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Cuba: Human rights, a longstanding U.S. embargo and a fresh call for change

December 3, 2009 |  2:31 pm

It’s coming up on two years since Fidel Castro formally stepped down as head of state in Cuba in February 2008 and younger brother Raul Castro became president.

It’s been even longer since Fidel handed power to Raul on a temporary basis. But anyone looking for signs of better human rights conditions on the island would be disappointed, according to a report last month by Human Rights Watch called “New Castro, Same Cuba.”

The rights group said the government has jailed scores of dissidents, protesters and others in recent years. For the U.S., the persistent question is whether to lift its 47-year-old embargo on travel and trade with Cuba. The embargo remains even as President Obama has eased some rules on travel and money transfers for Cuban Americans. An editorial in today’s Los Angeles Times calls for the U.S. and the European Union to try something new. To read the editorial, click here.

For a Times news story on the Human Rights Watch report, click here.

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