2014-02-06T130336Z_1_CBREA1510A500_RTROPTP_2_USA-OBAMA-EDUCTATION

U.S. policy change on Cuba stalled – by Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about technology in the classroom during a visit to Buck Lodge Middle School in AdelphiBy David Adams and Daniel Trotta MIAMI/HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. relations with Cuba are at their best in almost two decades, but President Barack Obama seems unwilling or unable to confront a well-organized anti-Cuba lobby and push for further progress. Obama suggested change was coming at a Miami fundraiser in November, saying “we have to be creative, and we have to be thoughtful, and we have to continue to update our policies” on Cuba, and yet he has withheld using his executive power since last easing Cuban travel restrictions in January 2011. Many Cuba experts and policy analysts say a fundamental revision of Cuba policy is overdue and that greater U.S. involvement could promote the market-oriented reforms under way on the communist-ruled island since Cuban President Raul Castro took over for his ailing brother Fidel in 2008. The Obama administration says Cuba must first improve human rights and release imprisoned U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who was sentenced to 15 years for attempting to establish an illegal communications network on the island.

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