lifted, so Minnesota was able to put together a trade mission for humanitarian purposes. Pres. Bush was very opposed to my going along, but I decided it was my right as a American citizen.

I'd grown up in fear of Fidel Castro. I was young when his revolution took place in 1959, but I remember the propaganda. I vaguely recall hearing about the Bay of Pigs invasion.

I met Castro at the trade fair. The first words out of his mouth were, "You are a man of great courage." I was puzzled; he looked at me and said, "You defied your president to come here." I guess he has pretty good "intel."

And I looked right back at him and said, "Well, Mr. President, you'll find that I defy most everything." I told him that I felt the U.S. boycott was wrong. It did nothing positive for either of our countries, and it was time for Americans to get over it.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p. 26-27

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Apr 21, 2009
Cuba should reduce surcharge on remittances from US

The president said that Cuba could reduce the surcharge imposed on remittances, which would match the new US government remittances from Cuban-American families. He explained Cuba applies a very high surcharge from which it is exacting significant profits. He added that this would be an example of cooperation where both governments would be working to help Cuban families and improve living standards in Cuba.

The assertion that Cuba imposes a very high surcharge and obtains significant profits [from remittances] is an attempt by the president's advisors to cause trouble and sow division among Cubans. Every country charges a certain amount for all hard currency transfers. If these are in dollars, all the more reason we have to do it, because that is the currency of the country that blockades us. Not all Cubans have relatives abroad who can send them remittances. Redistributing a relatively small part of this to benefit those more in need of food, medicines and other goods is absolutely fair.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama and the Empire, by Fidel Castro, p. 60-1

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 29, 2009
OpEd: Maintaining Guantanamo base violates international law

After taking office, Barack Obama said the decision to return to its legitimate owner of the territory occupied by the Guantanamo naval base required weighing up the extent to which the defensive capacity of the US would or would not be affected.

Soon afterwards he added, with regard to the return to Cuba of the occupied territory, that he would first consider what concessions to demand from Cuba to return. This would amount to demanding a change of its political system, a price Cuba has been resisting for half a century.

To keep a military base in Cuba against the will of our people is a violation of the most elemental principles of international law. The US president has the ability to abide by that law without exacting any concession whatsoever. Non-compliance would be an act of arrogance and an abuse of his immense power against a small country.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama and the Empire, by Fidel Castro, p. 18

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Dec 4, 2008
Committed to maintaining economic embargo against Cuba

President-elect Obama, on Dec. 1, introduced his National Security and Foreign Policy teams, stating: "I have known Hillary Clinton as a friend," he says. I am mindful of the fact that she was President-elect Obama's rival and the wife of President Clinton, who signed the extraterritorial Torricelli and Helms Burton Acts against Cuba. During the presidential race she committed herself to these laws and to the economic blockade. I am not complaining, I am simply stating this for the record.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Obama and the Empire, by Fidel Castro, p. 13

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : May 25, 2008
Maintain Cuban embargo, but allow Americans to send money

The speech Obama delivered on May 23 at the Cuban American National Foundation created by Ronald Reagan:

"Throughout my entire life, there has been injustice in Cuba. Never, in my lifetime, have the people of Cuba known freedom. Never, in the lives of 2 generations of Cubans, have the people of Cuba known democracy. This is the terrible and tragic status quo that we have known for half a century--of elections that are anything but free or fair... I won't stand for this injustice, you won't stand for this injustice, and together we will stand up for freedom in Cuba," he told the annexationists, adding: "It's time to let Cuban American money make their families less dependent on the Castro regime... I will maintain the embargo."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obama and the Empire, by Fidel Castro, p. 1

Mike Gravel on War & Peace : May 2, 2008
Iraq war was propagandized like 1898 ďRemember the Maine!Ē

The military-industrial partnership [in the late 1800s] needed a war to launch Americaís overseas empire. The spark came after the suspicious sinking of the US battleship Maine in Havana in 1898. It was blamed, without proof, on Spain. The three-month conflict with the decrepit Spanish Empire left the US with the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

In the end 4,324 Americans were lost, as well as between 600,000 and 1 million Filipinos--eerily familiar numbers today. Also disturbingly alike were Congressional hearings that revealed US troops used water torture against Filipinos. The Philippine occupation and resulting insurgency was essentially repeated in Vietnam and Iraq. The aims were the same: to expand US power and economic interests against competing nations under the phony banner of Christianity or democracy. All three invasions were driven by money and power as ends in themselves--or as a means to more money and power.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p. 95-96

Jesse Ventura on China Book : Apr 1, 2008
We embraced China but not Cuba because Castro nationalized

I always felt, in looking at the Cuban situation, that it was wrong. And I now know why. It came to me one night. China is communist, the same as Cuba, and yet we have no problem trading with China. In fact, today we can't get over there quick enough. The difference is simple: China welcomes our corporations. Cuba threw them out. It's a basic decision of corporate America: We will punish Cuba because Castro stuck it to us by nationalizing everything after he came to power. What other reason could there be? China is far more powerful but we now welcome them into global trade with open arms--as we should--while we continue this bitter, hostile policy towards Cuba. It must be because there are still people alive in the corporate world who got hammered by Fidel's revolution.
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.111

Jesse Ventura on Corporations : Apr 1, 2008
We embraced China but not Cuba because Castro nationalized

I always felt, in looking at the Cuban situation, that it was wrong. And I now know why. It came to me one night. China is communist, the same as Cuba, and yet we have no problem trading with China. In fact, today we can't get over there quick enough. The difference is simple: China welcomes our corporations. Cuba threw them out. It's a basic decision of corporate America: We will punish Cuba because Castro stuck it to us by nationalizing everything after he came to power. What other reason could there be? China is far more powerful but we now welcome them into global trade with open arms--as we should--while we continue this bitter, hostile policy towards Cuba. It must be because there are still people alive in the corporate world who got hammered by Fidel's revolution.
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.111

Jesse Ventura on Foreign Policy : Apr 1, 2008
Questions why we still need Cuban embargo

I grew up in fear of Fidel Castro. I was young in 1959 when his revolution in Cuba took place, but I remember the propaganda.

I questioned Pres. Clinton about why we continued to have an economic boycott against the Cubans. At the time, I was smoking cigars, and I said that I was sick and tired of having to feel like a criminal every time I wanted a Cuban cigar. Clinton talked about how Cuba had shot down an American plane that strayed over its air space, and allegations of human rights violations, as justifications for why the boycott had to continue. Which still didn't fly much with me.

In 2002, a MN trade mission to Cuba came about after a few of the sanctions dealing with food and agricultural products had been lifted. This provided us an opening to seek deals with the Cuban government, for humanitarian purposes. Pres. Bush did not want me to personally go. Being there reaffirmed my position that the American sanctions are wrong. You realize that these are only hurting the Cuban people.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.107-110

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Feb 21, 2008
Meet with Cuban leaders only with agenda of US interests

Q: [to Clinton]: Would you meet with Raul Castro or not?

CLINTON: I would not meet with him until there was evidence that change was happening.

Q: [to Obama]: Presumably you would be willing to meet?

A: Thatís correct. Now, keep in mind that the starting point for our policy in Cuba should be the liberty of the Cuban people. And I think we recognize that that liberty has not existed throughout the Castro regime. And we now have an opportunity to potentially change the relationship between the US & Cuba after over half a century. I would meet without preconditions, although Sen. Clinton is right that there has to be preparation. It is very important for us to make sure that there was an agenda [including] human rights, releasing of political prisoners, opening up the press. And that preparation might take some time. But I do think that itís important for the US not just to talk to its friends, but also to talk to its enemies. In fact, thatís where diplomacy makes the biggest difference.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Feb 21, 2008
Cuba: Loosen restrictions now; normalization later

Q: Do you support normalizing relations with Cuba now?

A: As a show of good faith that weíre interested in pursuing a new relationship, Iíve called for a loosening of the restrictions on remittances from family members to Cuba, as well as travel restrictions for family members who want to visit their family members in Cuba. And I think that initiating that change in policy as a start could be useful, but I would not normalize relations until we started seeing some progress.

Q: But thatís different from your position back in 2003, when you called US policy toward Cuba a miserable failure.

A: I support the eventual normalization. And itís absolutely true that I think our policy has been a failure. During my entire lifetime, Cuba has been isolated, but has not made progress when it comes to the issues of political rights and personal freedoms. So I think that we have to shift policy. I think our goal has to be ultimately normalization. But thatís going to happen in steps.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Feb 21, 2008
Meet with Cuban leaders only after evidence of change

Q: Would you be willing to sit down with Raul Castro, to get a measure of the man?

A: The people of Cuba deserve to have a democracy. And this gives the Cuban government, under Raul Castro, a chance to change direction from the one that was set for 50 years by his brother. Iím going to be looking for some of those changes: releasing political prisoner, ending some of the oppressive practices on the press, opening up the economy. Of course the US stands ready. And, as president, I would be ready to reach out and work with a new Cuban government, once it demonstrated that it truly was going to change that direction.

Q: Very simply, would you meet with Raul Castro or not?

A: I would not meet with him until there was evidence that change was happening. A presidential visit should not be offered without some evidence that it will demonstrate the kind of progress that is in our interest, and in this case, in the interests of the Cuban people.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Feb 21, 2008
Diplomacy with Iran & Cuba, but no presidential meetings

Q: [to Obama]: Do you support normalizing relations with Cuba now?

OBAMA: I would not normalize relations until we started seeing some progress [on the US agenda in Cuba]. But I do think that itís important for the US not just to talk to its friends, but also to talk to its enemies.

CLINTON: I agree that we should be willing to have diplomatic negotiations and processes with anyone. Iíve been a strong advocate of opening up such a diplomatic process with Iran, for a number of years. Because I think we should look for ways that we can possibly move countries that are adversarial to us, toward the world community. Itís in our interests and in the interests of the people in countries that are oppressed, like Cuba, like Iran. But there has been this difference between us over when and whether the president should offer a meeting, without preconditions, with those with whom we do not have diplomatic relations. And it should be part of a process, but I donít think it should be offered in the beginning

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Sep 9, 2007
Cuba deserves peaceful transition to freedom & democracy

Q: What do you think would happen in Cuba without Fidel Castro? And what role would the US play in that transition?

A: The Cuban people deserve freedom and democracy, and weíre all hopeful that that can be brought about peacefully. It appears as though the reign of Castro is reaching an end. We donít know what will follow Fidel Castro, but we need to do everything we can to work with our friends in Latin America who are democratic nations, with the Europeans and others, to try to bring about a peaceful transition to democracy and freedom for the Cuban people. Now, that requires that we work with the entire hemisphere. You know, in 1994 I remember being here in Miami when my husband hosted the Summit of the Americas. At that time, there was only one anti-democratic, anti-American leader in the hemisphere, namely Castro. Look at what we face today because of the misguided, bullying policies of this president. So letís reverse it and get ready for freedom in Cuba!

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on Univision in Spanish

Mike Gravel on Foreign Policy : Sep 9, 2007
Recognize Cuba; open up to Chavez in Venezuela

Q: Is Hugo Chavez a dictator? If he continues to be friends with enemies of the US like Iran and Cuba, would you end relations with Venezuela, or would you stop buying oil from Venezuela?

A: No, not at all. In fact, I would reach out to him. Do we forget that our CIA tried to depose him? Do we forget that? So, is he an enemy? No, heís not an enemy. Weíve created him as an enemy. Weíre doing the same thing with Iran. Whatís the difference if Chavez deals with Iran? We hope that a lot of countries begin to interchange their leadership and begin to think about the globe as one entity. Thereís nothing wrong. The same thing with Fidel Castro. Why canít we recognize Cuba? Whatís the big deal, after 25 years, that these people 125 miles from this country are discriminated against? It makes no sense at all. We need to open up our arms to all nations and treat them as friends, not start looking for enemies.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on Univision in Spanish

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jul 23, 2007
Meet with enemy leaders; itís a disgrace that we have not

Q: Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?

OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this: the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them--which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration--is ridiculous. Ronald Reagan constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when he called them an evil empire. He understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them.

CLINTON: I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year. I donít want to be used for propaganda purposes. I donít want to make a situation even worse. But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Jul 23, 2007
Diplomacy yes; propaganda no; when meeting enemy leaders

Q: Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba & N.Korea?

OBAMA: I would. The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them is ridiculous. I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them.

CLINTON: I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year. I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort but not a high level meeting before you know what the intentions are. I donít want to be used for propaganda purposes. But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy, which has been turned into a bad word by this administration. I will use a lot of high-level presidential envoys to test the waters, to feel the way. But certainly, weíre not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro & Hugo Chavez & the president of North Korea, Iran & Syria until we know better what the way forward would be.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC

Mike Gravel on Health Care : Nov 1, 2006
Almost all developed nations provide healthcare for all

The US and South Africa are the only two developed nations in the world that do not provide healthcare for all their citizens. The World Health Organization ranked the US 37th [worldwide] for overall health performance and 54th for healthcare fairness. Yet the United States spends more per capita for healthcare than any other nation in the world. The United States is 41st in the world for infant mortality; Cuba scores higher. Women are 70% more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe.
Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: Press release, ďStepping Back From ImperialismĒ

Mike Gravel on Welfare & Poverty : Nov 1, 2006
US ranks low worldwide in poverty statistics

The US now ranks 22nd in childhood poverty, or second to last among developed nations; only Mexico ranks lower. The United States is 41st in the world for infant mortality; Cuba scores higher. Women are 70% more likely to die in childbirth in America than in Europe.

The World Health Organization ranked the US 37th [worldwide] for overall health performance and 54th for healthcare fairness. Yet the United States spends more per capita for healthcare than any other nation in the world.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: Press release, ďStepping Back From ImperialismĒ

Hillary Clinton on Abortion : Oct 11, 2005
Voted liberal line on partial birth & harm to fetus

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 85-86

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Oct 20, 2000
Keep Cuban embargo; pay UN bills

Hillary Clinton said she would oppose lifting the embargo against Cuba until democracy took root there. She said she would support paying Americaís unpaid bills to the United Nations. She once again voiced her support for Israel and, while praising the tentative cease-fire agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians reached Monday, she made it clear the burden was on Yasir Arafat to end the violence.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Dean Murphy, NY Times

Hillary Clinton on Families & Children : Apr 2, 2000
Decide Elianís fate via ongoing INS legal process

Hillary Clinton today opposed congressional action to make Elian Gonzalez a US resident, putting herself at odds with Vice President Gore. ďHillary knows that we must take politics out of this decision,Ē said her campaign spokesman, echoing President Clintonís position. ďElianís future should be determined as quickly as possible through the appropriate, ongoing legal process.Ē The Immigration and Naturalization Service has ruled that Elian belongs with his Cuban father.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Associated Press in Washington Post, p. A3

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Nov 1, 1996
No diplomatic relations with Cuba nor Vietnam

Q: Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba?

A: No.

Q: Should the US have diplomatic relations with the government of Vietnam?

A: No.

Q: Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty?

A: No.

A: Yes.

Q: Should the US continue funding for Radio Free Asia?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the deployment of US troops to the former Yugoslavia?

A: No.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test

John Kasich on Free Trade : Nov 1, 1996
Supports NAFTA and GATT

Q: Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support broadening NAFTA to include other countries?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support lifting the trade embargo imposed against Cuba?

A: No.

Q: Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?

A: Yes.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test

  • Additional quotations related to Cuba issues can be found under Foreign Policy.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Foreign Policy.
Candidates on Foreign Policy:
 Related issues:
American Exceptionalism
Arab Spring
China
Foreign Aid
NAFTA
North Korea
Puerto Rico
Refugee Crisis
Russia
Saudi
Syria
United Nations

2020 Presidential primary contenders:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

Gov.Larry Hogan (D-MD)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
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CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (L-MD)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)
2016 Presidential contenders:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Secy.Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Sen.Tim Kaine (D-VA,VP)
Gov.Gary Johnson (L-NM)
Dr.Jill Stein (G-MA)
Ajamu Baraka (G-VP)
Evan McMullin (I-UT)
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Page last updated: Apr 27, 2019