If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have said we should begin to ease the embargo in return for human-rights concessions, Dean told reporters at an August 24 dinner in Seattle, according to the Miami Herald. But, we cant do it right now. He cited as a reason the April trials and convictions of 75 individuals in Cuba for collaborating with and accepting money from U.S. government representatives to undermine the Cuban Revolution.
In taking this stance Dean joins most of the other Democratic Party presidential contenders. Sen. John Kerry announced August 31 on NBCs Meet the Press that he, too, supported keeping the U.S. trade sanctions against Cuba. Florida senator Robert Graham and Connecticut senator Joseph LiebermanAlbert Gores running mate on the 2000 Democratic presidential ticketare both outspoken supporters of the embargo. Missouri congressman Richard Gephardt, too, is a staunch supporter of Washingtons aggressive policy toward Cuba. And, according to the Herald, Sen. John Edwards has spent months meeting with exile leaders to study the issue.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and New York politician Alfred Sharpton have taken positions in favor of easing Washingtons trade restrictions with Cuba. Speaking in Iowa this past May, Kucinich said the embargo should be lifted to open up Cuba as a new market for capitalist investment and trade. Deans position is consistent with his overall foreign policy stances, such as backing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, arguing for a stepped-up war against Al Qaeda, and advocating renewed negotiations with north Korea to pressure it to end its nuclear program, while threatening in private to go to war over that issue. He has criticized the Bush administrations tactics in going to war against Iraq with inadequate planning and without maximum support from other governments.
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