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Should the US maintain the embargo against Cuba? Show more Show less
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In 1962 the US introduced a trade embargo, ‘El Bloqueo’, on Cuba, in response to the Cuban revolution. The embargo is an attempt to force regime change in a one-party state. Congressional support is needed to repeal the divisive measure, which has been written into statute.

Yes, the US should maintain the embargo. Show more Show less

The Cuban Embargo has yet to achieve its aims and must be kept in place lest the US give the green light to an oppressive regime.
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Cuba has never met the conditions needed to lift the embargo

The Cuban government has still never met US demands for free elections, the release of its political prisoners, and the end to arbitrary arrests. It would be weak for the US to lift the embargo now.

The Argument

The Cuban government is an oppressive authoritarian regime. People are jailed for criticizing the government and cannot live the lives they choose. Minority groups are persecuted and jailed. Ending the embargo would give a green light to the Cuban government’s behavior. Giving up on sanctions would be a betrayal of all those who have suffered at the hands of the current regime and the many Cuban exiles living in the US.[1] America will seem weak if it gives in to Cuba without getting any concessions. When Obama attempted to lighten restrictions on Cuba, it did not lead to the freeing of political prisoners promised by Castro.[2] By some measures the number of political prisoners jailed went up. By keeping the embargo America sends a powerful message to a corrupt regime that it must respect human rights. As it stands the regime has asked that the embargo be lifted without making any concessions. Giving up the embargo means giving up on the fight for liberty.[3] America should keep the embargo until Cuba meets the requirements needed to be a full democracy. The embargo was intended to help Cubans find their way to freedom. It would be weak to go back on the embargo now.

Counter arguments

The embargo has proved that unilateral sanctions do not work. The embargo imposed on Cuba has not given anybody freedom.[4] It is disingenuous to claim that the sanctions against Cuba are about liberty. There are many states in the world which the US does not punish for their human rights record. The true reasons for the embargo are political, the Cuban-American lobby decides elections in Florida, a swing state.[5] The claim that US is weak to give in to Cuba is based on stubborn machismo rather than pragmatic politics. It is pointless for the US to remain unmoved on the embargo just to prove a point when the sanctions have been largely ineffective.[6] The sanctions against Cuba are not truly about freedom. Insisting on measures that do not work is pointless posturing.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Cuba has not yet changed its government or made any concessions to the US. [P2] When Obama liberalized contact with Cuba, Cuba became more repressive than ever. [C] America would be weak to give in to Cuba. The embargo should stay until Cuba reforms.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/barack-obamas-cuban-mistake
  2. https://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/reasons-cuban-embargo-not/2015/01/13/id/618267/
  3. https://www.heritage.org/commentary/keep-the-embargo-o
  4. https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/11/26/cuba-fidel-castros-record-repression
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/24/opinion/trump-cuba-embargo-venezuela.html
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/15/cuba-sanctions-dont-work-iran-russia-default-western-diplomacy
This page was last edited on Saturday, 17 Oct 2020 at 23:09 UTC

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