Last updated on: 4/25/2013 | Author:

Barack Obama, JD Biography

44th US President
to the question "Should the United States Maintain Its Embargo against Cuba?"

“[W]e’re prepared to show flexibility and not be stuck in a Cold War mentality dating back to when I was born. On the other hand, we have to see a signal back from the Cuban government that it is following through on releasing political prisoners, on providing people their basic human rights, in order for us to be fully engaged with them. And so far, at least, what we haven’t seen is the kind of genuine spirit of transformation inside of Cuba that would justify us eliminating the embargo…

And as long as I’m President I will always be prepared to change our Cuba policy if and when we start seeing a serious intention on the part of the Cuban government to provide liberty for its people. But that’s always my watchword, is are we seeing freedom for the Cuban people to live lives of opportunity and prosperity. If we are, then we’ll be supportive of them.”

“Open for Questions with President Obama,”, Sep. 28, 2011

[Editor’s Note: Prior to Mr. Obama’s Sep. 28, 2011 Pro position above, his position was Con as indicated by his statement Jan. 20, 2004 statement below.]

“I think it’s time for us to end the embargo on Cuba… Our planet is shrinking. And our biggest foreign policy challenge‚Ķ is how do we make sure that other countries, in developing nations, are providing sustenance for their people, human rights for their people, a basic structure of government for their people, that is stable and secure so they can be partners in a brighter future for the entire planet. And the Cuban embargo has failed to provide the sorts of rising standards of living, and has squeezed the innocents in Cuba and utterly failed to overthrow Castro, who has now been there since I was born. It is now time to acknowledge that that particular policy has failed.”

Jan. 20, 2004 speech at Southern Illinois University, posted on

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • 44th US President, Jan. 20, 2009-Jan. 2016
  • Recipient, Nobel Peace Prize, 2009
  • US Senator (D-IL), 2005-2009
  • Recipient, Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (for the audiobook edition of his book The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream), 2008
  • Member, Environment and Public Works Committee, 2005-2006
  • Former member, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
  • Former member, Foreign Relations Committee
  • Former member, Veterans’ Affairs Committee
  • Recipient, Harold Blake Walker Award, Christopher House, 2005
  • Recipient, Rock the Nation Award, Rock the Vote, 2005
  • Member, Illinois State Senate, 1997-2004
  • Civil Rights Attorney, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 1993-2004
  • Recipient, Best Freshman Legislator Award, Independent Voters of Illinois, 1997
  • Community Organizer, Chicago, 1985
  • Former Senior Lecturer, Constitutional Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1991
  • BA, Political Science, Columbia University, 1983
  • Attended Occidental College
  • Graduated, Punahou School, HI, 1979
  • First African-American President of the United States
  • First US President to chair a session of the United Nations Security Council
  • First African-American President of the Harvard Law Review
  • First US President born in Hawaii, and first US President born outside the continental United States
  • Named Person of the Year (2008) and one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World (2005) by TIME Magazine
  • Named one of the 10 People Who Will Change the World, New Statesman, 2005
  • Recipient, Outstanding Legislator Award, Campaign for Better Health Care and Illinois Primary Health Care Association, 1998
  • Recipient, Monarch Award for Outstanding Public Service, 1994
  • Recipient, 40 Under 40 Award, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1993
  • Married Michelle Robinson, JD, on Oct. 3, 1992
  • Has two children, Malia Ann (born 1998) and Natasha (“Sasha,” born 2001)
  • Legal name is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
  • Born at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Honolulu, HI on Aug. 4, 1961
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Maintain Its Embargo against Cuba?