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Economic sanctions against Cuba Essay

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The US economic embargo against Cuba dates back to1962 during a revolution than led to Fidel Castro occupying the top seat as the President of Cuba. The embargos comprised both economic and commercial sanctions as well as financial support. These embargos were put in place when Fidel Castro nationalized all the enterprises that were owned by Americans in Cuba. (Jones, 2008). Due to this, the Foreign Assistance Act was passed in the US congress, which prohibited any aid to be extended to Cuba, and therefore a total embargo was imposed on all trade relations between the US and Cuba.

(Sierra, 1962) This economic embargo was to undermine Cuban president, Fidel Castro and the socialist government he had established. Imports of all goods from Cuba were banned. In 1963, President Kennedy proposed that it was illegal for any US citizen to travel to Cuba either for personal reasons or for commercial purposes. In this connection, the US department of commerce made it a requirement that all exports of food stuffs and medicine be approved before being taken out of the country.

(Sierra, 1962).

The US economic embargo against Cuba led to great economic and social effects which are still felt today. The ban on trade relations with the US led to increased cost of imports and lower levels of production. The cost of food increased, which led to adverse shortage of food in Cuba and an increasing dependency on the Soviet Union. Cuba lost her major markets and foreign assistance leading to a collapse of the Cuban economy. (Lamrani, 2007). Because of this, the standard of living dropped. Additionally, there were critical health concerns due to a ban on medicines from the US.

The US president should not continue supporting the policy but he should lift the sanctions. These sanctions hurt Castro’s administration a little, but it is the common man who suffers most from the enforced restrictions. His suffering is in direct contradiction to how the US would like to portray itself as a big brother to smaller and weaker nations. Therefore, lifting restrictions on trade will allow free trade to take place between Cuba and the US. This will stimulate economic growth of Cuba leading to a better standard of living.

In addition, lifting travel restrictions will promote tourism in Cuba, which will also stimulate economic growth. Griswold (2005) says that there is need for the application of sound reasoning on trade in general as far as this policy is concerned toward Cuba. Therefore change in Cuba will not be embraced by applying more sanctions but it will be realized through dialogue between Cuba and the US government. The clips present different types of speeches by the presidents concerning different issues in the history of the US. President John Kennedy was among the best in communicating with the American people.

An example of this is a humorous speech he made in a democratic fund raising event. Bill Clinton also made a remarkable speech when he talked about forgiveness in a ceremony commemorating the 1963 civil rights march in Washington DC. Contrary to the above, President Richard Nixon had the most difficult time connecting with the people because of the allegations of financial mismanagement by his administration that involved a political trust fund. Because of these allegations, he lost in California when he contested for the presidency a second time.

(The history place) It is true that the economic sanctions imposed on Cuba for almost half a century seem to have failed in their mission. Castro’s administration continues to be in power and stronger than ever before, a situation, which is causing a big debate in the US government. (McLoughlin & Boles, 2003)


Griswold, T (2005). The economic embargo. Updated 2006. Accessed Jan. 28, 2009 http://www. freetrade. org/issues/cuba. html Lamrani, S. (2007). The economic sanctions against Cuba: The failure of a cruel and irrational policy. Updated Oct.8, 2007. Accessed Jan. 28, 2009. http://www. globalresearch. ca/index. php? context=va&aid=7024 McLoughlin, E. & Boles, E. (2003). The United states embargo against Cuba. Updated Dec. 5, 2003. Accessed Jan. 28, 2009 http://glenninstitute. osu. edu/washington/McLoughlinPaper. htm Sierra, J. A (1962). The economic embargo time line in Cuba. Accessed Jan. 28, 2009. http://www. historyofcuba. com/history/funfacts/embargo. htm “The history place”: Sounds of history: Updated 2009. Accessed Jan. 28, 2008 http://www. historyplace. com/specials/sounds-prez/index. html

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