Should The U.S. Government Drop Its Sanctions Against Cuba?

2064 words - 8 pages

After the Second World War sanctions emerge as a major foreign policy instruments of the powerful nations. Globalization engendered the denunciation of the brute use of force as a primary method of international coercion. Cuba is one of the countries considered as a rogue state by the United States and its allies. The emergence of Cuba as a communist country in the western hemisphere in 1960, and the nationalization of a huge amount of US assets in Cuba by the then new regime led to the sanctions against Cuba. However, starting from the end of the 1980’s the Communist block begin falling apart. Cuba lost its international allies and became helpless both economically and politically in the international seen, and it is no longer a threat to US interests. In spite of this, in 1992 the US congress passed the so called the “Cuban Democracy Act”. The sanctions against Cuba strengthened, and the objectives of the sanctions are also transformed from containing communism to bringing freedom and democracy to the people of Cuba. Still, the multifaceted and half a century old sanctions failed to bring democracy and freedom to the people of Cuba, and now it is time to make a new beginning by lifting the embargos, and engaging with Cuba through public diplomacy, communication and international aid.
The atrocities of the Second World War were great lessons for humanity about the devastating effect of the use of arms. Specially, the development of atomic bombs, and the possession of mutually assured self-destruction nuclear weapons by the United States and the former Soviet Union renders the use of arms unattractive method of coercion. In addition to this the increased interdependence and interconnectedness of the world in different dimensions, such as economy, culture, politics and technology diminished the role of conventional warfare, and fosters the emergence of sanctions as the modern instruments of international compulsion. Lance Davis and Stanley Engerman in their article, “History Lessons: Sanctions: Neither War nor Peace”, argue that globalization made sanctions a more attractive alternative but has also weakened their potential (196). “Globalization increased the number of ways that sanctions may be circumvented” (Davis and Engerman 196). This double effect of globalization that give rise to sanctions as a preferable method of coercion of the age while at the same time opening up venues that compromise their effects makes the use of sanctions as foreign policy instruments very ambiguous.
Sanctions against Cuba by the United States traces its history back to the ousting of the American friendly Fulgencio Batista regime in 1959. The revolutionaries who took control of state power by overthrowing Batista were communists who are ideologically antagonistic to the United States. From the beginning the United States doesn’t want to see an adversary regime in its outskirts in the midst of a fierce ideological warfare it was making with the then Soviet...

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