Vox analyses past, present and future ease of travel to Cuba

Posted: 18-Jan-16 10:53

There are concerns that the measures put in place by the Obama administration to revive ties with Cuba will be reversed if a Republican candidate wins the forthcoming presidential elections. History has shown that these fears are valid, but they may not be 100% correct. Vox recently ran a piece exploring the history of different administrations with Cuba and analysing the validity of these concerns.

Vox analyses past, present and future ease of travel to Cuba

Since the end of 2014 the Obama administration has intensified efforts to end hostilities between Cuba and the US that have stood for more than half a century. Vox, in a recently published article, analysed the history of the relationship between the two governments since the embargo was put in place in the sixties by the John F. Kennedy's administration.

According to the publication, travelling to Cuba has never been easier for Americans than it is at present, thanks to Obama’s efforts. Writer Michelle Hackman has explained in her article that Cuba has, since 1959, been a political flashpoint between Republicans and Democrats.

Policies put in place by governments from these two political camps have served to either relax or shore up the embargo. Indeed, it has emerged as a key topic during electoral campaigning over the past few decades.

Republican president Ronald Reagan, for instance, pledged to toughen the freeze in relations between the two countries and did just that when he came into office. He helped form a body that rallied congress against any changes to the embargo. Bill Clinton, when he came to power, used what leeway he had as president to open channels of travel to Cuba so that from 1998, Americans could travel to the island as long as they were traveling on educational, humanitarian or religious grounds.

When George W. Bush, a Republican, succeeded Clinton he severely stemmed travel to Cuba in order to try and force the Castro administration out. Hackman’s piece shows a seesawing of foreign policy with successive changes of government. This appears to validate concerns that the diplomatic gains made with Cuba during President Obama’s time will be reversed if the Republicans win the upcoming elections.

If this indeed happens, many Americans who were looking to make the Caribbean island their next holiday destination might have to change their plans. Thanks to the reopening of embassies, the recommencement of commercial flights to Cuba and other measures recently put in place by the Obama government, thousands of Americans have been able to travel to Cuba during the past year.

Though the normalisation of ties with Cuba has been welcomed by many, Hackman observes that Republican views remain largely unchanged. Some of their presidential hopefuls, most notably Senator Marco Rubio, have actually pledged to reverse the current government’s Cuba policy. Rubio believes Obama is bending, if not breaking, the law with the measures he has put in place.

But not all GOP candidates see things his way, the writer notes. Front-runner Donald Trump is known to be against the embargo saying “50 years is enough”.


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