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Should The Cuban Embargo Be Lifted?

2601 words - 10 pages

Is the Cuban Embargo a cruel reminder of the Cold war, or is it an important factor of American Democracy fighting the spread of Communism? The Cuban Embargo was a declaration issued by American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The embargo was issued because of the threat that the Communist government of Cuba, led by Fidel Castro in 1959, had on American security, assets and democracy at the height of the Cold War. Some 1.8 billion worth of industrial assets were lost with Cuban communist nationalization. (Mr. D’Angelo personal interview) In support, constant influence of the Soviet Union during the early 1960s, particularly the time between 1961 and 1962, led to the creation of the embargo. In addition, the Soviet Union had planned to build a missile base on the island, which drove the Cold War to its height and made nuclear destruction a real possibility. Consequently, The Embargo called for total economic sanctions for Cuba and the institution of a blockade around the island, as shown by the seven-day stand off that followed the embargo with the USSR. Unfortunately, this blockade completely restricted any trade to foreign countries and even restricted travel to and from the island. The shattering of The USSR, or Soviet Union, should have called for the end of the embargo, but instead the federal government, in 1992, further restricted the embargo with the 1992 Cuba Democracy Act and the 1996 Helms-Burton Act. The Cuban Democracy Act was a bill presented by U.S. Congressman Robert Torricelli and passed in 1992, which prohibited foreign-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies from trading with Cuba, travel to Cuba by U.S citizens, and family remittances to Cuba (Lee). Most importantly, the Helms-Burton Act extended the territorial application of the initial embargo to apply to foreign companies trading with Cuba and penalized foreign companies allegedly "trafficking" in goods and using property formerly owned by U.S. citizen, but commandeered by Cuba after the Cuban revolution. The Helms Burton Act also stated that the embargo would not be lifted until elections are held and the Castors’, including the now in power Raul Castro brother of Fidel Castro, are out of power in the government (Lee). In support, another restriction happened under the Bush administration, which even further prohibited the amount of money families could send to relatives in Cuba. Though still communist, Cuba’s government has changed drastically. For instance, Cuba is no longer under Fidel Castro’s rule. Another thing is that the new Cuban government, under Raul Castro, has made many new laws to further change and benefit the government and its people. This gives hope for many people that the embargo may be lifted. The issue with the Cuban embargo, and contrary to what many believe, it can not be lifted, for it still has not reached the regulations imposed for it to be lifted; most Cuban immigrants still support it, The United States has the rights to in enact power in its...

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