Cuba and the United States
Due to its highly strategic position in the Caribbean, Cuba has inevitably produced an unusually intimate connection with the United States. It is the nature of this connection, subsequently confirmed by formal arrangements and strengthened by economic penetration from the north, which the Cubans now find irksome and which they would alter so as to obtain greater freedom of movement. This paper will highlight the relationship between Cuba, the Cuban President, Fidel Castro, and the United States. Furthermore it will discuss the unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by the United States government which led to an embargo being placed on Cuba. It will then try to answer the following questions: 1. What are the causes of the embargo?
2. What are the social, economical and political effects of the embargo? 3. Would improving the relationship between Cuba and the Unites States benefit the Cuban-Americans? Although there were merely ninety miles separating Cuba and the United States, there were three outstanding factors which affected their relationship. These are the Platt Amendment, the Reciprocity Treaty of 1903 and the large American investment in the island. In spite of opposition from most of Cuba higher political class the Amendment was passed in the American Congress and was later incorporated in to the Cuban Constitution. The Cubans, however, felt that four provision of such Amendment limited their national sovereignty to their nascent republic. These included “the forbidding of making treaties with third power which might compromise the independence of the nation, the cession of the United States of sites for naval station, the investment of the United States to maintained orderly government and all its accessories and the limitation of debt contracting powers of government to obligations within the scope of ordinary revenues”(Kirkpatrick, 1996). The Reciprocity treaty was signed as to govern the trade relations between both countries. This allowed Cubans goods to be imported in to the United States at a reduction of 20 percent from the regular tariff rates. On the other hand with the exception of tobacco “American goods were permitted into Cuba and were granted a reduction of 20 to 40 percent from the Cuban schedules”(Bosnia 1967). With large investments of American capital investors were able to have major stakeholders in companies operating on Cuba. One such major investment was the American owned sugar mill which produced approximately two third of all sugar out put in Cuba. There were many other companies operating in Cuba and most of these large American companies were control or owned by long-term leases.
Fidel Castro and the United States:
For the past four decades Fidel Castro and his regime have been the most vocal and active proponents of anti-Americanism throughout the developing world. They often-repeated views in many countries that the U.S. is an evil power, guilty for much of the problems and suffering of the poor nations, is owed in great part of the propaganda effects of Castro and his officials. “The roots of Castro’s anti-Americanism go back long before he rose to power”(Vanderbroucke,1984). The son of Spanish immigrants, Castro was raised in a household where his father supported Spain against the U.S during the Spanish-American War. Castro grew up believing that the U.S. took advantage of a weak Spain and frustrated the Cuban’s aspirations of real independence. Castro’s actions and repeated statements left no doubt that the U.S. faced an enemy bent on totally transforming Cuban society, remaining in power indefinitely and defying the U.S. “Castro saw himself not only as a leader of the Cuban revolution, but of a continental movement against the “Yankees”. The Soviets provided the protective umbrella for...