An Overdue Change: Why It’s Time to Lift the Cuban Embargo

Over fifty years ago, the United States put a trade embargo on Cuba. Although there has been some minor relaxing of the restrictions since, the embargo pretty much remains in full effect. However, with each passing year, more and more people are wondering whether or not these trade and travel restrictions should be completely lifted. The answer to that is a resounding yes. The only thing is, that’s the wrong question to ask. We should be asking when, not if, the embargo will be done away with entirely.

The original purpose of the Cuban Embargo was to oust the Castro regime and convert Cuba into an American-style capitalist country. After fifty years though, neither of these things have happened. The Castro regime is still there and although Cuba is admittedly inching towards capitalism, the entire island still remains largely state-controlled.

Antiquated vehicles line the streets of Havana. Many Cubans lack the money to purchase new cars. By Krokodyl.

Cuba’s small steps into the free world have given some a glimmer of hope that the embargo is still an effective policy. However, Alberto de la Cruz of Babalu, a well-known blog which has dedicated itself to truthful reporting on Cuba, reported in October 2011 that the embargo has actually pushed the Caribbean nation to trade with Venezuela and China. Both of these countries have had interesting relations with the United States. Venezuela has called the U.S. the “Great Satan,” while China has been monopolizing rare earth metals in Afghanistan, which are needed for the manufacture of consumer electronics.

The American embargo has also been used by the sitting government as a scapegoat for Cuba’s miserable economy. In 2005, Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, reported that as “a foreign policy tool, the embargo actually enhances Castro’s standing by giving him a handy excuse for the failures of his homegrown Caribbean socialism.” Castro will never change Cuba into a capitalist country if he can simply blame the failures of his terrible communist ideas on the United States.

Since there are many benefits to removing the embargo, the time to end it is now. Not only will the Castro Brothers no longer have a scapegoat for their shortcomings as leaders, but they will also have more incentives to begin trading with the United States instead of doing business with rare earth metal-monopolizing countries or nations whose leaders equate America with the devil. In short, the question to ask is not if, but when to lift this embargo. And the answer to that is now.



One Comment

  1. Euforia en Cuba por el anuncio de el mandatario cubano
    y Obama de poner fin a tantos años de pobreza cubana

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