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Cuba Embargo: 10 Celebrities Who Have Spoken Against US Policy

By    |   Friday, 11 Mar 2016 05:01 PM

The Kennedy administration imposed an embargo on Cuba during in the early 1960s in retaliation for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's seizure of American assets, such as oil companies and sugar refining businesses.

The embargo moved to a full ban on all trade and travel after the Cuban missile crisis and Cuba’s siding with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The embargo has not been able to break Castro's communist grip on Cuba, and many people have called for a change in policy for the good of the Cuban people.

President Obama has listened to those voices, opening up diplomatic relations and loosening up travel and trade restrictions to the Caribbean island via executive action. However, it is up to Congress to decide to repeal the embargo.

Vote Now: Should the US End the Embargo Against Cuba?

Here are 10 celebrities who have spoken the loudest against the U.S. embargo:

1. “I grew up in Miami, and to a certain extent you, as every person does, inherit a lot of your parents’ ideas of things and of where you grow up, so I understand a lot [of the history]. The anger is still very much there but I think it’s a good thing; I think it’s about time [for a change]. There has been something that’s been a little bit hypocritical about the isolation of Cuba versus our relations with China. It excites me because I am interested in going back — or going there in the first place; I’ve never been. It’s a part of my heritage that I have not been able to really experience, unlike Guatemala, which I visit all the time.”
Actor Oscar Isaac, who starred as Poe Dameron in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was born of a Cuban father and Guatemalan mother, gave Variety Latino his thoughts on the Cuba embargo in the wake of President Obama's executive action toward Cuba

2. “The embargo is simply inhumane and entirely unproductive.”
Actor Sean Penn, during a conversation with Cuba President Raul Castro published in The Huffington Post

3. “Today, Cuba is optimistically building a seaport, which will only succeed if America’s embargo is lifted. It’s yet another attempt to alleviate the vast amount of human misery caused by their economic isolation.”
Comedian Bill Maher, writing in his "Real Time" show blog

4. "Cuba could build 'a society of broad vision, renewed and reconciled,' but it was more difficult 'when restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people.'"
Pope Benedict, during a farewell speech in Havana, according to Reuters

5. “We didn't defy the embargo, we just found a loophole. A lawyer familiar with our interest in Latin music told us about a way to circumvent the blockade.”
David Byrne, Talking Heads frontman and executive of world music label, Luka Bop, on visiting Cuba during the travel ban and publishing music by Cuban artists, which was against the rules of the embargo

Tell Us: What Do You Think About the US Trade Embargo Against Cuba?

6. “It’s going to take time, but once it starts going it’s got to move. It’s going to benefit both countries and their people. I was in Cuba not long ago and people were happy about the possibilities.”
Benicio del Toro, a Puerto Rican-born actor who played the communist revolutionary Che Guevara in the movie “Che,” said in an interview with The Guardian

7. “The failed embargo against Cuba should have been lifted decades ago.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson, the writer, activist, and former presidential candidate wrote of his opposition to the embargo for the Chicago-Sun Times

8. “He is a genius. We spoke about everything,” and of the embargo “There’s no remaining reason for it to continue.”
Actor Jack Nicholson, the Oscar-winner during an interview with Vanity Fair in which he praised Castro and called for an end to the embargo

9. "I personally feel that this embargo should be lifted. I do not see any reason for accepting old grudges being played out in the 21st century. It does not make sense to me that my country will trade with North Korea and China, but not with Cuba."
Director Steven Spielberg, according to the Los Angeles Times, at a Cuban film festival showing his movies

10.


Vote Here: Is the US Trade Embargo With Cuba Good or Bad?

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The U.S. embargo has not been able to break Castro's communist grip on Cuba, and many people have called for a change in policy for the good of the Cuban people. Here are eight celebrities who have spoken the loudest against the U.S. embargo.
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2016-01-11
Friday, 11 Mar 2016 05:01 PM
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