Cuba and United States Relations

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The defining characteristic of the state is the ability to wield power. The use of power, both inside and outside of one’s border, directly speaks to the sovereignty of the nation. If a nation is incapable of disciplining or punishing its citizens it will invariably become a failed state. Moreover if a country isn’t recognized as powerful in the global political arena, that country stands a very good chance of being dominated by a nation who has the capacity to enforce its own will. The use, or at least the perception, of power is so fundamental in nationhood that those who wield the most power can easily dictate world events.

A country need not take direct actions against others in order to establish dominance. Coercing threats can easily be applied by a powerful nation against a nation of lesser means. When a clear pecking order is established, the meager nation has no illusion that they will bow to the will of the superior. Luckily for states with equally matched political assets, a state needs only to appear stronger to the state it wishes to dominate. The uses of direct and indirect threats are a disciplinary tactic used the world over to achieve a means. The fear of power can be just as useful as the application if applied to the right situation.

The line between intimidating ones enemies and taking action became increasingly skewed during the Cold War. The words of John F. Kennedy best exemplify this in his following statement, “…Armies and modern armaments serve primarily as the shield behind which subversion, infiltration and a host of other tactics steadily advance…” (Walker 1993, 164) The atmosphere created by the USSR and America in 1962 was of a threat,...

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...holds free elections, changes to a free market system, and respects the civil liberties and human rights of its citizens. For the time being, the Cuban government would rather watch the status of its citizens deteriorate than to accept the American terms.

In conclusion, we must fully respect the necessity for a nation not only to have power but to wield it in pursuit of its self interests. Any nation who cannot or will not use its resources to dominate other nations stands to be dominated by nations who will. The dangers of ignoring the use of power are grave. Global politics are a zero sum game, and must be approached as such. The lives and livelihoods of every person on the planet can be affected by the ability (and sometimes inability) of world leaders to make the best decisions possible.

Works Cited

Introduction to Political Science
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