U.S. Trade Embargo on Cuba

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The United States embargo against Cuba (dubbed by its opponents in Cuba and Latin America as el bloqueo, Spanish for "the blockade") is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960 (almost two years after the Batista regime was deposed by the Cuban Revolution.) It was enacted after Cubanationalized the properties of United States citizens and corporations and it was strengthened to a near-total embargo on February 7, 1962. Today is December 8, 2012. Around 50 years. Has anything changed? We have achieved the bare minimum, if anything, with this embargo. It doesn't work. Of course, if the embargo were the last outpost of Cold War politics and it produced results, that might be an argument for continuing it. But scholars and analysts of economic sanctions have repeatedly questioned the efficacy of economic statecraft against rogue states unless and until there's been regime change. And that's because, as one scholar put it, "interfering with the market (whether using sanctions, aid, or other government policies) has real economic costs, and we rarely know enough about how the target economy works or how to manipulate the political incentives of the target government to achieve our goals." Isolating Cuba has been more than ineffective. It's counter-productive. It's also provided the Castro brothers with a convenient political scapegoat for the country's ongoing economic problems, rather than drawing attention to their own mismanagement. Moreover, in banning the shipment of information-technology products, the United States has effectively assisted the Cuban government in shutting out information from the outside world, yet another potential catalyst for democratization.

On to the pros for lifting this present embargo that should be history. It's good economics. It's long been recognized that opening up Cuba to American investment would be a huge boon to the tourism industry in both countries. According to the Cuban...
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