It’s only about 100 miles from the U.S., but if you’re not Jay-Z and Beyonce, you’re probably not going to visit Cuba soon. The Communist regime remains in place after 50 years under “the choke-hold of economic sanctions,” and travel restrictions, and the embargo costs the U.S. $1.2 billion every year–but nearly half of Americans support leaving it in place. America does business with other nations with long track records of human rights violations and corruption; what about Cuba makes it so controversial, and will the sanctions ever end?
On Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, the panel took a long look at the forces that keep the embargo in place, how Cubans themselves have adapted to life under these restrictions, and how the prison at Guantanamo Bay damages American credibility during arguments about Cuba’s political prisoners.
While the embargo may be a “vestige of the Cold War,” as professor Lisandro Perez said, nearly half of American still support it. Host Melissa Harris-Perry was joined by Perez, Michigan State professor Lisa Cook, super-PAC director Mauricio Claver-Carone, scholar Soffiyah Elijah of the Correctional Association of New York, and City University of New York professor Sujatha Fernandes for an occasionally contentious debate that ranged from homegrown Cuban hip-hop to the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Watch the discussion here and tune in next weekend at 10 a.m. ET.