Mujica 1 Oliver Mujica Professor Frazier LBSU 402 21 May 2009 The United States Embargo on Cuba In their

book The Cuban Embargo, Patrick Haney and Walt Vanderbush provide a comprehensive examination of economic relations by the United States towards Cuba from the historical prospective of the trade embargo policy to the current changes in attitudes, in which they summarize as follows: “The United States and Cuba share a complex, fractious, interconnected history. Before 1959, the United States was Cuba’s largest trading partner, but in reaction to Cuba's communist revolution lead by Fidel Castro, the United States severed all economic ties between the two nations. This action initiated the longest trade embargo in modern history, one that continues to this present day. Over the course of the past five decades since the Cuban revolution, there has been changing politics of United States policy toward Cuba. While the United States embargo policy has remained relatively stable since its origins during the heart of the Cold War, the dynamics that produce and govern that policy have changed dramatically. “Although originally dominated by the executive branch, the president's tight grip over the Cuban embargo policy has gradually surrendered to the influence of interest groups, specific members of Congress, and electoral campaigns goals.” Ultimately, what has been demonstrated by the political battles over the Cuban embargo policy is that it’s much more to do with who controls the policy as opposed to the shape of that policy itself.

Mujica 2 The real dividing line in the Unites States embargo policy towards Cuba is how best to undermine the Castro regime and hasten the country’s day of liberation. For almost half a century, the United States government has tried to isolate Cuba economically in an effort to undermine the regime and deprive it of resources. Since 1960, Americans have been barred from trading with, investing in, or traveling to Cuba. Even worst, Cuban Americans have been prevented by the Unites States to freely travel to and from Cuba to visit relatives, even if their health may be dire, and limited in the amount of their financial support that they may send back home” (Haney, Vanderbush 1). In Human, All-Too-Human, Friedrich Nietzsche addressed the question of whether “human beings are motivated by the desire for power and by fear of the power of others” (Bizzell, Herzberg 1168). The premise is all too clear that, upon the outset, the United States was fearful of Cuba’s communist alliances with the Soviet Union and its socialistic governmental practices. As such, the embargo on Cuba was simply a tactic and political maneuver to gain power over Cuba by controlling it and thereby attempting to lessen its own fears. In fact, the issue surrounding the United States’ defenses against short-range missiles was one of the driving campaign points of the Kennedy presidential candidacy platform (Hersh 156). Haney and Vanderbush further substantiate that: “The embargo had a national security rationale before 1991, when Castro served as the Soviet Union's proxy in the Western Hemisphere. But all that changed with the fall of Soviet communism. Today, more than a decade after losing billions in annual economic aid from its former sponsor, Cuba is only a poor and dysfunctional nation of 11 million people that poses no threat to American or regional security. If the goal of the United States embargo policy towards Cuba is to help its people achieve freedom and a better life, the economic

Mujica 3 embargo has completely failed. Its economic effect is to make the people of Cuba worse off by depriving them of lower-cost food and other goods that could be bought from the United States. It means less independence for Cuban workers and entrepreneurs, who could be earning dollars from American tourists and fueling private-sector growth. Meanwhile, Castro and his ruling elite enjoy a comfortable, insulated lifestyle by extracting any meager surplus produced by their captive subjects” (Haney, Vanderbush 1). As with his predecessors, President Obama will be contemplating the fate of the Cuban embargo. Along with this decision will come either a new era in American diplomacy or “business as usual” with our Caribbean neighbor. As recently as April 13, 2009, President Obama took a first step by loosening certain restriction of the Cuban embargo. However, criticism has been raised by Cuba, as well as a few Latin American countries, as to whether or not these first actions serve as adequate measures to resolve the embargo. The Cuban government has recently expressed its desire to work in collaboration with the Obama administration to dissolve the embargo once and for all. But, for whatever reason, the United States remains rather reluctant. The findings of an expertly researched probing expose’ of the United States policy and the future of Cuba are contained in the book Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and Future of Cuba by Reese Erlich in which he provides the following information regarding public opinion: “Recent reputable polls demonstrate that the general public is changing vis-à-vis its political opinions on Cuba policy. In 2007, a Florida International University poll showed that 64% of Cuban Americans wanted President Bush’s 2004 policies on family travel and remittances rescinded. More recent polls corroborate this finding and go

Mujica 4 further, to the point of reaching a majority of Cuban Americans who support removal of travel restrictions for all U.S. citizens, not just families. A new policy toward Cuba in 2009 would have an impact beyond Cuba; it would send a strong signal to our South and Central American neighbors that a new day has dawned in the United States in relation to Latin America as a whole. This is a change that Latin American leaders have been promoting to President-elect Obama” (Erlich 1). At this juncture, one must wonder if the American public fully understands why, after half a century and ten Presidential administrations, does the Cuban embargo still exist, or if Americans really care. Therefore, a thorough examination and understanding of the economic relations of the United States with Cuba must be conducted, as it relates to the history of the embargo policy and current changes in attitudes, as well as the serious effects that such domestic politics can have on foreign policy, in order to determine whether or not the embargo on Cuba should be lifted. In a comprehensive study Why Cuba? Why Now? that was prepared by the International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy, the following issues were raised and analyzed:

“The Cuban 'social experience' is approaching a major change with a generational shift at the top. There is enormous speculation in the West, indeed worldwide, as to how this change will develop and what forces will be brought to bear, both internally and externally.


In the wider global context, Cuba also presents critical questions concerning globalization, especially but not only in Latin America.


The Cuban revolution has largely been viewed in the West as a mixture of old style Communism and totalitarian dictatorship, but neither of these views adequately describe it complexities nor explain its exceptionalism.

Mujica 5 4. Following the demise of the Soviet Union and the fall of at least old-style communism as an alternative political and economic system, there has been an assumption that free market capitalism has to be the only game in town. However, many are asking whether the survival, recovery and successes of the Cuban system, despite considerable external pressures, might present an alternative model of development.

The Cuban authorities have been criticized for excessive pressures on citizens, private companies, non-governmental institutions and the domestic and international media. This is an issue upon which there are polarized views and which requires rigorous study to provide evidence on which an objective debate can be furthered.


Whatever the realities of the political system that has developed in often embattled Cuba, the outcomes - in terms of health care, education, welfare service, technological advances, sports prowess and sustainable development - are remarkable and far too little recognized in the wider world. They outstrip many of the achievements in these dimensions in countries that have adopted either the free market or the communist systems” (International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy).

To address these issues, the International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy has asserted the following: “Currently, governmental policies towards Cuba on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be, to differing degrees, predicated on the assumption that the Cuban Revolution will be transformed dramatically and move further towards free market capitalism once its chief architect, Fidel Castro, is no longer on the scene. There is apparently no planning

Mujica 6 for the possibility that the Cuban regime might not essentially change - or that it might become more radically socialist. Persisting U.S. antagonism towards socialism in Cuba and other parts of Latin America is potentially a source of instability and even conflict in the region. Cuba demands attention in its own right as a key element in this context. With Cuba now enjoying the benefits of a close alliance with oil-rich Venezuela and a deepening trade and investment relationship with a booming China, there is every prospect that the Cuban economy might continue its fast growth of recent years, possibly making a political change towards liberalism in the island less, rather than more, likely” (International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy). In another comprehensive study Globalization and Cuba that was prepared by the International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy, the following analysis was presented in order to understand how the embargo has affected Cuba’s economic conditions: “Although we are now experiencing a global financial crisis, which most informed observers believe will result in a long recession or worse, it would be premature to claim that Castro has been absolved; and yet unwise not to acknowledge that the corpse of history is stirring. Most importantly, today's crisis brings into sharper focus the contest of ideologies that the two momentous predictions made above infer. With global capitalism in difficulty and its future uncertain, the world's last remaining socialist experiment gains a renewed relevance. Cuba continues to be seen by mainstream academia as either a socialist anachronism in a global capitalist system or a tenacious little nation whose history and revolutionary tradition have given it the strength to continue to chart its own course. Both of these perspectives are valid in the context of their separate ideologies and are

Mujica 7 represented by strong academic arguments. However, Cuba has a grander vision of its destiny. To give a foundation to this third perspective it is necessary to critically assess both globalization and Cuba's approach to socialism from within the intellectual framework of each. The Cuban revolution becomes more than an anachronism in the global capitalist system and instead, a possible catalyst of necessary historical change.” Globalization is a complex and elusive process that has invited a multitude of definitions and interpretations and is the subject of much controversy. Most analysts would agree, however, that it has a historical background and, in economic terms, it is principally associated with the deregulation of international finance; a technological revolution; and a transformation of production processes. It is also generally accepted that such developments are complemented and facilitated by ideological and political changes that have taken place during the last two decades of the twentieth century, principally the rise of neo-liberalism and the collapse of the Soviet-style communism. While it is pointless to claim one correct interpretation of globalization, as divergence itself is mainly the product of ideology rather than empirical fact, it is perhaps useful for the purposes of juxtaposition with Cuba to view it from a political economy perspective” (International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy). In the most recent analysis Whose America? that was prepared by the International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy, the following is provided regarding capitalist globalization: “Nothing could have prepared Cuba for the collapse of Soviet communism as the island suffered a greater economic contraction in peacetime than perhaps any country in the 20th century. In the 1990’s survival became the only a revolutionary objective. In

Mujica 8 2004, 14 years after the Soviet debacle, Fidel Castro claimed: "Cuba's ability to hold its revolutionary course with some success has been the people, who have contributed tremendous sacrifices and immense trust. Our survival has been the result of justice and of the ideas planted over 40 years of revolution. This genuine miracle would have been impossible without unity and without socialism." Although Castro's comment is valid in general, since Cuba lost its Soviet protector and entered a world in which capitalist globalization rules, it has experimented with market mechanisms and many Cubans have adopted non-socialist views as to how they might build a future. This option is now less likely as the core nations in the capitalist world are facing a deep economic reversal and the prospects for any small developing country moving closer to the core are inauspicious, let alone for Cuba with its tradition. The Cuban revolution has only partly attained the idealistic revolutionary and socialist goals that some of its leaders and intellectuals have articulated, but it can count itself among some of the most progressive socialist experiments in history, alongside such articulations of popular power as the Paris Commune, the early Russian Soviets and the revolution within the Spanish Civil War. It also still represents not just a socialist alternative to neo-liberal capitalism as embodied in globalization, but a distinct ontology. While neo-liberals believe in individualism, competition, markets, procedural democracy and the survival of the fittest, Cuban socialism champions encouragement of the social individual, co-operation, distribution according to need, participatory democracy and protection of the weak. In practice these ideals have resulted in some impressive achievements in health care, local decision-making, popular consultation and the ability to survive crisis while maintaining a respectable degree of social equity.

Mujica 9 There is no certainty that Cuba can overcome its own internal problems, or that what is happening in Latin America will consolidate its socialist orientation. But, as globalization is in meltdown, it is now incumbent on academics to consider the possibility of alternatives, especially in the so-called developing world. In this context the Cuban revolution becomes more than an anachronism in a global capitalist system and instead, a possible catalyst of necessary historical change” (International Institute for the Study of Cuban Policy). A thorough report The United States Embargo Against Cuba: A Counterproductive Policy in Dire Need of Reform prepared by Eric McLoughlin for the Glenn Institute provides the following comprehensive analysis of the overall factors associated with the Cuban embargo: “Despite the failure of the embargo to remove the Castro government from power, many individuals continue to favor the policy for its moral qualities. There is no question that Castro commits human rights abuses, including the imprisonment of his political opposition. Freedom of speech is not a right that is guaranteed to the Cuban population and many Americans refuse to back policies that aid in such repression. Thus, regardless of whether the embargo will fall Castro, they back it because they refuse to financially contribute to a dictator who oppresses his population. Many supporters of the U.S. embargo against Cuba still believe that the policy will lead to Castro’s downfall. They point to the success of the embargo against South Africa as an example of how economic sanctions can serve to fall a repressive regime. However, the embargo against South Africa was multilateral, drawing support from many nations in the international community, a quality that the embargo against Cuba does not possess. They contend that trade fundamentally supports the Castro regime, allowing him to retain his stronghold on power. From this perspective, the sanctions will eventually

Mujica 10 weaken Castro to the point that the Cuban population will be able to mount sufficient opposition to his rule to force a transition of government. In this manner, they contend the embargo will achieve the U.S. objective of promoting a transition to democracy in Cuba. International support for a policy of engagement towards Cuba has increased considerably over the past decade. Fifty years of economic sanctions have not forced Castro out of power; therefore, there is no reason to believe that the continuation of the sanctions will lead to his demise. Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba was the recipient of $4.5 billion a year in direct subsidies from the Soviet Union which allowed the Cuban economy to stay afloat despite the economic sanctions that Washington imposed on the island. As a result, the U.S. embargo did not have an effect on the Cuban economy until after 1991. Between 1989 and 1993, the country’s gross domestic product fell by 35% and exports declined by 75%, as a consequence of the loss of Soviet subsidies. However, even with the drastic contraction of the Cuban economy, Castro’s rule was never seriously challenged. He adopted a series of economic reforms including the active promotion of foreign direct investment and other types of financing, export promotion in services, particularly tourism, the decentralization of foreign trade, and the implementation of a legal and monetary framework to allow for the circulation of hard currency to avoid an economic catastrophe. On March 15, 1999, the United States reported that an estimated total of $1.7 billion had been invested in the Republic of Cuba since 1990, which partly offset the loss of Soviet subsidies, allowing the Cuban economy to survive independently. By 1995, Cuba was registering a 2.5% growth rate, and by 1996 it was 7.6%. The economic progress achieved by Cuba in the absence of Soviet aid contradicts the notion that Castro can be toppled through economic sanctions. If Castro

Mujica 11 did not tumble when his economy was in crisis, it follows that the effects of the U.S. embargo will not serve this end now that the Cuban economy is recovering. Opponents of the embargo argue that the sanctions imposed by the U.S. against Cuba have worsened the conditions the Cuban population is forced to cope with and not weakened Fidel Castro. Prominent Human Rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, argue that “the United States is acting inhumanely by denying the Cuban people essentials like food and medicine.” As a result of the contraction in the Cuban economy caused by the loss of Soviet subsidies and the strengthening of the embargo, “undernourishment increased from 4% of the population during 1990-1992 to 19% during 1996-1998. Over the same period of time, the average daily food intake declined by approximately 500 calories per person.” Consequently, Cubans appear thinner than other impoverished peoples throughout Latin America. The embargo also negatively impacts the Cuban health care system, especially in terms of “the lack of access to inputs and drugs in the North American market or from subsidiary companies in other countries.” Thus, the Cuban people are hurt by the embargo, which is contrary to the U.S. objective of supporting the Cuban people. Critics also contend that the Cuban people would benefit from trade with the U.S., even if the majority of the economic gains are concentrated in the hands of the Castro government. “Giving money to the Castro budget still creates more jobs” and “much of what goes to the government ends up benefiting the people, for the government provides free health care, education and other social services to all.” Also, the economic reforms Castro undertook in response to the loss of Soviet subsidies created a small market economy in Cuba. Farmers are required to sell 80% of their crops to the Cuban government at an artificially low price, but are allowed to sell the remaining 20% at

Mujica 12 markets that operate on supply and demand in Cuba’s dollar economy. Families are permitted to operate home restaurants that operate on a market basis as well. Removing the restrictions on travel associated with the embargo would greatly increase the number of dollars flowing into these sectors of the Cuban economy, not to mention the amount of tips – which go straight into the hands of the people – that would be generated in the tourism industry as a result of increased travel. Ending the embargo would improve the lives of the Cuban people and given the fact that Castro has not fallen to five decades of economic sanctions, it is not justifiable to deny Cubans the benefits of economic relations with the U.S. The American population also suffers consequences from the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The embargo draws bi-partisan opposition as a result of its negative impact on U.S. businesses and farmers. The restrictions on trade seriously disadvantage U.S. companies, as they allow foreign companies to establish market dominance in the absence of U.S. competition. Business leaders point to the very honest fact that the embargo is causing U.S. businesses to lose market share in Cuba to the Europeans and Canadians. Foreign direct investment in Cuba continues to increase and as foreign companies further establish themselves in Cuba, American companies fall farther behind in the race to establish market share. Cuba’s pollution is 11 million and while the population is poor, it represents an appealing market for U.S. businesses. The United States and Cuba could do upwards of $3 billion a year in trade as soon as the embargo was lifted, with the overall figure increasing very quickly to some $7 billion. According to the Cuba Policy Foundation, the agricultural sector of the U.S. economy alone could sell $1.24 billion annually in agricultural products to Cuba if the embargo were lifted, persuading many farm-state republicans to support the normalization of relations. The

Mujica 13 University of Colorado at Boulder estimates that lifting the travel ban alone would “produce over $1.7 billion in business and create 10,000 jobs for the U.S. travel sector,” drawing backing from the airline unions and other groups in the tourism sector of the economy. Thus, it is apparent that American business would benefit from lifting the embargo, supporting the claim that removing the sanctions serves the interests of the American population. Another positive outcome of the normalization of U.S and Cuban relations that is cited concerns the increase in the flow of ideas between the U.S. and Cuba that would result from lifting the embargo, undermining Castro’s attempts to control the information that Cuban’s are exposed to. From this perspective, engagement is the best way to open the channels of dialogue, ultimately promoting a transition to democracy. However, the Castro government goes out of its way to isolate the Cuban population from foreign contact, as it “does not allow Cuban citizens in hotels, in resorts, and on most beaches;” the places where they are most likely to encounter foreign tourists carrying such ideas. This demonstrates Castro’s fear of western thought evidences the claim that the spread of such ideas would aid the transition to democracy. Despite Castro’s efforts to prevent the phenomenon, lifting the embargo would increase the number of tourists that travel to the island and would help to stimulate the flow of ideas, as there will inevitably be contact between the foreign travelers and the Cuban people. The international community plays a vital role in undermining the impact of the U.S. embargo. As mentioned earlier, Cuba largely avoided economic catastrophe following the loss of subsides from the Soviet Union as a result of increased foreign investment in its economy. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Spain have all entered into joint ventures with the Castro

Mujica 14 government, making the embargo “wholly unilateral in nature – and no unilateral embargo in history has ever worked.” By investing in the Cuban economy, the international community lessons the impact of the U.S. embargo. As long as it continues to engage in trade with Cuba, there is no hope in falling Castro with economic sanctions. The U.S. must move beyond its anti-Castro policy and look towards the future. If it aligns its policies with those of the international community the prospects for a transition to democracy will be furthered, as Castro no longer will be able to attribute Cuba’s problems to the U.S. embargo. While the U.S. embargo against Cuba was fairly successful in preventing Cuba from spreading communism in the Western Hemisphere and thus was useful in achieving the goal of containment, it is a failed policy in terms of promoting a transition to democracy. When the embargo was imposed the international environment was very different than it is today and as a result the policy is an ineffective means of achieving Washington’s current goals. The war on communism is over, yet the U.S. still follows a policy that is dictated by Cold War politics. The policy no longer serves the interests of the U.S. Instead of destabilizing Castro and promoting a transition to democracy, the embargo empowers him to instill nationalism in the Cuban population, legitimizing his rule. The policy is such a failure Senator Baucus stated, “our effort to isolate Cuba through the trade embargo … has failed to bring about human rights improvement, has provided a pretext for Castro’s continued repression, makes the United States the scapegoat of Castro’s failed economic policies, and hurts the Cuban people.” It is thus evident that the policy neither achieves the objectives of the U.S. nor contributes to a positive outcome. The embargo has weakened the Cuban economy, which limits Castro’s ability to pose a military threat. But Castro is not in danger of being

Mujica 15 overthrown. Castro was forced to adopt market reforms as a consequence of the Cuban economic crisis; however, the changes in economic policy were the result of the loss of Soviet subsidies, not the embargo. The hard-line U.S. policy harms both U.S. and Cuban citizens, while allowing Castro to retain his monopoly on power. It is time for reform; the U.S. embargo against Cuba is a failure and Washington must embark upon a proactive policy and seek to remove the present day restrictions on doing business with the Cuban people” if it hopes to see a transition to democracy and respect for human rights in Cuba” (McLoughlin 13-22). An insightful discussion “Why on Earth – Doesn’t the U.S. End the Cuban Embargo? prepared by Bradley Doucet for The Atlas Society provides the following psychological factors: “Why do the Cuban people suffer so? The short answer is: they suffer because they live under a communist regime that has largely outlawed free enterprise, not to mention the free movement of people and the freedoms of speech, assembly, and the press. The real mystery, though, is why the Cuban people’s misery continues to this day, fully two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when communism around the world has almost completely collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions. Part of the explanation can be found in the cults of personality surrounding the long-lived Fidel Castro. Massive amounts of aid from the Soviet Union, and more recently from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela riding high the spike in oil prices, have also helped to prop up the Castro regime. In addition to these factors, the American government, however noble its intentions may have been, must shoulder some of the blame for the longevity of Cuban communism. Why? Because of its ongoing embargo of Cuba. The notion that the embargo is the main cause of the misery of the Cuban people also does not stand up under scrutiny. Yes, the embargo hurts, but Cuba is free to trade

Mujica 16 with other countries around the world, and as noted above, it has benefited from enormous amounts of assistance from the Soviet Union and Venezuela. In spite of these plentiful opportunities for trade, and in spite of all of this foreign aid, communism in Cuba is a colossal failure in providing for its people. The main source of the misery is clear: lack of freedom” (Doucet 1). In a debate conducted by Business Week, Jose Azel from the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami, presented the following in support of maintaining the Cuban embargo: “Critics of the U.S. embargo note that economic sanctions have failed to change the nature of the Cuban government and have allowed the country to use the embargo for propaganda purposes. Abandoning U.S. trade restrictions, they argue, would expose Cuba to the “American way of life” and help foment social pressures for economic reforms and political liberalization. Regrettably, this outlook stems from a U.S.-centric vantage point extrapolated to the Cuban government. Embargo opponents make the flawed assumption that the current Cuban government is earnestly interested in close relations with its northern neighbor, and willing to jeopardize its total control and 50-year legacy of opposition to American imperialism in exchange for an improvement in the economic well-being of Cubans. The embargo is not the cause of the catastrophic state of Cuba’s economy. Mismanagement and the fact that “command economy” models don’t work lie at the root of Cuba’s economic misery. Despite the existence of the embargo, the U.S. is Cuba’s sixth-largest trading partner and biggest food supplier. Moreover, U.S. tourism will not bring democracy to Cuba. For years, hundreds of thousands of tourists from Canada, Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere have visited the island. Cuba is no more democratic today. On what mystical grounds do opponents of the embargo offer that

Mujica 17 American tourists will do the trick? There are many negative unintended consequences to unilaterally lifting the embargo without meaningful changes in Cuba’s political and economic model. Most important of all, it would ensure the continuation of the current totalitarian regime by strengthening state enterprises that would be the main beneficiaries of currency inflows into business owned by the Cuban government” (Business Week, Azel). As with the comments presents by Azel above, it appears that most American supporters of the Cuban embargo utilize the red herring fallacy tactic by diverting attention away from the real issue at hand. It was, and still is, believed that the embargo would remove Fidel Castro from power, eliminate any potential communist threats onto the United States, and thereby liberate the Cuban people. After half a century, what is evident is that this strategy has failed miserably. However, after outlasting nearly a dozen presidential administrations, the Castro regime remains, and after the exodus of the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago any remote communist threats have dissipated. Now, what about the liberation of 11 million Cubans? In his book, Dateline Havana, Reese Erlich discusses the contrast the radically different versions of history studied by Cubans and U.S. citizens. “The U.S. citizens are taught that we initially liberated Cuba from Spanish colonial rule in 1898, and Cubans are taught that one form of domination replaced another” (Erlich 5). In The History of Madness, Michel Foucault describes a movement across Europe in the seventeenth century which saw the establishment of institutions which locked up people who were deemed to be 'unreasonable'. This included anyone who was deemed to be socially disruptive. He labels this movement the 'Great Confinement'. He continues his study of confinement in his history of the birth of the prison Discipline and Punish, in which discipline is defined as a mechanism of power which regulates the behavior of individuals in the social body.

Mujica 18 This is done by regulating the organization of space, of time, and people's activity and behavior. It is enforced with the aid of complex systems of surveillance. Foucault emphasizes that power is not discipline; rather discipline is simply one way in which power can be exercised (O’ Farrell). Such a comparison may also be concluded by the Cuban embargo in which the United States has regulated the organization of Cuba’s space by confining them to their tiny Caribbean island only 90 miles away, regulating the time of freedom for Cubans by in a sense allowing them to be confined over a 50 year period, and regulating the activity and behavior of Cubans as a result of their necessity to survive under such regime: both that of Castro’s and the United States. In conclusion, beyond the rhetoric as to whether, or not, the Cuban embargo has been effective or should be maintained or lifted, it appears that this issue is surrounded more by the hesitation by the United States to consider abandoning an archaic foreign policy. Cold War strategies and propaganda methods are clearly not effective today. As presented in the paper, the original intention of the Cuban embargo has failed miserably due to the fact that the United States has not been able, after half a century to eliminate the Castro regime in order to establish democracy in Cuba. While some will claim that the embargo is necessary for the sake of the Cubans, it is false for the United States to presume that the citizens of Cuba want “our” change. Isn’t it rather best to truly grant the Cubans with “complete” freedom by allowing their government to flourish within the current global economy, while at the same time allow U.S. companies with the ability expand their market place? Doing away with the embargo would achieve this. At this juncture, how does the United States, by lifting the Cuban embargo, gracefully admit that it has treated the Cuban people wrongly through its stubbornness? Or in fact, does it really need to do so? What the United States should not do is presume that Americans today fully support the Cuban embargo, let alone understand its need. Rather, President Obama should

Mujica 19 utilize this opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the world the true importance of “change” and by a single action of lifting the Cuban embargo send a positive message to all involved. You are left with this quote, “For the thing we should never do in dealing with revolutionary countries, in which the world abounds, is to push them behind an iron curtain raised by ourselves. On the contrary, even when they have been seduced and subverted and are drawn across the line, the right thing to do is to keep the way open for their return.” Walter Lippmann, 1959 (Sierra)

Mujica 20 Works Cited AlterNet. 7 April 2009. Scahill, Jeremy. “Obama’s Cuba Moves Do Little to End the Economic War on Havana.” 9 April 2009. <’s_cuba_moves_do_little_to_end_the_eco nomic_war_on_havana.htm>. Bizzell, Patricia and Herzberg, Bruce. The Rhetorical Readings from Classical Times to the Present. Boston, MA: Bedford Books, 1990. Business Week. 28 February 2008. “The Debate Room – Cuba: Snuff Out the Embargo.” 9 April 2009. <>. CATO Center for Trade Policy Studies. 12 October 2005. Griswold, Dan. “Four Decades of Failure: The U.S. Embargo Against Cuba.” 9 April 2009. <>. CATO Center for Trade Policy Studies. 2 November 2000. Peters, Philip. “A Policy Toward Cuba that Serves U.S. Interests.” 9 April 2009. <>. DePalma, Anthony. The Man Who Invented Fidel. New York: Public Affairs, 2006. Erlich, Reese. Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Future of Cuba. California: PoliPointPress, 2009. Haney, Patrick and Vanderbush, Walt. The Cuban Embargo. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005. Hersh, Seymour M. The Dark Side of Camelot. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1997. History of Cuba. Version 2007. Sierra, Jerry A. “Economic Embargo Timeline.” 9 April 2009. <>.

Mujica 21 International Institute for the Study of Cuba. 10 January 2009. “Globalization and Cuba” 16 May 2009. <>. International Institute for the Study of Cuba. 1 June 2008. “Why Cuba? Why Now?” 9 April 2009. <>. International Institute for the Study of Cuba. 2 December 2008. “Whose America?” 9 April 2009. <>. McLoughlin, Eric. 5 December 2003. The United States Embargo Against Cuba: A Counterproductive Policy in Dire Need of Reform. 9 April 2009. <>. MSNBC. 5 June 2007. Sanders, Kenny. “The Cuban Embargo?” 9 April 2009. <>. Michel-Foucault. 2007. O’Farrell, Clare. “Key Concepts”. 3 May 2009. <>. Peterson Institute for International Economics. 20 January 2006. “Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism”. 9 April 2009. <>. Tarnas, Richard. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View. New York: Ballantine Books, 1991. The Atlas Society. 11 February 2009. Doucet, Bradley. “Why on Earth – Doesn’t the U.S. End the Cuban Embargo?” 9 April 2009. <>. Weissert, Will. Associated Press. 22 April 2009. “Fidel Castro: Obama ‘misinterpreted’ Raul’s Words”. 23 April 2009. <>.

Mujica 22 About the Author Oliver Mujica utilizes his 20 years of experience as an appointed government official to advise local municipalities on matters relating to land use and redevelopment in order to formulate creative and innovative solutions with the goal of enhancing the economic vitality of the communities. During his tenure, Mr. Mujica served as a member of the California Trade and Commerce Agency under the Governor Pete Wilson administration, and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Commission under the Mayor Richard Riordan administration. Mr. Mujica also served as an Economic Development & Planning Commissioner for the City of Mission Viejo. Because of his Basque heritage, Mr. Mujica has become intrigued by the history of Cuba. As a colony of Spain, the Caribbean island of Cuba flourished under Spanish traditions, and became a safe haven for the Basque community at the end of the Spanish revolution. After the Spanish-American War, Basques were left with the notion of having no place to safely call “home,” and as a result migrated to various Latin American countries. Having researched various aspects of Cuba’s history, Mr. Mujica has developed a curiosity on why the United States has been so insistent to maintain its embargo on Cuba.

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