Cuba and the Affects of the Embargo The island nation of Cuba, located just ninety miles off the coast of Florida, is home to 11 million people and has one of the few remaining communist regimes in the world. Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro, came to power in 1959 and immediately instituted a communist program of sweeping economic and social changes. Castro allied his government with the Soviet Union and seized and nationalized billions of dollars of American property. U.S. relations with Cuba have been strained ever since. A trade embargo against Cuba that was imposed in 1960 is still in place today. Despite severe economic suffering and increasing isolation from the world community, Castro remains committed to communism. (Close Up Foundation) The United States and Cuba share a long history of mutual mistrust and suspicion. All aspects of U.S. policy with Cuba, such as the current trade embargo, immigration practices, and most recently the possibility of a free exchange by members of the media, provoke heated debates across the United States. While most Americans agree that the ultimate goals should be to encourage Castro’s resignation and promote a smooth transition to democracy, experts disagree about how the U.S. government should accomplish these aims. Some believe that the country’s current policy toward Cuba is outdated in its Cold War approach and needs to be reconstructed. However, many still consider Fidel Castro a threat in the hemisphere and a menace to his own people and favor tightening the screws on his regime even more. (Close Up Foundation) For almost forty years, the United States has not imported any Cuban products, nor allowed any American food, medical supplies, or capital to enter Cuba. President Clinton, like each of his predecessors, supports the trade embargo. Two recent pieces of legislation have tightened the economic restrictions on Cuba. (Close Up Foundation) The Cuban Democracy Act, passed by Congress in 1992, further isolates Cuba from the world economy by prohibiting any foreign-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies from trading with the country. The bill’s goal was to cripple the Cuban economy in order to bring down Castro “within weeks,” according to the bill’s primary advocate Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.). The Helms-Burton Act states that American citizens can sue foreign investors who utilize American property seized by the Cu...
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...ll. How could the United States continue aiding a government that is not willing to give in. I feel that in order for us to aid Cuba, Castro should start making changes. It is not for the United States, but for his own people.
USA Info-med. “Health News From Cuba”. 2000. http://www.igc.org/cubasoli/news99.html American Association for world health. “Denial of Food and Medicine: The impact of the U.S. embargo on health and nutrition in Cuba”. NY, 1997. http://www.ifconews.org/aawh.html#findings Burns, Nicholas, U.S. Department of State. “The U.S. Embargo and Health Care in Cuba, 1997. http://www.us.net/cip/sdmyths.htm Castaneda, Mereya. “Washington Guides European Votes Against Cuba”. Granma Interacional Digital, Cuba, 2 May 2000 Vasquez, Ian., and Rodriquez, Jacob. “Trade Embargo In and Castro Out”. 1996, http://www.cato.org/dailys/12-12-96.html U.S. State Department. “Cuba: U.S.-Cuban Relations” . 1999, http://www.state.gov/www/regions/wha/cuba/policy.html Garfield, Richard., Santana, Sarah. “The Impact of the Economic Crisis and the US Embargo on Health in Cuba” American Journal of Public Health. http://www.usaengage.org/news/9701ajph.html
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