The Cuban Embargo

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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.
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