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The Failure of the Cuban Embargo: Why the U.S. Should Eliminate It

The U.S. embargo on Cuba can be characterized as one of the greatest foreign policy failures. Yet, it still exists. In February of 1962, during the height of the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy imposed an embargo on Cuba. This called for a ban on all trade and financial transactions between the United States and Cuba.


At the time, the top priority for the American government was to stop the spread of communism and protect American democracy. Cuba was a close ally of the Soviet Union and therefore posed a threat to the United States.


Even today, the Cuban embargo is in practice and many politicians and foreign policy analysts ponder whether the embargo should continue or be eliminated. I argue the United States should eliminate the Cuban embargo, as Cuba does not pose a significant threat to the United States anymore and the embargo has harmed the United States Economy. 


The collapse of the Soviet Union marked the end of the Cold War and Cuba's relations with the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union fell, so did the Cuban threat to the United States and its democracy. Moreover, the United States Defense Intelligence Agency has determined that Cuba is no longer a threat to the United States.


The fear of communism spreading to the West through Cuba is simply irrational: a thing of the past. Historical policies should not continue to dictate our current foreign policies. This is why the Cuban embargo is outdated and should be removed. 

Additionally, the Cuban embargo has caused more harm to the United States economy than good. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has strongly opposed the Cuban embargo. It is estimated that the United States has lost around $1.2 billion, as a direct result of the embargo.


The embargo has limited the profits the United States could gain from trading agricultural products with Cuba. Moreover, lifting the Cuban embargo could create numerous jobs in the agriculture industry, benefiting the United States as a whole. A study by Texas A&M University estimated that a total of 6000 jobs could be created if the embargo is lifted. 


Finally, as former President Obama stated, the Cuban embargo is “an outdated burden on the Cuban people.” He is not wrong, as the Cuban embargo, which was intended to harm the government, has harmed the innocent civilians of Cuba.

In April 2020, Cuba reported that the embargo had impacted the supply of medical necessities. As you can imagine, this has diminished the quality of life of many Cubans. 


The Cuban embargo is outdated, a failure and harmful to Cubans and the United States economy. Lifting the embargo is the natural next step. 


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.

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