Ending the Embargo on Cuba
Since 1962 the United States has implemented an embargo on Cuba, justifying it in the context of protecting the United States from the dangers of communism. This 50 year embargo has several original goals. The United States wanted Cuba to open up its economy and establish a democracy; weaken Cuba’s communist government; and force Fidel Castro out of power (Scott). These original goals were employed to essentially help Cuba from itself and to make a stance against communism by the United States. Though a stance has been made Castro resigned, his closest supporters are still in power, living up to his original views and goals. The said embargo only hurts the normal man of Cuba as well as American businesses who could be selling and trading with Cuba. The more free exchange of people, customs, and ideas, the more the Cuban people will learn about freedom and democracy, thus having an embargo such as the one the United States has on them only hinders the progression towards democracy. Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy’s proclamation of a full force, and all trade prohibition between the United States and Cuba was announced. The embargo prohibited American citizens from doing any type of business with Cuba, tourism to Cuba, and even providing humanitarian aid (Roger). The said embargo did not just cut the United States trade off with Cuba but made it difficult for other countries to do business with Cuba as well. Stern states, “The embargo’s extraterritorial provisions also make it extremely difficult for Cuba to do business with other countries as well (2).” The embargo has stunted the Cuban economy and limited Cuban’s access to certain food, modern technology, and useful medicines (Mead). The purpose of the embargo was to make life so difficult for Cubans that they would see error of their ways and eliminate Fidel Castro’s rule and get rid of communism. John F. Kennedy’s goal of the total economic embargo was to get the ordinary Cubans to rise up and overthrow Fidel Castro. He wanted this to fuel a popular revolt against the communistic ways that the country was facing. The United States wanted to show that they would not do business with Cuba until it learns to respect human rights and liberties. Because Cuba is only 90 miles off the coast of the United States, it has a high prospect of trade with America. Such an embargo was expected to be a smack on the head for the Cuban government to ensure revision of their ways; fifty years later, no alteration is seen. Since coming to power in 1959, Castro and his brother Raul have survived the efforts of 10 American presidential administrations to undermine their dictatorial rule (Dodd). Not only has it not worked in undermining the communistic rule, but the embargo became an effective propaganda tool for the Castro’s to use in arguing that whatever ailed Cuban life could be blamed on the United States. The embargo has been criticized by many other nations. In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling on the United States to immediately end its economic embargo against Cuba. The vote was 182 counties were in favor of ending the embargo where only 4 were for it (Schuijt). Though the vote by the General Assembly has no legal impact on whether or not the United States should end the embargo, it can be considered a moral victory for Cuba. The vote showed the embargo was vastly opposed by the rest of the world and may lead to being a proverbial eye-opener for the United States. This high opposition against the embargo on Cuba shows that the rest of the world views it as Americas fault and is hurting the United States politically.
Though the embargo is leaving Cuba in economic turmoil, this is changing due to the policy’s flaws. “The embargo clearly has more holes than a sieve (Mead 5).” The Cuban economy is on the rise. This rise goes to show that the initial goals of the United States are not working. There are several...
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