A Breakthrough in U.S.-Cuba Relations?

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"We have many things in common and a few things on which we differ," former President Jimmy Carter told an audience at a Cuban school yesterday during the first day of his historic five-day visit. Carter's visit is the first by a U.S. President to Cuba since Calvin Coolidge's trip in 1928.

Carter's presence and warm conversation with Fidel Castro might seem to indicate a breakthrough in Cuban-American relations. But back in Washington sits perhaps the most anti-Cuban Presidential administration in history. President Bush has appointed several Cubans who vehemently oppose Castro to administration posts, and next week the President is expected to give a speech encouraging an even tighter trade embargo against Cuba.

This hour, a reexamination of U.S.-Cuba relations. Why does America continue to isolate Cuba when trade with other questionable governments like China's is encouraged? With Castro having reached his 75th birthday, what will happen to relations between the nations after the dictator is gone?


Sally Grooms Cowal, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America under first President Bush, former Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago

Dennis Hays, Executive Vice President of the Cuban American National Foundation, former Coordinator for Cuban Affairs for the U.S. State Department

This program aired on May 14, 2002.


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