foreign policy

Would you remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration?

Yes

Yes

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “believes U.S. policy toward Cuba has not been successful, including the Trump administration’s approach, and we must update it,” a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. “We should be working to forge new relationships, strengthen financial ties, and build opportunity for the next generation of Cubans and Americans. Improving trade will allow U.S. businesses, farmers and ranchers to compete fairly in the Cuban markets and can increase opportunities for Cuban citizens to realize greater economic independence.” Bennet introduced the Agricultural Export Expansion Act of 2019 to allow agricultural trade with Cuba.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I have no illusions about the situation in Cuba, and it’s deeply concerning that the Cuban government continues to assert strong political and economic control while failing to respect press freedom and the freedom of assembly,” Biden told The Post. “But Cuba is not represented solely by its leadership. There are many different sectors that we can and should work with to support progress in Cuba — including entrepreneurs, religious groups, universities, young people and human rights defenders.”

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Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“We need to end the embargo,” Bullock told The Post. “Our farmers, ranchers and other businesses are looking for new markets, and this is a good opportunity. I am not naive to Cuba’s actions in Venezuela, or its human rights abuses. But we cannot simply continue the failed policies of the past, which is what Trump is doing. He is failing to bring about change in Cuba and hurting America’s economy in the process.”

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Yes. Isolation hasn’t worked,” Buttigieg told The Post. “We need to engage with Cuba, supporting political and economic reform as well as working to stop Cuban interference in Venezuela and Nicaragua. U.S.-Cuba citizen engagement, expanded travel opportunities and the repeal of remittance restrictions enjoy broad support from our Latin American partners, from the U.S. public and business community, and from a majority of Cuban Americans.”

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes. We should also end sanctions,” Gabbard told The Post. “If we want to encourage positive change, we must engage with Havana and open communication and understanding between Cubans and Americans.”

Jun. 4: “Basically Americans will no longer be free to travel to Cuba, because Cuba is a communist country & therefore its’ people are not free. So now the Trump Administration, in the name of freedom, is taking away Americans' freedom. Make sense?”

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

“Fifty years of an embargo have not achieved America’s policy objectives in Cuba,” Klobuchar's First 100 Days plan said. She “believes that a better path forward would allow Americans the freedom to travel and conduct business there and that lifting the trade embargo will open a huge export market, create American jobs, and support both the Cuban and American economies. She will revive policies to expand the ability of Americans to travel to Cuba and facilitate U.S. exports to the island using credit to the maximum extent allowed by current law while respecting human rights and property claims against the Cuban government.”

Jun. 5: “The Administration's latest travel restrictions for Cuba are yet another setback. I lead the bipartisan bill to lift the embargo. Isolating Cuba for more than 5 decades has not secured our interests. We need to move our relationship forward, not backward.”

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“Yes. I would move to restore relations with Cuba to the state in which the Obama administration left them,” Ryan told The Post. “If we want Cuba to move to a democracy, we need to engage with them diplomatically, we cannot sanction them into submission.”

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, he told The Post.

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“Yes. U.S. engagement is best for changing the country toward a path of democratic values,” Sestak told The Post.

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Yes. The broadening of relations during the Obama administration was a pragmatic step that recognized sanctions and isolation hadn’t achieved U.S. goals,” Warren told The Post. “President Trump’s restrictions harm the Cuban people, empower Cuba’s hardliners, and give the regime an excuse to further delay market and democratic reforms, and make it harder to enlist partners to address other regional challenges, including in Venezuela. Engagement does not mean we condone the Castro government’s approach — but we have over 60 years of failed experience with policies of isolation. The best way to promote change is to empower the Cuban people, not to punish them.”

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, she told The Post.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang would remove the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that were imposed by the Trump administration, he told The Post.

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Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“We need a new path forward in our relations with Cuba. Only Congress can lift the trade embargo. To be sure, Cuba’s dismal record on human rights, including repression of dissent, arbitrary detention, harassment of critics and its support for Nicolas Maduro’s brutal regime are issues that must be addressed as part of any future U.S.-Cuba relationship,” Booker told The Post.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not answer this question by publication.

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Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not answer this question by publication.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney did not answer this question by publication.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris did not answer this question by publication.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer did not answer this question by publication.

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Tom Steyer
Steyer

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Background The Obama administration began normalizing relations with Cuba in 2014, removing the country’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, restoring diplomatic relations, and easing restrictions on remittances, travel and trade. In 2017, the Trump administration announced an effort to roll back some of those moves. Those efforts were strengthened in 2019, in response to Cuban support for the Venezuelan regime of Nicholas Maduro, with new economic sanctions, limits on non-family travel to the island and the termination of cruise ship travel from the United States.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic presidential campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. foreign policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role, and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports and surveys. See something we missed? Let us know.

We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue.

At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president and excluded any who had left the race. Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Fla., reported $0 in spending during the 3rd quarter of 2019. As a result, he is no longer considered a "major candidate" in the Post's 2020 coverage and has been removed from this project.

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