Cuba Embargo

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Increasing poverty rates. Limited access to resources. Inadequate public services. These are the effects of the Cuba Embargo, in which I have experienced on my trip to Cuba. What I have seen is incomprehensible, compared to my lifestyle in Canada, andI realized how privileged I am to have what many would dream of.

I remember looking through brochures that showed a beautiful country with beautiful beaches and exotic resorts. But, I also remember going there seeing people trying to find scraps of food, begging for money and barely getting through life. The population’s living standards are very low; most people live in small run down houses with broken windows, old furniture and little access to freshwater and reliable electricity.

Before I went to Cuba, I knew nothing about the Cuba Embargo, let alone the country itself. It came to my attention when I arrived at the Varadero Airport. Glancing at the arrivals screen, I expected to see many flights from American cities from Miami or New York. But I saw none. Most of the airplanes that arrived were from Canada, Europe and South America. Although it striked some curiosity out of me, it did not really matter until it was brought to my attention by my tour guide; that the United States started an embargo on Cuba 50 years ago.

I heard many stories told by Cubans telling about how they try to survive one day at a time. Many make it through by the bare minimum. Some having to sacrifice one thing for another. For example, having to starve for one day in order to purchase fresh water. Cuba’s economy is largely a planned economy overseen by the Cuban government. Most of the population works for the state while some jobs such as shop owners and taxi cab drivers are not controlled.

When I...

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...er. The USSR dissolved in 1991, and American foreign policy has adapted to the change in most aspects apart from the embargo. The US Defense Intelligence Agency released a report in 1998 stating "Cuba does not pose a significant military threat to the U.S. or to other countries in the region."

Many Cubans deserve to live a healthier life, and having the embargo against them will affect their lifestyle. Cuba should demonstrate a willing to negotiate with the United States by softening some of it’s laws. From my personal experiences, the Cuba embargo has affected the country’s progress greatly because of it’s tight importing laws against the United States. A powerful economic powerhouse like the United states would greatly improve the political and economic progress of Cuba by providing more resources and pressuring the Cuban Communist Party to change it’s laws.

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