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Reconciling The Cuban Embargo Essay

1486 words - 6 pages

Heading the wrong way made Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan famous. When he filed his flight plan to fly from New York to California and wound up in Ireland there was much celebrity and very little downside for him. The US, may not be as lucky with our embargo policy towards Cuba. A policy that may have a major impact on the US, both domestically and internationally, is truly only actively discussed in the swing state of Florida. Is the US heading in the wrong direction with this policy? Certainly the author thinks so, and if he's right it's not likely that we'll receive a ticker tape parade at the end of journey like Corrigan did.
Alex Lightman walks us through 78 reasons to end the embargo of Cuba. He does this by stating a reason and providing some support to each argument. He spends time debunking some myths and delving past the headlines to give the reader a deeper insight into how the policy developed and is applied. By contrasting other international relationships to the Cuban-American relationship, he tries to dispel some of the logical fallacies that have become intertwined in this policy debate. Lest you forget the bent of this book, he never forgets to remind you that dropping the embargo should be a first step towards normalizing relationships with our neighbor to the south.
On the surface Lightman seems like an unlikely author for this work. He is accomplished in the world of technology having consulted on large scale projects like version six of the Internet Protocol (IPv6) and 4G wireless. Mostly of his publication and notoriety do come from this technical arena. However he did attend the Harvard Kennedy School where he studied under James Sebenius. His study of negotiation is showcased in this work. Maybe there is a role for him on the next diplomatic mission.
The book opens with a primer on what reconciliation is and how one develops a competency in reconciliation. He advocates the need for both the US and Cuba to develop this skill set in order to move the current relationship forward. Next there is the requisite background information on the relationship that includes some of the assumptions that have since been proven wrong. In the maon body of the book, Lightman breaks his reasons into five general categories; General, Political, Economic, Humanitarian and Fair Compensation. Some of these reasons overlap or are highly intermingled so seeing each point separately may be difficult from time to time.
Lightmans' general reasons are a small collection of statements that seem not to fit anywhere else in the treatise. Those in the business world will recognize that the focus here is on effective goal setting. He educates the reader on the SMART technique and details why the Cuban embargo fails to be a SMART goal. Then, looking from the other perspective, he evaluates the goal in terms of the results obtained. Now he questions since the goal has not been met, is it appropriate to continue down...

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