The U.S. Cuba Embargo: Making Diplomacy Impossible


Just before Thanksgiving, Cuban-American families who had hoped to spend the holidays with their Cuban relatives got some bad news.

On November 26th, Cuba suspended consular services — including the issuing of passports and visas — at its interest section in Washington. The move came after the Buffalo-based M & T Bank announced this summer that it would stop providing Cuba with banking services in the United States. The Cuban government could not find another bank to take its place.

When President Barack Obama called earlier this year for U.S. relations with Cuba to be “updated,” this is probably not what he had in mind.

The reduction in services — and the resulting obstacles for traveling — flies in the face of recent efforts to improve relations between the two countries. President Obama has loosened travel restrictions for Cuban Americans, permitted remittances, and promoted educational, cultural, and religious exchanges with…

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