Brazil Vows Not to Embarrass Obama over the Cuba Embargo

Lula and Fidel Castro Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, anticipated he will address the Cuban issue in the coming Americas Summit next Friday in Trinidad Tobago, when American President Barack Obama should be present, but the Brazilian diplomacy is also working to ensure it does not become an irritating discussion, according to the Brazilian  press.

"What the president wants is that the issue causes no embarrassments for (Barack) Obama, with whom he is genuinely enchanted," according to daily Folha de S. Paulo.

Folha and O Estado de S. Paulo published, based on reliable Brazilian government sources, that the Cubans allegedly asked the Brazilian diplomacy to help contain the tone of the discussion in the Trinidad Tobago summit.

Last week President Lula and Brazilian Foreign minister Celso Amorim received in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia the new Cuban Foreign Affairs minister Bruno Rodriguez.

"The Brazilian government expectation" is that the Cuban issue, which will not be formally mentioned in the Trinidad Tobago document, "is forcefully addressed in the Organization of American States general assembly next June 2," underlined Folha.

Cuba will become the "real test" for President Obama in the summit that begins Friday said Amorim last week who added that "formally" Brazil will not be acting as "mediator" between Washington and Havana.

Nevertheless Itamaraty Palace, seat of Brazilian diplomacy, believes that Brazil has become an outstanding voice globally and could very well act as a "facilitator" of distension between the United States and the Castros regime.

Itamaraty also recalls that President Lula was twice in a year in Cuba and on his first official international tour, President Raul Castro traveled to Bahia and Brasí­lia last December. Lula also is credited with calling for an end to the US embargo on Cuba after meeting with President Obama in the White House.

Brazilian diplomatic sources point out that Lula will try to neutralize the impetus of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez when questioning Washington's policies towards the region and the Cuban blockade. However it was also pointed out that even with former President George Bush, "Mr. Chavez at the summits acted with respect and politeness towards all leaders."

"US diplomats basically agree with the gradual approach on the Cuban issue proposed by President Lula," reported the São Paulo press,

The atmosphere has improved considerably because on Monday the "Obama administration has honored its promise of lessening travel, trade and investment barriers regarding Cuba."

President Barack Obama has decided to loosen restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba for Cuban-Americans.

The decision, which comes days before President Obama leaves for the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, represents a significant shift in US policy toward Cuba. Several key components of the US nearly half-century embargo on the island nation, however, will be preserved.

Among other things, US citizens still will be barred from sending gifts or other items to high-ranking Cuban government officials and Communist Party members. Travel restrictions for US citizens of non-Cuban descent also will remain in place. Before he was elected President Obama promised to lower some of the barriers in Cuban-American relations.

"There are no better ambassadors for freedom than Cuban Americans," Obama said in a campaign speech last May in Miami, the heart of the US Cuban-American community. "It's time to let Cuban Americans see their mothers and fathers, their sisters and brothers. It's time to let Cuban American money make their families less dependent upon the Castro regime."

Provisions attached to a US$ 410 billion supplemental budget Obama signed in March also made it easier for Cuban-Americans to travel to Cuba and to send money to family members on the island. In addition, they facilitated the sale of agricultural and pharmaceutical products to Cuba.

The provisions loosened restrictions enacted by President Bush after he came to office in 2001.

Several members of the US Congress see broader relations with Cuba as vital to US interests. A group of senators and other supporters unveiled a bill March 31 to lift the 47-year-old travel ban to Cuba.

"I think that we finally reached a new watermark here on this issue," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, one of the bill's sponsors. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, another sponsor of the bill, issued a draft report in February that said it was time to reconsider the economic sanctions. Lugar is the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Several leading academic experts released a letter Monday urging Obama "to extricate Cuba policy from the tangle of domestic politics, enable our nation to engage Cuba on serious neighborhood problems and build a sense of mutual confidence between our governments so that we can discuss our political differences."

The letter was signed by Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, and Wayne Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, among others.

The Obama administration also will begin issuing licenses to allow telecommunications and other companies to provide cell and television services to people on the island, and to allow family members to pay for relatives on Cuba to get those services, the official said.

Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus also said it is time to change US policy toward Cuba after returning from a meeting in Havana last week with both Fidel Castro and Cuban President Raúl Castro.

Other lawmakers, however, remain adamantly opposed to easing sanctions on Cuba, arguing that such a move would only reward and strengthen the Castro regime.

Reps. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, and Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, last week urged Obama to refrain from easing the trade embargo or travel restrictions until the Cuban government releases all "prisoners of conscience," shows greater respect for freedom of religion and speech and holds "free and fair" elections.

"Over the past 50 years, the Castros and their secret police have been directly responsible for killing thousands of nonviolent, courageous pro-democracy activists and for jailing and torturing tens of thousands of others. And they continue to this day to perpetrate their brutal crimes," Smith said.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said it makes no sense to continue what she characterized as a failed policy. "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but by any objective standard our current policy toward Cuba just hasn't worked. Simply put, it's time to open dialogue and discussion with Cuba," Lee said in a statement.

Some lawmakers, backed by business and farm groups seeing new opportunities in Cuba, have been advocating wider revisions in the trade and travel bans imposed after Fidel Castro took power in Havana in 1959.

Nevertheless it is believed the decades-old US trade embargo will remain in place, since that policy provides leverage "to pressure the regime to free all political prisoners as one step toward normalized relations with the US," according to White House sources.



  • Show Comments (18)

  • Juennie

    Viva Che
    The Brazilian honeymoon with so-called revolutions never ends. Funny how Cuba is the “real test” for President Obama” but has never been a real test for the Castro family. None of the folks down here (Brasil) running around with their Che t-shirts on seem to notice that the US embargo on Cuba was implemented to try to oust Castro and bring democracy to Cuba.

    The next time these Brazilians land in Florida on their way to Disney World, they should speak to a Cuban America (there are plenty of them) and ask why they or their parents risked their lives to go to America. Those Cubans won’t share the idiotic Brasilian view of Castro as a revolutionary. “Revolutionary” of what? The jackass changed the island from Las Vegas into a slum. Even the Russians abandoned him. Viva Lula.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]i hate those all incumbassing mandates coming from these dictators [/quote]

    ASP, I keep on saying that the “lefty dictators” are worse than the good people like our technocrat “dictators” that “governed” our country between 1964 and 1985. Just go through the following link and you will understand what I am saying. Of course, that site will help you to enrich your Portuguese also 😉


    Especially of interest is the letter written by Sen.Jarbas Vasconselos, which I am sure you will be able to understand without any problem. 😉 😀 😉

  • asp

    what planet are you living on ? ive seen hidden camera shots of the food shortages in venezuela , its scary…jall the money chavez gives away and crime in caracas is one of the worst in south america. chavez is putting the opisition in jail, he is closing radio and tv stations.

    worst of all he is a supporter of farc one of the more distabalising marxist groups , disrupting and traficing guns and drugs in the south american area they frequent

    yeah, health care and education in cuba but you are prohibited from getting information on the internet. you are prohibited from doing lots of things. i love freedom…freedom of the individual…..they used to prohibit sax playing because it had a tremendous american jazz history…i hate those all incumbassing mandates coming from these dictators

    anyone who thinks its just hunky dory in cuba of venesuela is living in a dream world

  • forrest allen brown

    S T
    been to cuba many times .for long as 3 months at a time
    and yes you are right on the health care , scholling .but the so called redistributing wealth is not happing .
    like in the US you cant take from thoes that work and give to thoes whom choose not to . chaves has rasied fuel prices in his country , food is in short supply , sounds like cuba to me
    when was the last time you were in chaves land ????????.
    as far as the patriot act well sence we dont have military on the bordoers of the US something else had to be done
    as many as 3 million people try running the river a year and most are good people but you get quits a few now that are
    of the latino race that are speaking spanish trying to get in and do harm .
    so the US has the right to defend itself from thoes people
    just like where you are from !!!!!!!! daming infringment on civil liberties is (government by definition )

    yes and greed kills many kids in the world along with religon and guns , but stupidity kills more
    not vegas in the 50 but more like the 30
    Batista was an ass but so were the cops ,other politicans ,the simple thing was they sold out there country
    much like ever leader has do and will do until the people demand better leadership

  • steve thompson

    viva cuba/
    the ignorance on this thread is amazing I have visited cuba numerous times and am so impressed by the education and health service (despite sanctions)
    The idiot that considers cuba as a latent Las vegas in the 50,s is a fool
    Even the most moronic politician accepted that Cuba was being taken over by the mafia and batista was corrupt.
    you throw accusations about political prisoners and anti democracy when you have the patriot act the most daming infringment on civil liberties

    the comment that tries to disrespect Chavez and castro should consider why latin america is turning to the left and chavez was elected by a large majority
    The propaganda on chavez is laughable He is redistributing wealth , continues to offer cheap oil to poor countries and has taken over capital so money is not taken out of the country by muti nationals
    With the crisis in capitalism and the amount ordinary people have had to pay out to the greedy bankers socialist economics are fine by me

    despite the us wealth you have an infant mortality rate that is consistent with a third world country.
    Not everything is about money , education ,health and caring for one another is important and my experience of Cuba reflects this .visit then comment

  • forrest allen brown

    DU 48
    when cuba was like vegas every one had a good job , money was made by most all peoples willing to work .
    the island was the most advanced in the reigon .

    but what set cuba apart was the poor wanting something for nothing , geting filed with anger over others
    making money while they did nothing but conplain about every thing and any thing .
    they had freedom of speach ,not now
    they had the ability to earn money .not now
    they had a better way of life . not now
    they could go and come as they pleased .not now


  • DU 48

    Viva Las Vegas, Juennie? Surely not!
    If you’re suggesting that Cuba was like Las Vegas then that’s EXACTLY why Batista had to go, and remember, to some extent, Fidel’s eventual Soviet ties came about because Whitehouse policy refused aid.
    Yes, the Soviet plan dried up, but the US financial collapse has hopefully put some common sense back into Obama’s Americas policy -namely dialogue and mutual respect.

  • João da Silva

    [quote]SOCIALIZIUM DID NOT WORK.[/quote]

    SOCIALIZIUM. It is either a new kind of Element or you are learning bad things from Forrest.Please clarify ASAP.

    In case you meant Socialism, it is SOCIALIZIUM[i]O[/i] in our language.

    In spite of your massacring both the languages, your comments do make sense.

  • Jay Glenn


    The Soviet Union is gone, bankrupt.
    SOCIALIZIUM starved the people, enslaved them, and stopped economic development.
    Cuba and Venezuela want to try it.
    Go for it; donˢ۪t ask capitalistic countries for Help.
    You want presidents for life; (dictators) go right ahead.
    It worked so well in Eastern Europe.
    Throw your own economies and money away.

  • ….

    ShellyÀ¢€¦ A Bruxa Feia (the ugly witch)
    Hey rotten-appleÀ¢€¦ Where Are You?

    Look, IÀ¢€™ve learned some Hebrew language: Hallah Bread, Yarmulke (I call it jewish sombrero), Shalom, and $$$. The last one is what makes a jew a jew, right?

    How do you say in jewish À¢€œYour Tatarata Stinks ?À¢€Â

    No meu pinto vocÀƒª nÀƒ£o tÀƒ³ca,


  • forrest allen brown

    Lloyd Cata
    chaves is in his own mess now he has rasied fuel prices up to the point all cabs busses ,trucks have started charging 12% more for
    driving whitch drives up food ,clothing ,medical prices .

    plus by taking over the rice plants ,milk ,and limiting imports from contries he has a problume with
    he is making his own countries ,
    38% of all forgin owned business have left his country .
    his oil compaines are running at 78% of total as for lack of repair .
    boat tourisum is way down with people all over the raidoes telling other boats to stay away from
    there as food ,fuel , danger have gone over the top
    and to here it from here in trindad chaves will not make the trip as he feals every one is out to kill him

    JOAO will be here and other places on net where ever i go

  • João da Silva

    Lloyd Cata
    [quote]Is it possible that Obama makes it unnecessary for Chavez to remain indefinitely in his office? [/quote]

    My counter question: Is it possible that Obama makes it [b][i]necessary[/i][/b] for Lula to remain [b][i]indefinitely[/i][/b] in office?

    Long time, No see, Dr.Cata. Good to hear from you. I think that as per your predictions, the [i][b]private armies[/b][/i] are getting well trained and in any moment, we will hear some shots being fired.Since last time you wrote here in this blog, lots of interesting developments have taken place, haven’t they?

  • João da Silva

    [quote]did he cut some sort of a deal with the brasilian courts of injustice
    to stop his world views on brasil and its many children held captive there ???

    Not much coverage about it anymore in the local news, Forrest. But, my hunch tells me that he has made a deal with everyone at sight here! He was not in D.C leading those glorious 200 protesters (actually, that march fizzled out, if you recall) and he is not going to be in Trinidad either.Believe me. I don’t trust him nor SeanÀ‚´s “stepfather” and sincerely hope that the kid doesn’t carry the trauma for his of his life.

    [quote]or is he gone missing in the brasilian da silva family farm ?????????[/quote]

    I don’t think he went “missing”. Probably a guest of honor.

    [quote]no i am on my own here but i only have to look after myself [/quote]

    I suggest you do that. Also keep us informed about your trip to Med and the East. May be you will run into “The Guest” as a fellow prisoner in the dungeons of Somalia !

  • Lloyd C ata

    The Second American Revolution
    Is Latin America now prepared for a true revolutionary figure? Not in Havana or Caracus, but in the American White House? It is truly funny now
    to see who will have the credibility for revolutionary change.
    Obama and Lula are natural compatriots because neither can go too far left of center. Obama will do his best not to embarrass anyone, but it would be
    foolish for Mr. Chavez to push this American president. Is it possible that Obama makes it unnecessary for Chavez to remain indefinitely in his office? Now
    the US economic recovery is heavily dependant on Latin American economies. Cuba trade is only the beginning. Venezuela has its own share of US trade and
    it does a disservice to its neighbors to push them into confrontation so early. George Bush validated Hugo Chavez. Barack Obama may also represent change for
    the people of Venezuela.

    Something for Messrs Castro and Chavez to think about….

  • forrest allen brown

    Hay joao
    did he cut some sort of a deal with the brasilian courts of injustice
    to stop his world views on brasil and its many children held captive there ???

    or is he gone missing in the brasilian da silva family farm ?????????

    no i am on my own here but i only have to look after myself
    when finished here am taking fatima to devils island for a while then maybe back across to the med and out the other side .

    who knows one day you may here about some brigans found dead floating off the coast .

    yes S1 brasilians will never go out in force to protest the lack of govnernment help
    so the politicans give hotdogs and beer and get in for another term and start all over again
    have you ever noticed that brasil only wants from every body , but never wants to give to any one .

  • João da Silva

    [quote]We are in Trinadad what can i do to embrass brasil
    well have started with hand outs on the roamdeep and sean goldman [/quote]

    Is SeanÀ‚´s biological father David going to participate in this “protest” march? I would be surprised if he does. 🙂

  • Shelly1

    You don’t need much to embarrass Brazil. You only need Al Mula Bin Lula to open his mouth. Then all you have to do is sit , wait, and enjoy the show.

    Fatima is wise, Brazil will remain the same. It is a shame, because the country is truly beautiful, but the people do not care. When Bush went to Brazil, everyone was out in the streets, but you won’t see anyone protesting to make the country a better place to live.

    Brazilians only go to the streets to celebrate carnival and during the world cup.

    Patriotismo idiota!

  • forrest allen brown

    Brazil Vows Not to Embarrass Obama over the Cuba Embargo
    and how will they not.
    We are in Trinadad what can i do to embrass brasil
    well have started with hand outs on the roamdeep and sean goldman
    and brasil lack of due proess of law towards its own people .
    i view brasil as a more represive soicity than cuba
    just because brasil has had a chance to make a country out of its self
    instead its just a very large sink hole where money goes to the politicans
    not the people .

    Fatima has talked to a bunch of brasilians living in trindad whom think brasil will remain the same
    or is running the corse as vensula with chaves .
    and only will a military take over would fix it quick

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