Castro’s Camouflage and the Sanctions on Cuba

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Castro’s Camouflage and the Sanctions on Cuba

In the second week of October 1995, Cuban President Fidel Castro strolled into the United Nations building in New York City to attend celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (Woolway 1). Outside, the streets of New York bustled with the activity of US Federal Agents and anti-Castro protesters (Woolway 1). However, if one would picture a Fidel Castro entering the UN clad in his usual camouflage attire, one would be mistaken. The old leader in fact donned a bland business suit (Woolway 1). This new uniform, more indicative of a businessman or politician represents a Castro who is using a subtly different approach to ending the forty year sanctions
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Grappling at identity not just as a Cuban whose poor country is being “strangled” by the economic sanctions of a rich country, but also as a Latin American resisting the hegemonic appetites of the World’s only remaining superpower, a non-politic camo-clad Castro remains a symbol of the plight of the developing World.

The idea persists throughout the policy community that what Washington really despises about modern day Cuba is not communism, it is Fidel Castro (Leogrande 216). The man who is the symbol of sanctions against Cuba is also the primary cause for the continuance of sanctions against the island nation. Many believe that recent efforts to tighten economic sanctions against the Cuban government, such as the Helms-Burton laws, only make more powerful the symbols of Castro and strengthen his and his supporters’ resolve to resist change. A prominent Castro critic, former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias remarked about Helms-Burton, ‘[Measures] that tend to impose more sacrifices on the Cuban people are arguments one gives Fidel Castro to continue living in the Cold War’ (qtd. in Zimbalist 162). Indeed Castro seems to publicize through his clothes, that even though the Soviet Union is no more, the Cold War continues to endure in the warm waters off South Florida.

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