NOW WHAT? Cuba’s Next Moves Free From Fidel

So, French President Francois Hollande has called for the US sanctions against Cuba to be ‘definitively’ lifted now that Castro is dead. But Castro left many like him in places of power. Do you think ‘definitively’ lifting the sanctions is a good idea right now?

A call has been mounted for US sanctions against Cuba to be lifted ‘definitively’, following the death of Fidel Castro.

World leaders have said the Communist heavyweight’s death at the age of 90 should spell a new era for the island.

Speaking at a summit in Madagascar today, French President Francois Hollande said today that the ongoing embargo by the US ‘punishes’ Cuba and should be lifted once and for all.

He said: ‘On the occasion of Fidel Castro’s death I want again to say that the embargo which punishes Cuba should be lifted definitively.’

The US severed diplomatic ties in 1961, banning all exports to Cuba except for food and medicine.

Castro, who stepped aside 10 years ago, remained hostile to Washington throughout his life.

As US president Barack Obama moved to heal relations with Havana, Castro responded: ‘We don’t need the empire to give us anything.’

Thus far President-elect Donald Trump’s only public reaction has been a tweet which simply says: ‘Fidel Castro is dead!’

The trade embargo was designed to starve Castro’s regime of US currency. Despite the recent restoration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana, the embargo remains largely in place today.

‘France has always seen Cuba as a partner,’ said Hollande, who in May last year was the first western head of state to visit the island nation after the thaw in relations between the US and Cuba in December 2014.

‘Even if I have repeatedly denounced human rights abuses in Cuba, I have always believed that the embargo was an unacceptable, unilateral decision,’ he said.

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