Obama urges US Congress to lift Cuba embargo during State of the Union address

Posted: 19-Jan-16 10:39

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, has called on the U.S Congress to lift the 50-year embargo of Cuba. Speaking at his final State of the Union Address, Obama said that five decades of isolating the Caribbean country has led to a setback for the U.S in Latin America and economic, commercial and financial relations should be restored.

Obama urges US Congress to lift Cuba embargo during State of the Union address

Speaking at his final State of the Union Address last week, U.S President Barack Obama has called on the U.S Congress to lift the embargo of Cuba that has spanned more than five decades.

"You want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere? Recognise that the Cold War is over. Lift the embargo..."

Said Obama during the event last Tuesday. Last December, the President announced that diplomatic relations had been resumed between the United States and Cuba after more than 50 years of hostilities. Obama said that 50 years of isolation for Cuba has led to a setback for the U.S in Latin America and:

"...that's why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce."

Since Obama’s announcement last year, some draft legislation has been promoted regarding the restored relations, but the US Congress with a Republican majority has yet to take any steps towards dismantling the economic, commercial and financial policy towards Cuba.

In 1961, the United States cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba following Fidel Castro’s revolution. The years that followed saw an economic embargo imposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The two countries opened embassies in Washington in the United States and Havana in Cuba on 20th July, 2015.

Any changes to the U.S-Cuba relations will have a significant impact on the tourism industry in Cuba, with many Americans planning to travel to the Caribbean island in the near future, many for the first ever time.

At present, general tourism and holidays to Cuba are still restricted, but U.S travellers can travel to the island through people to people programmes and trips in 12 categories organised by tour operators and charter companies in the U.S.

The United States and Cuba have agreed to restore regularly scheduled, commercial flights between the countries, and flights could resume in the next couple of months.

Cuba is an island nation situated in the Caribbean Sea, east of Mexico and south of the United States. The communist country is rich in political history and boasts some of the world’s most spectacular and unspoilt natural landscapes, such as white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and the world’s second largest barrier reef.

Popular tourist destinations on the island include Havana the capital, with its crumbling architecture, Old Town, and vibrant Malecon, the stunning Jardines del Rey archipelago home to virgin cays, turquoise ocean waters and coral reefs; the Spanish Colonial city of Trinidad; and the popular beach resort of Varadero with 21 kilometres of coastline and white sandy beaches.


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