Donya Akhawan Jam, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 21, 2015
Last month, President Barack Obama announced that the United States is shifting its policy on Cuba towards normalizing relations. This means that some sanctions will be uplifted and travel to Cuba will become easier for citizens of the United States.
For 54 years, the United States placed an embargo on the Cuban government.
In Congress, many expressed their opposition to the policy change because they are a dictatorship, and they tyrannize their own people. Amnesty International’s Cuba page mentions “civil and political rights continue to be severely restricted by Cuban authorities.”
Senator Robert Menendez in a press release explained why this isn’t a good idea. He described the Cuban government as a dictatorship that oppresses its own people, which cannot be trusted. “What we can trust are the voices of the dissidents who have been arrested and re-arrested – time-and-time-again – year-after-year – for demanding nothing more than the ability to speak their minds, freely, openly, without fear,” he expressed.
“The Cuban government will only take advantage to strengthen its repressive machinery, to repress civil society, its people and remain in power,” Menendez also said.
Senator Marco Rubio also expressed objection to this deal, saying this new policy is a “victory for oppressive governments.”
The Cuban government was among the four countries that voted in the United Nations not to condemn the violations of human rights happening in Syria by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
While President Obama is trying to restore relations with Cuba, the removal of the 54-year-old embargo placed on Cuba relies solely on Congress.