Hints of rethinking the Cuba embargo

Cuban President Fidel Castro takes part in a political rally in Holguin, Cuba on July 26, 2006.

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Over the weekend, 10 people from Congress met with Cuban officials in Havana. This is the biggest group of American lawmakers to visit Cuba since 1959. It's a sign Congress may revisit the four decades-old trade embargo. Many Cuban exiles here in the states are also open to a change in that policy. Dan Grech reports from our Americas Desk at WLRN.


DAN GRECH: For many Cuban Americans, the embargo is a symbol of opposition to Fidel Castro.

But will the embargo still make sense when the ailing leader dies?

Sociology professor Gulliermo Grenier is with Florida International University. He says Cuban exiles fear that the embargo may outlive the regime it's intended to punish.

GULLIERMO GRENIER: Fidel dies, Raul is in power, and there's still an embargo, and there's still restrictions, and they still can't go back.

With Fidel on his deathbed, he says Cuban Americans are more open to change in U.S. policy.

GRENIER: That, in combination with having a Democratic Congress, might make a difference. Either one or the other by itself probably wouldn't.

No one expects the embargo to be lifted, but 2004 restrictions on travel to Cuba to visit family may be the first to go.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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