Tags: Cuba | Cuba Lobby | pundits | influence | power

Cuba Lobby Power Waning? Pundits Weigh in on How Influence Stands Today

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 01:49 PM

For more than five decades, the United States has maintained a zero-tolerance policy toward Cuba, refusing to ease restrictions on the Communist country until it improves the way it treats its citizens. This longstanding policy has been staunchly promoted by what's often called the Cuba Lobby. This loose affiliation includes many Cuban exiles and their descendents.

Some have risen to positions of power in the U.S. government, others are business leaders, and a few lead influential organizations such as the Cuban American National Foundation and the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC. However, the influence of the Cuba Lobby may be fading. President Barack Obama recently announced plans to begin repairing relations with Cuba, a move that many other politicians and U.S. citizens support.

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In a commentary for Foreign Policy magazine, Latin America expert Christopher Sabatini said questioned the relevance of the decades-long restrictions on Cuba. "In the past month, former diplomats and administration officials, business leaders, public intellectuals, and even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have raised questions about the effectiveness of the U.S.'s half-century-old embargo on Cuba," he said.

As early as 2000, there were indications that both public opinion and Washington policy toward Cuba were beginning to shift.

In an article for The New York Times, Max Castro
, a sociologist at the University of Miami's North-South Center, addressed the controversy surrounding Elian Gonzalez, a 6-year-old Cuban boy rescued from Florida waters during an attempt to enter the U.S. Cuba had portrayed the incident as a kidnapping, claiming Gonzalez was being kept from his father. Opponents of Cuban President Fidel Castro's regime, however, had wanted refugee status for the boy.

The controversy left a bruise on the image of the Cuba Lobby, and as Max Castro noted, some Americans began to question the historically strict anti-Castro policy. "Americans have basically said it's a policy that hasn't worked, and it's inconsistent with the rest of our foreign policy," he said.

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For more than five decades, the United States has maintained a zero-tolerance policy toward Cuba, refusing to ease restrictions on the Communist country until it improves the way it treats its citizens. This longstanding policy has been staunchly promoted by what's often called the Cuba Lobby.
Cuba Lobby, pundits, influence, power
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2015-49-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 01:49 PM
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