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Could the Embargo Lift on Cuba Affect Higher Education?

29 DEC 2014
Career Path : Education News

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With the end of the year only a few week away, a historic change of policy was announced by Obama this December: sanctions on Cuba would be lifted. The 53-year embargo on Cuba by the United States began in the Kennedy era, and has persisted until this day. What the embargo has proven is that embargoes do very little to induce change.  The communist country of Cuba has survived without trade from the U.S., and overall the trade sanctions have done little to waiver Cuba’s dictatorship regime.

The Obama administration declared that the embargo would not be totally lifted yet, but that sanctions would be relaxed, and import/export commerce would finally continue between the two countries. There are also talks of easier American travel access to Cuba – which may perhaps help lift the communist attitudes of the country.

But could the lifted sanctions also affect education between the two countries?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the past required students have special permission to travel to Cuba for educational events or performances, however the lifting of restriction would make this process unnecessary. As of 2011, a “people to people” initiative by the Obama administration allowed universities to send students to Cuba in an effort to bring Cubans and Americans together.

Students will benefit from the new laws by having the ability to obtain a “general traveler’s licence” in order to perform academic research, education exchanges and participate in workshops in Cuba

Various educational institutions in Cuba include:

  • University of Havana
  • University of Santiago de Cuba
  • University of Information Science (Havana)
  • Ciudad Universitaria Jose Antonio Echeverria

Source: Education News