Why Do We Still Have an Embargo of Cuba?

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Summary In the article, “Why Do We Still Have an Embargo of Cuba?” Patrick Haney explores the history of the embargo and the different factors which have maintained and tightened its restrictions over the past fifty years. The embargo consists of a ban on trade and commercial activity, a ban on travel, a policy on how Cuban exiles can enter the U.S., and media broadcasting to the island. These once-executive orders now codified into law by the Helms-Burton Act, have become a politically charged topic which wins and loses elections, spawned influential interest groups, and powerful political action committees. One year and a half after Castro’s forces took power in Cuba, President Eisenhower first imposed an embargo on Cuba, with the…show more content…
Bush opposed the Cuban Democracy Act, which would tighten restriction on state. Candidate Clinton wins the support of the Cuban-Americans and the election by receiving twenty percent of the Cuban-American vote, up from Dukakis’s previous five percent in 1988 (Haney, 2010). Tapping into this typically right-wing group, Clinton forced Bush to additional time and money in Florida, which restricted his ability to campaign in other parts of the country. To please Cuban-Americans, Clinton signed the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (Helms-Burton law), which codified years of executive orders into law and further tightened restrictions. Primarily in the volatile South Florida and New York City areas, candidates will take particular care in pleasing Cuban-Americans, as they are a powerful voting bloc that has continually altered elections (Haney, 2010). In the 2000 presidential election, Governor Bush promised to enforce the Helms-Burton law, and won over 80% of the Cuban-American vote in Florida (Congress, 2010). This state officially cast 537 more votes for Bush than for Gore, which means that the Cuban-Americans essentially secured Bush’s victory. Upon assuming office, Bush appointed Cuban-American hard-liner Otto Reich, to a top position in the State Department. The appointment was blocked by the Senate, but Reich eventually a recess appointment. As another act of appreciation, Bush appointed a Cuban-American to Secretary of Housing and

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