Community Conversations

Do you support President Obama's visit to Cuba?

President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro sit together for members of the media before a bilateral meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters.
President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro sit together for members of the media before a bilateral meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters. AP

President Barack Obama is going to Cuba for a March 21-22 visit. As part of Community Conversations, we’re sharing your answers to this question: Do you support President Obama's visit to Cuba?

Below is a sampling of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network and comment on previous discussions at MiamiHerald.com/community and select Community Conversations.

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No, because the government of Cuba has done very little to make life better for the people of Cuba while the USA counterparts have given lots of things to the Cuban government. If I agree with Donald Trump on anything, it is that our government representatives do NOT represent us well in any negotiations!

Juan Galan Jr., Coral Gables

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As long as even the mildest criticism lands Castro critics in prison, and Fidel and Raul live like the fattest of fat cats, Obama should snub the dictatorial hypocrites.

John Rothchild, Miami Beach

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Yes, I support him because after more than 50 years the American politics toward Cuba did not and still does not work.

Fred San Millan, Miami

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Yes. I support President Obama's visit to Cuba. The U.S. embargo on Cuba has only hurt the Cuban people, and after 50-plus years of a failed policy, we need a 21st century approach to Cuba.

Stephen Dorsey, Hallandale Beach

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No, since the openings of relations the Castro regime has done nothing in the area of human rights. On the contrary, the Cuban people are worse off today than they were before the opening of relations over a year ago.

Salvador Rodriguez, Miami

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Absolutely I do. President Obama is going in the right direction with this. The embargo has solved nothing of what it was intended to. This move will confirm to Raul that we are serious about our desire to treat Cuba as an equally important nation for our mutual benefit.

George Carr, Miami

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I support the President's visit to Cuba 100%. Visiting a country does not mean we agree with their policies, or even like their administration. You simply cannot enact positive change with a policy of, "We're not talking to you."

Noah Waller, Miami

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Yes! Opens doors, breaks down barriers. Cuba will have to assimilate if it wants to join world community.

Gabriel Puello, Miami

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Absolute No. I do not agree. I don't see the dictators of Cuba promoting any type of freedom for my country and the people of Cuba. What's the purpose of this trip if in Cuba political prisoners are still in jail or under persecution every day. What are we going to gain with his visit? I believe that the president must respect the suffering of the Cuban community in exile, a community that has done great things for this country. Mr. Obama should not embrace a regime that has violated every human dignity and freedom for the past 54 years.

Randy Díaz, Miami

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Yes. I was there on a mission trip. The Cuban people welcomed my group and deeply appreciated our help.

Gregory Pitts, Weston

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I can think of no reason why the president should not visit Cuba or Russia or China or any other country which professes to have a communist form of government. Presidential visits have nothing to do with approval or disapproval of a country's form of government. They are about diplomatic and trade issues. At the moment, the United States and Cuba are trying to establish the rules for their tentative tries at rapprochement. There are many issues involved that require guidance from the national leaders so that the individuals who will actually work out the details of the agreements to be reached can fully understand each nation's goals and limits.

Arnold Slotkin, Hollywood

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I do not support President Obama's trip to Cuba, not because Cuba is communist country — that hasn't stopped previous presidents from going to China or Russia. But because after all that the president has done since the announcement of his thawing policy toward Cuba, the Castros haven't done anything to improve human rights in Cuba.

Maria Serra, Miami

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It's a bold move to keep the momentum rolling on changes to the status of one of our closest neighbor countries. Ignoring the obvious hurt, anger, intolerance and grandstanding that is inevitable by a small group of people who have legitimate gripes, the issue is much bigger than the concerns of those that have been wronged by the current regime over the past six decades. Change is coming to Cuba, at long last, due to Obama's bold stance. We'll look back at this long cold war as a ridiculous, stubborn, stupid policy that proved itself useless long ago. Open the doors and let Cuba regain some sense of normalcy, if you want to see the island become a more reasonable place for the millions that live there, that want to travel, that wish to do business.

Robert Burr, Coral Gables

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