The Cuban Embargo Should Stay... For Now
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Politics and Activism

The Cuban Embargo Should Stay... For Now

The Cuban Embargo Should Stay... For Now
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President Obama’s recent visit to Cuba marked the first sitting U.S. President to visit the island country since the 1959 revolution, sparking multiple rumors of a potential trade agreement in the works. As negotiations with Cuba continue, the likelihood that the 54-year embargo between the nations will be lifted is becoming an increasingly apparent possibility.

Although lifting the embargo may initially appear mutually beneficial for the two countries, there are considerable ethical arguments to be made on why this could prove to be a hastened decision. Listed are some potential reasons America should reconsider lifting the embargo between Cuba:

  • Because the Cuban economy is communist rather than capitalist, a vast majority of all economic assets are owned by the government. Thus, opening relations with Cuba would continue to line the pockets of Cuban dignitaries while failing to benefit the private citizens. This will put additional economic strain on the Cuban citizens whose average wage is estimated to be just $20 a month.
  • The United States have previously mandated by law certain conditions that must be met in order to dissipate the embargo. Among these conditions include: instituting a democratic government, releasing all political prisoners, granting the first amendment right to all citizens, and recognizing international human rights expectations. Cuba has failed to meet these conditions and hence by conceding to these terms, America will appear to condone Cuba’s blatant disregard for their requirements.
  • Because Raúl Castro is 84 years old, Cuba will likely assume new leadership within the next decade. Restoring relations with Cuba before new leadership is appointed may prove disastrous, as new authority could have a more extreme political agenda, establishing the United States as an ally with a potentially fascist power.
  • Cuba has granted asylum to multiple convicted U.S. criminals. Additionally, Cuba continues to support North Korea as a powerful ally despite their threats towards the U.S. and controversial nuclear testing. If America were to restore relations with Cuba, we would be forced to disregard Cuba’s association with these violent ties.
  • Finally, many believe that if the United States removed tourism restrictions in Cuba, the country would be prompted to convert to a democratic government rather than the current totalitarian communist state. Other democratic countries, however, have granted their citizens access to the country and no subsequent changes have been made, suggesting Cuban officials are not motivated to change for visitor’s sake.

As the daughter of a first-generation Cuban immigrant, I would love more than anyone for diplomatic relations to be restored with Cuba so I can finally see my father’s native land. However, if the embargo is lifted before these issues can be addressed, our relationship with our Caribbean neighbors could prove to be a detrimental mistake.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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