Earlier this year, Fidel Castro, who ruled Cuba for decades, stepped down and ceded power to his brother, Raul. The change in rule has spurred debate within the United States about its long-standing embargo on the island nation, located 90 miles south of Florida. Read the stances of the presidential candidates below. The views of the vice presidential candidates are shown where available.
John McCain
Would keep the embargo in place and not allow economic aid to flow to Cuba. Would "press the Cuban regime to release all political prisoners unconditionally, to legalize all political parties, labor unions and free media and to schedule internationally monitored elections." Only when those conditions are met would he consider lifting the embargo. Would have the Justice Department prosecute Cuban officials implicated in the murder of Americans, drug trafficking and other crimes. Would increase support to Radio and TV Marti and "other means to communicate directly with the Cuban people."
Barack Obama
Would not lift the embargo unless Cuba releases political prisoners, starts instituting free press and takes other steps to democratize the island, but is looking to normalize relations at some point. Would meet the Cuban leadership without preconditions but with preparation. Would "immediately allow unlimited family travel and remittances to the island."
Joe Biden
Supported the U.S. embargo. Said there were more possibilities for Cuban-American relations after Fidel Castro stepped down from power and Raul Castro, his brother, took control. In a statement released in February, Biden said, "we should not consider lifting the embargo until Cuba frees political prisoners, respects human rights and allows independent civil organizations." Meanwhile, he advocates increasing travel for Cuban-Americans to the island nation, expanding family remittances to extended family back home, establishing direct mail service, and allowing U.S.-based companies to send remittances to Cubans to support small businesses and other enterprises.
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The issues that make up American politics have many voices. Here are a few governmental organizations, interest groups and companies from across the political spectrum that are actors in the debate over Cuba policy. * CNN does not endorse external sites.
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