Unnecessary Embargo?

Cuba Embargo Pro vs Con

Cuba Embargo Background

 

This past August, my family and I took a two-week long trip to Cuba which sparked an interest for Cuba’s background in me. Before going I read about the state of affairs in Cuba and when I was there I learned even more but from the perspective of Cuban citizens instead of outsiders who for the most part hadn’t even stepped a foot in the country. Because of this visit in addition to the fact that it is a very intriguing topic, I decided to find an article on Cuba, and specifically the embargo. I enjoyed the very descriptive background written about the beginning of the embargo as well as all the attempts to abolish it in the past. For instance, I was not aware that on the night before President Kennedy signed the papers to commence the embargo, he sent his press secretary to “Procure as many Cuban cigars as he could find.” I also appreciated the in-depth insight into both sides of the argument so as to not create a biased article. An argument I found interesting from the “for the embargo” side of the argument is that Cuba has responded to past attempts to lessen the influence of the embargo with acts of hostility. In 1977, when President Carter opened the US interests sector in Havana, Castro authorized the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, in which 125,000 Cubans, including almost 2,500 prisoners and mentally ill patients, were sent to Florida. The writer does reveal an accurate interpretation of some of the Cuban’s opinion on the embargo and why it isn’t working. Talking to the people there, it seems they do not consider the United States an enemy, but a neighbor with a complicated history. They don’t think that the embargo is a good thing because it is not truly impacting the desired people. It is the ordinary citizens who are being inconvenienced because it is they who are being denied access to the resources of the twenty-first century. On the contrary, the people of Cuba seem to be exceptionally happy and as much as they would be happy if the embargo wasn’t in place, are making the best of their situation. As for me, I’m conflicted. I agree that the embargo isn’t fulfilling its purpose and technically should be abolished. On the other hand, very selfishly, I don’t really want it to end. Going to Cuba is an experience unlike any other, it’s as if you travel back in time. If there wasn’t an embargo, much of what makes Cuba so spectacular would cease to exist.

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