The Embargo On Cuba And The United States

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In December 2014, President Obama started restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. Cuba and the United States have been hostile since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, when Fidel Castro overthrew the US-supportedbacked dictator, Fulgencio Batista, and established a Communist regime. The US rejected Castro’s bid for equal economic partnership because they wanted to maintain economic dominance. As such, Castro began seizing US assets, causing back-and-forth actions that culminated in Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy placing an embargo in 1960-61. The embargo was intensified in the 1990s, and attempts to relax sanctions cannot succeed without Congress repealing the laws responsible for the embargo. Despite arguments that it would help fight human rights violations, the US embargo on Cuba should be lifted because of its historic ineffectiveness, the potential economic advantages of a repeal, and the democratic values shown by the popularity of a repeal.
Historically, the embargo has been caused by errant foreign policy, and has failed to achieve its goals for 55 years. As President Obama said, “‘These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked . . . We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests’” (Baker). Cuba aligned with the USSR partly because of initial US hostility, and such policy is called “an egregious foreign policy error, . . . in effect pushing Castro to become more inflexible” (Walke and Bourassa). Cuba lost Soviet aid
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