The Cuban Embargo

Good Essays
The Cuban Embargo

The key to understanding the foreign policy of a nation state is understanding that

state’s national interest. The key to successful foreign policy is, as Henry Kissinger

stated in 1998, defining “an achievable objective”. Thus United States policy towards

Cuba fails because it neglects these two key ingredients of foreign policy. The US

embargo of Cuba is four decades old and no longer serves the country’s national interest,

rather it has proven to be a economic and political hindrance for the US. The embargo

also falls short in terms of having an achievable goal, since many of the requests that

embargo legislation calls for are simply not within the ability of the Cuban state. By

examining the sanctions and their economic, political, and humanitarian affect on both

the Us and Cuba a strong case can be made for a revision of US policy.

US policy towards Cuba and the government of Fidel Castro has, since the

1960’s, been a policy based on the objectives of removing Castro, instituting a

democratic system, and gaining reparations for confiscated US holdings. The initial

sanctions were instituted because the US considered the close proximity of a communist

state to be a national security threat, and also because Castro’s regime confiscated US

holdings, and thus US control, on the island. By enacting a policy that unilaterally cut

Cuba off from economic and political contact with the US, the US felt that it could force

Castro from power. In the decades since the embargo’s conception legislation has been

created to even further enforce these concepts. In 1992 Congress passed the Cuban

Democracy Act, which prohibited US subsidiaries abroad from having business relations

with Cuba (Ra...

... middle of paper ...

...d away one layer at a time to be

successful. A peeling away of the first layer started in October 2000 when Congress

passed legislation to allow food and medicines to be sold to Cuba. A poll in the Miami

Herald indicated that this bill had the support of over 60% of the Cuban-American

community. This measure, however, is inadequate because it still prohibits US financing

of these sales, public or private. That provision makes the new legislation basically null.

The US government should fully drop legislation against the sale of food and medicine to

Cuba. The US should in regards to these two items allow and endorse trade with Cuba as

it does with other countries. Such a policy, while seemingly small, would benefit

American businesses and help increase the health of the Cuban people and also would

receive enough support to be passed through Congress.