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Plan: The United States federal government should end its
embargo on Cuba

Advantage One: Agriculture

Cuban agroecology is at risk its the only model for
adaptation to future agricultural challenges without mass food
Raj Patel, Fellow at the Institute for Food and Development Policy, 20 12
(April, What Cuba Can Teach Us About Food and Climate Change,
The Studebakers plying up and down Havanas boardwalk arent the best advertisement for dynamism and

if you want to see what tomorrows fossil-fuel-free, climatechange-resilient, high-tech farming looks like, there are few places on
earth like the Republic of Cuba. Under the Warsaw Pact, Cuba sent rum and sugar to the red side of the Iron
innovation. But

Curtai/n. In exchange, it received food, oil, machinery, and as many petrochemicals as it could shake a stick at.
From the Missile Crisis to the twilight of the Soviet Union, Cuba was one of the largest importers of agricultural
chemicals in Latin America. But when the Iron Curtain fell, the supply lines were cut, and tractors rusted in the

Unable to afford the fertilizers and pesticides that 20th-century

agriculture had taken for granted, the country faced extreme weather
events and a limit to the land and water it could use to grow food. The

rest of the world will soon face many of the same problems : In the coming
decade, according to the OECD, well see higher fuel and fertilizer costs, more
variable climate patterns, and limits to arable land that will drive cereal
prices 20 percent higher and hike meat prices by 30 percentand thats just the beginning.
Policymakers can find inspirational and salutary ideas about how to
confront this crisis in Cuba, the reluctant laboratory for 21st-century
agriculture . Cuban officials faced the crisis clumsily. They didnt know how to transform an economy geared toward sweetening Eastern
Europe into one that could feed folk at home. Agronomists had been schooled in the virtues of large-scale industrial collective agriculture. When the
industrial part became impossible, they insisted on yet more collectivization. The dramatic decline in crop production between 1990 and 1994, during
which the average Cuban lost 20 pounds, was known as the Special Period. Cubans have a line in comedy as dark as their rum. Cuban peasants proved
more enterprising than the government and demanded change. First, they wanted control over land. The state had owned 79 percent of arable land, and
most was run in state cooperatives. Initially the government refused to listen, but the depth of the crisis and the demands of organized farmers created
some space for change. Through reform, the government decentralized farm management. The land remains in government hands, but now it is also
available with usufruct rights to tenants, who can invest in the soil and pass the land onto their children. But that took the farmers only so far. So some
of the countrys agronomists, plant breeders, soil scientists, and hydrologists (Cuba has 2 percent of Latin Americas population but 11 percent of its
scientists) found themselves being put to use by Cuban peasants in the fields. Their task: figure out how to farm without the fossil-fuel products upon
which the countrys agricultural systems had become dependent .

With no fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide,

the scientific community landed on

and no means to import substitute chemicals, many in

agro-ecology. To understand what agro-ecology is, it helps first to understand why todays agriculture is
called industrial. Modern farming turns fields into factories . Inorganic fertilizer
adds nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous to the soil; pesticides kill
anything that crawls; herbicides nuke anything green and unwantedall
to create an assembly line that spits out a single crop. This is modern
monoculture. Agro-ecology uses natures far more complex systems to do
the same thing more efficiently and without the chemistry set . Nitrogen-fixing
beans are grown instead of inorganic fertilizer; flowers are used to attract beneficial insects to manage pests;

weeds are crowded out with more intensive planting. The result is a sophisticated polyculture
that is, it produces many crops simultaneously, instead of just one. In Cuba, peasants encouraged scientists to adopt this approach. One of their most
important ideas, borrowed from elsewhere in Central America, was a model of knowledge diffusion called Campesino a Campesinopeasant to peasant.
Farmers share their results and ideas with one another and with scientists, which has helped agro-ecological systems spread. So has it worked? Thats up
for debate. The Cuban vice minister of the economy and planning ministry reportedly said in February 2007 that 84 percent of the countrys food was
importednot terribly encouraging, if we are looking at Cuba to foretell our agricultural future. But a recent paper by UC-Berkeleys Miguel A. Altieri and
the University of Matanzas Fernando R. Funes-Monzote suggests that while the country still imports almost all its wheat (a crop that doesnt do well in the
Caribbean), it now produces the majority of its fresh fruit and vegetableseven much of its meat. In 2007, Cubans produced more food while using onequarter of the chemicals as they did in 1988. Agro-ecology is particularly valuable in years when disaster strikes the island. After Hurricane Ike flattened
Cuba in 2008, a research team found that both traditional plantain monocultures and agro-ecological farms were devastated. But there were striking
differences: Monocultures lost about 75 percent of tree cover, where agro-ecological farms lost 60 percent. On agro-ecological farms, tall plantainsa
staple of the Caribbean dietwere often righted by the families working the land. By contrast, on conventional farms, the seasonal labor force arrived on
the scene too late to save the plants. When trees were beyond salvage in the polyculture farms, crops lower down in the canopy thrived. By contrast, in

the monoculture, the only things that flourished in the gaps between trees were weeds. About four months after the storm, strongly integrated agro-

Yet all is not

well in the Cuban food system. For many, especially government officials, choosing agro-ecology
ecological farms were nearly back to full production. It took conventional farms an additional two months to spring back.

wasnt a red-blooded Communist decision. It was a practical one. They are quite ready for an industrial-agricultural

In exchange for
doctors who are treating Venezuelans, Cuba receives 100,000 barrels of
oil a day, plus a great deal of chemical fertilizer. As a result , the parts of the
country untouched by agro-ecology are starting to spray and sow like its the 1980s
relapse if the occasion arises. Recently, they have had an unlikely enabler: Hugo Chvez.
the 31,000 Cuban

again . At odds arent just two different farming systems, but two
different social approaches. On one hand, in Cuba and around the world, is industrial
agriculture. In this top-down, command-and-control model, knowledge, fertilizers, seed, and land are all fed
into the black box that is the farm. Wait long enough, and food comes out the other end. On the other
hand, theres agro-ecology, in which farmers are innovators and
educators, soil can be built over generations, and the natural environment
can be bent with, rather than broken. Climate change has already reduced
global wheat harvests by 5 percent, and food prices are predicted to
double by 2030. Cubas example is both instructive and frustrating. Technical
innovations in Cuban agriculture point to the kinds of thinking needed to
address the future: moving away from monoculture and understanding
the value of complex, integrated systems. The trouble is that this also means a change in the
mindset of governments and scientists schooled in last centurys agriculture. If thats a lesson the rest of the world
is ready for,

Cuban peasant organizing could well light the way to the future ,

even if their automobiles are stuck in the past.

Access to the US market is key to the continued viability of

Cuban organics
William Kost, Economist at the US Department of Agriculture, 20 04

For the U.S. organic market, in addition to a lifting of the U.S. embargo, Cuba would
have to be certified by a USDA-accredited certification program that assures U.S.
markets that Cuban products labeled organic meet all National Organic Program
standards and regulations under the U.S. Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. If
the U.S. embargo on Cuba were lifted, Cuban exports, once certified, could
play a significant role in the U.S. organic market. In this current U.S.
niche market, production costs are high. Opening the U.S. market would
enable Cuba to exploit its significant comparative advantage in this area.
This market could become a quick foreign exchange earner for Cuba. The largest
barrier Cuba faces in expanding into the U.S. organic market will be meeting U.S.
requirements for organic certification. Tapping the U.S. market may create
sufficient price incentives for Cuban producers to take the necessary
steps to meet the organic standards of other importing countries. Cuba
could then expand production of organic produce geared to these specialty
export markets. With sufficiently high prices for organic produce, urban
labor may remain active in an organic urban gardening sector. Most likely,
the viability of a vibrant organic produce production and processing
sector in Cuba will depend on Cubas gaining access to the large, nearby

U.S. market . Without such access, organic-oriented production of horticultural

products in Cuba will likely remain a necessity-driven way to produce food for
domestic consumption in an environment where other production approaches are
just not available.

Lifting the embargo is critical for investment in Cuban

organoponics and leads to US adoption which fuels worldwide
Jacob Shkolnick, JD Candidate at Drake, Fall 2012
FOR THE UNITED STATES 17 Drake J. Agric. L. 683, lexis)
While investment in Cuban businesses and sales or purchases of Cuban products must still move through official

the time is ripe for organizations

in the United States to begin laying groundwork for closer ties with Cuban
agricultural entities. Recent regulatory changes implemented by the U.S. government provide a means
channels under the joint venture law or other Cuban programs,

for individuals and businesses to begin forming the relationships with their Cuban counterparts that will lead to
future trade opportunities. As previously mentioned, recent changes in U.S. policy now allow for any individual in
the United States, not simply relatives, to donate money to Cuban citizens, though not to exceed $ 500 for any
three month consecutive period, with the only restriction being that the recipient is not an official in the Cuban
[*704] government or the Communist Party. n162 Specifically written into these new regulations is the idea that
these remittances may be spent "to support the development of private businesses." n163 A five hundred dollar
infusion of capital to support a fledging business or farm can be enormously beneficial when the average monthly

Additional capital will enable

small Cuban farms to expand operations by hiring additional help or
perhaps purchasing additional farm animals. While purchasing a tractor may seem like an
salary is only 448 pesos, or approximately twenty dollars. n164

obvious choice for a growing farm, Medardo Naranjo Valdes of the Organoponico Vivero Alamar, a UBPC just outside
of Havana, indicated that farm animals such as oxen would remain the preferred choice for the foreseeable future
on the small and midsized farms that make up the majority of the newer agricultural cooperatives. n165 Not only do
farm animals not require gasoline or incur maintenance costs beyond perhaps an occasional veterinarian charge,

funds provided to agricultural

cooperatives could be put to use in developing innovative pest control
techniques that do not require the use of expensive pesticides or other
chemicals. The Vivero Alamar is currently experimenting with a variety of natural pest control techniques such
their waste can be used as fertilizer. Apart from additional labor,

as introducing plants that serve as natural repellents to insects and the introduction of other insects that feed on

Investment in agricultural cooperatives done

fail to see much return on the investment for their foreseeable future, until

harmful pests without harming the crops. n166

in this manner



policies in both the U nited S tates and Cuba are changed . For a relatively small
sum, American investors will get not only the benefit of a close
relationship with a Cuban farm that will become a new source of both
import and export business in the future, but potentially gain access to
innovative agricultural techniques that could be used in the United States

Because the logistical structure needed to transport goods from large rural farms into city

markets remains underdeveloped, urban and suburban agriculture makes up a growing portion of the food produced
and consumed in Cuba. n169 As in other countries, the population trends in Cuba have continued to shift away from
rural areas to more concentrated urban and suburban areas, with about [*705] three-fourths of Cubans living in
cities. n170 With this shift in population has also come a shift in the country's agricultural system. As of 2007, about
15% of all agriculture in Cuba could be classified as urban agriculture. n171 Not only have agricultural practices
changed, but eating habits have as well. Without the Soviet Union to provide a ready source of income and the
machinery needed to engage in large-scale livestock production, vegetable consumption has increased
dramatically. n172 Nearly every urban area has direct access to a wide variety of locally grown, organic produce.
n173 Many of the urban farms in Cuba, including the Vivero Alamar, make use of organoponics, a system where
crops are produced in raised beds of soil on land that would otherwise be incapable of supporting intensive
agricultural production. n174 Many of these raised beds can be constructed in a concentrated area to support a
wide variety of produce, with the typical organoponic garden covering anywhere from one half to several hectares
in size. n175 The rise of the organoponic production method was a shift away from the earlier centralized

production model employed by the state. It has been supported through intensive research and development by a
variety of state agencies, such as the National Institute of Agricultural Science, and continued development has

The organoponic system is

not limited in its application to Cuban urban farms, but maintains potential to be applied
been guided through intensive training and educational programs. n176

worldwide , including in the United States. Urban agriculture in Cuba

revitalized and put to use previously abandoned and unused land. A
similar approach could be applied to the U nited S tates as a means to restore
blighted areas. Applying Cuban-derived organoponics in U.S. cities could
potentially open up an enormous amount of land that was previously
unusable. From a business perspective, investing in an organoponic agricultural program in the United States
is also a sound decision since the demand for local produce reached $ 4.8 billion in 2008 and is only expected to
grow further, potentially reaching $ 7 billion in 2012. n178 [*706] In an American city beset with high
unemployment such as Detroit, Michigan, for example, investing in urban agriculture could potentially generate as

By utilizing Cuba's system of organoponics, the need

to use expensive and complex farm machinery could be significantly
reduced. Already companies in the United States, such as Farmscape Gardens in southern California, recognize
many as five thousand new jobs.

what Cuba's organoponic system could achieve and have integrated it into their business practices. n180 Rachel
Bailin, a partner in the company, indicated that it was Cuba's organic farming practices that helped inspire them to
start a company devoted to urban agriculture. n181 They have already used Cuba's organoponic farming methods
to produce more than 50,000 pounds of produce since the spring of 2009. n182 The potential for future growth in
this industry is huge, as Farmscape Gardens' current levels of production make it the largest urban agriculture
company in the state of California. n183 Cuba not only offers attractive prospects for trading in the future, but

methods of agriculture pioneered out of necessity have broad prospects if

applied to agriculture in the United States. As the demand for locally grown
produce continues to increase, a cost-effective and proven agricultural
model like Cuba's organoponic system may be just what is needed to allow
for urban agriculture to flourish.

Increasing investment prevents Cuban backsliding

M. Dawn King, Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown, 3/21/ 12
(Cuban Sustainability: The Effects of Economic Isolation on Agriculture and Energy,

Cuba needed an alternative agricultural model when foreign oil imports were cut off significantly at the end of the

the partial opening of the Cuban economy, focused on creating more autonomous
in the 1990s helped diversify food crops and set Cuba
along a path of increased food security. The Cuban model was initiated out
of necessity, not because of any sort of Cuban environmental
consciousness, yet better environmental conditions went hand in hand
with the new development strategy. Cuba learned the limits of their
agricultural model under their socialist economic system and it is in need
of further transformation in both the agriculture and energy sectors. A
further opening of the economy to joint ventures could help with
updating the power grid and providing more sources of renewable
1980s, and

agricultural cooperatives,

energy potentially expanding Cubas potential for a more sustainable means

of energy security. Further, Cuba needs foreign investment to update
agriculture facilities and take maximum advantage of cogeneration and
biofuel potential with sugarcane waste. The strong state control of
farming practices, used to successfully jumpstart the alternative model,
has hit its limit. The Cuban government must begin loosening its grips on
the domestic economy to allow for more competition in the farming sector .
Despite the potential to become more sustainable with a purposive and focused opening of the economy, the recent

surge in joint venture investment on expanding domestic oil extraction, petrochemical facilities, and oil refinery
infrastructure reveals a trend toward decreasing environmental sustainability.

Once heralded as the

worlds most sustainable country by coupling environmental performance indicators with their
human development scores, Cuba is slipping further away from this goal . Perhaps the
most distressing part of this current trend is that it took Cuba decades to create a national identity that embraced
sustainable environmental practices in both the energy and agricultural sector, and it seemingly took only a couple

conservation efforts and sustainable

education programs can only satiate citizens energy desires to a certain
point. In order to further the quality of life in the country, electric production must increase
to rural areas with little energy infrastructure and to Havana in order to
spur foreign investment and domestic small business growth. Cubas trade
of years to derail these efforts. Undoubtedly,

agreement with Venezuela is bringing in much-needed petroleum for electricity production, but their dependence
on a relatively unstable country for crude is trapping them into the same relationship that crippled their economy in

Cuba is at a turning point in their path

toward environmental sustainability, and the current need for immediate
foreign capital and increased energy production seem to be trumping its
desire to achieve development sustainably. Cuba still has enough centralized control to
1990 impairing their original goal of self-sufficiency.

leap-frog dirty electric production for cleaner renewable forms of energy and the potential to guide development

It can utilize its

expertise on organic farming strategies to increase sugar production in a
much more ecologically friendly manner than their monoculture approach
in the 1970s and 80s. Decisions made in the next five years will demonstrate
whether Cuba embraces their newly created national identity as a society
striving for sustainable development or rejects the goal of sustainable
development to increase short-term capital and energy needs.
strategies that emphasize investments in and research on renewable energy.

Lifting the embargo wont cause Cuban abandonment of

agroecology - theyll be able to outcompete industrial models
and promote global adoption
Christina Cornell, Research Associate at Council on Hemispheric Affairs, 4/17/ 09

(Cuba Elevates Urban Gardening to a Cause,
Many worry whether Cubas budget and planning services will be able to
maintain its commitment to urban agriculture and sustainable methods, as
the country enters the global economy and faces pressures to restructure
its economic and political system, especially as Washington nears a decision to lift the U.S.Cuba trade embargo. As the economy opens, the tourism industry and multinational food corporations will
compete for urban land and attempt to flood the Cuban market with cheap imported food products that could
undermine the urban agricultural system. Havana must develop policies that will protect their growing agricultural

Although the opening of

trade relations threatens local food production, Cubas success in the
agriculture industry makes it a substantial contender in the global
sector, but also allow for international influence and trade to flourish.

market . Its products are competitively priced and thus, have the ability to generate a
considerable profit for the island nation. Not only will increased participation in international trade boost revenue,
but it could also promote social reform in the country. Cubas urban centers, once underdeveloped and filthy, are
now encouraging progressive goals, targeting rising living standards and sanitation concerns, while promoting
national initiatives that will support future improvements in the urban landscapes. Agriculture for the Future


successful implementation of

urban agriculture should serve as a model


other developing countries, particularly in Latin America. By embracing more modern and effective methods of
farming, countries theoretically have the opportunity to transform their local markets, augmenting the labor force
and cultivating capital and infrastructure.

Introduction to the global market would allow

Cuba to become an important economic actor , ultimately expanding

its profits through competitive transactions and trade.
country like

Global food shortages risk extinction from starvation and war

Julian Cribb, Professor in Science Communication at the University of Technology
Sydney, 2010
(Julian, principal of JCA, fellow of the Australian Academy
of Technological Sciences and Engineering, The Coming Famine: The
Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It, pg 10
The character of human conflict has also changed: since the early 1990s, more wars
have been triggered by disputes over food, land, and water than over mere
political or ethnic differences. This should not surprise us: people have fought over the means of

survival for most of history. But in the abbreviated reports on the nightly media, and even in the rarefied realms of
government policy, the focus is almost invariably on the playersthe warring national, ethnic, or religious factions
rather than on the play, the deeper subplots building the tensions that ignite conflict. Caught up in these are
groups of ordinary, desperate people fearful that there is no longer sufficient food, land, and water to feed their
childrenand believing that they must fight "the others" to secure them. At the same time, the number of refugees
in the world doubled, many of them escaping from conflicts and famines precipitated by food and re- source

The coming famine is planetary

because it involves both the immediate effects of hunger on directly affected populations in heavily
populated regions of the world in the next forty yearsand also the impacts of war, government
failure, refugee crises, shortages, and food price spikes that will affect all
shortages. Governments in troubled regions tottered and fell.

human beings , no matter who they are or where they live. It is an emergency
because unless it is solved, billions will experience great hardship , and not only in the poorer
regions. Mike Murphy, one of the world's most progressive dairy farmers, with operations in Ireland, New Zealand,
and North and South America, succinctly summed it all up: "Global

warming gets all the

publicity but the real imminent threat to the human race is starvation on
a massive scale . Taking a 10-30 year view, I believe that food shortages, famine and huge social
are probably the greatest threat the human race has ever faced. I believe
future food shortages are a far bigger world threat than global warming ."

Energy intensive agriculture is the primary cause of

environmental degradation
Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Geologist, science journalist, and editor of From the
Wilderness, 10/3/2003

(Eating Fossil Fuels,

Just when agricultural output could expand no more by increasing
acreage, new innovations made possible a more thorough exploitation of
the acreage already available. The process of pest displacement and
appropriation for agriculture accelerated with the industrial revolution as
the mechanization of agriculture hastened the clearing and tilling of land
and augmented the amount of farmland which could be tended by one
person. With every increase in food production, the human population
grew apace. At present, nearly 40% of all land-based photosynthetic
capability has been appropriated by human beings. In the United States we
divert more than half of the energy captured by photosynthesis. We have taken over
all the prime real estate on this planet. The rest of nature is forced to make due with

what is left. Plainly, this is one of the major factors in species extinctions
and in ecosystem stress .

Ecological collapse risks extinction

Anne Ehrlich & Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Biology and Senior Research Scientist
at Stanford, 1/9/13 (Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?,Proceedings of
the Royal Society Biological Sciences, Proc. R. Soc. B 2013 280)
But today, for the first time, humanitys global civilization the worldwide, increasingly
interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded


threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. Humankind

finds itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as an act of suicide on a grand scale [4],

facing what the UKs Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a perfect storm of environmental problems
[5]. The most serious of these problems show signs of rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption. But

accelerating extinction of
animal and plant populations and species, which could lead to a loss of
ecosystem services essential for human survival; land degradation and land-use change; a
other elements could potentially also contribute to a collapse: an

pole-to-pole spread of toxic compounds; ocean acidification and eutrophication (dead zones); worsening of some
aspects of the epidemiological environment (factors that make human populations susceptible to infectious
diseases); depletion of increasingly scarce resources [6,7], including especially groundwater, which is being
overexploited in many key agricultural areas [8]; and resource wars [9]. These are not separate problems; rather
they interact in two gigantic complex adaptive systems: the biosphere system and the human socio-economic
system. The negative manifestations of these interactions are often referred to as the human predicament [10],
and determining how to prevent it from generating a global collapse is perhaps the foremost challenge confronting

The human predicament is driven by overpopulation,

overconsumption of natural resources and the use of unnecessarily
environmentally damaging technologies and socio-economic-political arrangements to service

Homo sapiens aggregate consumption [1117]. How far the human population size now is above the planets longterm carrying capacity is suggested (conservatively) by ecological footprint analysis [1820]. It shows that to
support todays population of seven billion sustainably (i.e. with business as usual, including current technologies
and standards of living) would require roughly half an additional planet; to do so, if all citizens of Earth consumed
resources at the US level would take four to five more Earths. Adding the projected 2.5 billion more people by 2050
would make the human assault on civilizations life-support systems disproportionately worse, because almost
everywhere people face systems with nonlinear responses [11,2123], in which environmental damage increases at
a rate that becomes faster with each additional person. Of course, the claim is often made that humanity will
expand Earths carrying capacity dramatically with technological innovation [24], but it is widely recognized that
technologies can both add and subtract from carrying capacity. The plough evidently first expanded it and now
appears to be reducing it [3]. Overall, careful analysis of the prospects does not provide much confidence that
technology will save us [25] or that gross domestic product can be disengaged from resource use [26]

Advantage Two: Collapse

Only a complete rollback of the embargo can buy time for
Rauls reforms to succeed preventing a Cuban implosion and
increased terrorist activity
Timothy Ashby, Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs,


Cuba under Ral Castro has entered a new period of economic, social, and
political transformation. Reforms instituted within the past few years have
brought the expansion of private sector entrepreneurial activity, including lifting
restrictions on the sales of residential real estate, automobiles, and electronic goods. Additional reforms included,
more than a million hectares of idle land has been leased to private farmers, where citizens have been granted
permission to stay in hotels previously reserved for tourists, and freedom being granted for most Cubans to travel
abroad. Stating that it was time for the gradual transfer of key roles to new generations, President Ral Castro
announced that he will retire by 2018, and named as his possible successor a man who was not even born at the
time of the Cuban Revolutio The twilight of the Castro era presents challenges and opportunities for U.S. policy
makers. Normalization of relations is inevitable, regardless of timing, yet external and internal factors may

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez is likely to

undermine the already dysfunctional Cuban economy , if it leads to reductions in oil
imports and other forms of aid. This could bring social chaos, especially among the islands disaffected
youth. Such an outcome would generate adverse consequences for U.S.
national and regional security. To maintain Cubas social and economic
stability while reforms are maturing , the United States must throw itself
accelerate or retard the process.

open to unrestricted bilateral trade with all Cuban enterprises , both private and

The collapse of Cubas tottering economy could seismically

impact the United States and neighboring countries. It certainly did during the Mariel
Boatlift of 1980, precipitated by a downturn in the Cuban economy which led to tensions on the

island. Over 125,000 Cuban refugees landed in the Miami area, including 31,000 criminals and mental patients.
Today, the United States defines its national security interests regarding Cuba as follows: Avoid one or more mass
migrations; Prevent Cuba from becoming another porous border that allows continuous large-scale migration to
the hemisphere; Prevent Cuba from becoming a major source or transshipment point for the illegal drug trade;

Avoid Cuba becoming a state with ungoverned spaces that could provide a
platform for terrorists and others wishing to harm the United States. [2] All of these
national security threats are directly related to economic and social conditions
within Cuba. U.S. policy specifically supports a market-oriented economic system [3] toward Cuba, yet
regulations prohibit the importation of any goods of Cuban origin, whether from the islands potentially booming
private sectorincluding 300,000 agricultural producersor State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). [4] Such a policy is
counterproductive to U.S. interests. Regardless of over 400,000 entrepreneurs, including agricultural cultivators, it
could be many years, if ever, when Cubas private sector would be ready to serve as the engine of economic
growth. SOEs employ 72 percent of Cuban workers. [5] A rational commercial rapprochement towards Cuba would
therefore require a change in current laws and in the system of regulations prohibiting the importation of Cuban

Normalized bilateral trade will benefit the Cuban people by

helping to provide economic stability and fostering the growth of a middle classboth of which
goods and products.

are essential for the foundation of democratic institutions. Two-way trade must include both Cubas private sector
as well as SOEs.

Terrorists operating out of a destabilized Cuba will launch

successful attacks throughout the hemisphere
Tim Gorrell, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 3/18/05
In the midst of an unstable Cuba, the opportunity for radical
fundamentalist groups to operate in the region increases. If these groups
can export terrorist activity from Cuba to the U.S. or throughout the
hemisphere then the war against this extremism gets more complicated. Such
activity could increase direct attacks and disrupt the economies,
threatening the stability of the fragile democracies that are budding
throughout the region. In light of a failed state in the region, the U.S. may
be forced to deploy military forces to Cuba, creating the conditions for
another insurgency. The ramifications of this action could very well fuel
greater anti-American sentiment throughout the Americas. A proactive
policy now can mitigate these potential future problems.

Terrorists will have access to Cuban Bioweapons

Christopher Dodd, Former US Senator, 6/5/02
The well-respected former Deputy Director of Biopreparat, Ken Alibek, the Soviet
Unions biological weapons program, has acknowledged that his institute
trained Cubans in developing biological weapons and agents. In his 1998 book
Biohazard, Alibek recounts how his boss Major General Yuri Kalinin, head of the Soviet bioweapons program,
made several trips to Cuba to consult on various biotechnology programs. That in itself does not prove it, but you
see there is a cause for concern, and that is of public record. Moreover, in the October issue of Nature

the former Director of Research and

Development at Cubas premier Center for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology, reported that Cuba sold technology to Iran that couldcould be
used to produce biological weapons . Now, Fidel Castro has himself very recently proclaimed,
Biotechnology Journal Jose de la Fuente,

for example, that Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, could bring America to its knees in asserting that
we had weak leadership in this country. I am deeply troubled by the fact that several rogue states have received
technical assistance from Cuba, potentiallyagain potentiallyacquiring the technology and expertise to build
biological weapons. Cuba must adhere to its commitment under the Biological Weapons Convention. Moreover, it

sensitive dual-use items and materials that might be flowing

to many countries and potentially into the hands of terrorist groups that of course we consider
must halt the transfer of

as a direct threat to our allies or to our own national security.

John Steinbruner, Senior Fellow at Brooking, 98
(Biological weapons: A plague upon all houses, Foreign Policy,

It is a considerable comfort and undoubtedly a key to our survival that, so far, the main lines of defense against this
threat have not depended on explicit policies or organized efforts. In the long course of evolution, the human body
has developed physical barriers and a biochemical immune system whose sophistication and effectiveness exceed
anything we could design or as yet even fully understand. But evolution is a sword that cuts both ways: New
diseases emerge, while old diseases mutate and adapt. Throughout history, there have been epidemics during
which human immunity has broken down on an epic scale. An infectious agent believed to have been the plague
bacterium killed an estimated 20 mil- lion people over a four-year period in the fourteenth century, including nearly
one-quarter of Western Europe's population at the time. Since its recognized appearance in 1981, some 20

variations of the Hiv virus have infected an estimated 29.4 million worldwide, with 1.5 million people currently dying
of AIDS each year. Malaria, tuberculosis, and cholera once thought to be under controlare now making a

changing conditions have enhanced the

potential for widespread contagion. The rapid growth rate of the total
world population, the unprecedented freedom of movement across
international borders, and scientific advances that expand the capability
for the deliberate manipulation of pathogens are all cause for worry that
the problem might be greater in the future than it has ever been in the
past. The threat of infectious pathogens is not just an issue of public
health, but a fundamental security problem for the species as a whole .
comeback. As we enter the twenty-first century,

Advantage Three - Influence

Obamas credibility deficit ensures Iranian proliferation and
escalating nuclear conflict
Noah Beck, Covers current geopolitical issues in the Middle East for American
Thinker, 7/16/13 (Apocalyptic Threats Cannot be Hoped Away: Iranian Nukes Must
Be Stopped,
President Obama's Middle East policy has been an ever-worsening train wreck
because it lacks credibility and strategy, as Egypt, Libya, and particularly Syria, have shown. And
the region is about to get much worse, unless Obama exercises resolute
leadership on the most important global security issue of this generation: Iran's
pursuit of nuclear weapons. In a commerce-critical region where "might makes right" and only the
strong survive, Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons could have catastrophic
consequences for the Middle East and beyond. The resulting dangers potentially include:
(i) nuclear proliferation, as other Mideast countries feel threatened into
pursuing their own nuclear programs; (ii) the transfer of nuclear materials
from Iran -- the world's chief sponsor of terrorism -- to terrorist organizations and/or rogue
states; (iii) bolder attacks by Iranian terror proxies (Hamas, Hezb'allah, Islamic Jihad, etc.)
protected by Iran's nuclear umbrella; and (iv) an even more belligerent Iran that flexes its
nuclear arsenal to: export its radical Islamic ideology, acquire disputed territories and resources from
neighboring countries, and/or undertake actions like blocking the Strait of Hormuz to increase the price of oil. As

the Islamic
Republic is now dangerously close to a nuclear capability . Because Iran has
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently told CBS News's Face the Nation,

stockpiled about 190 pounds of 20% enriched uranium, Iran is just 60 kilograms -- potentially just weeks -- short of
crossing the nuclear "red line" that Netanyahu set in his speech before the UN last September. Unfortunately,
Obama has signaled no urgency over Iranian nukes. Perhaps he hopes for a negotiated settlement to the issue, now
that Hassan Rouhani, a so-called "moderate," was elected to assume Iran's presidency next month. But hope is not
a strategy with the Iranian regime. Rouhani has been linked to the 1994 terrorist bombing of an Argentine Jewish
community center that killed 85 people, and has boasted about how he manipulated nuclear talks with the West
about a decade ago to expand Iran's nuclear program. More importantly, Iran's foreign policy is set by Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, who has banned concessions to the West. Indeed, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the head of Iran's atomic
energy agency, made it clear last Friday that Rouhani's election will have no impact on Iran's nuclear enrichment

sanctions against Iran have demonstrably

failed. The Islamic Republic has skillfully outmaneuvered them, as shown in a leaked U.N. report detailing 11
activities. Obama must also recognize that the

instances of Iran violating sanctions, including attempts to acquire materials for its atomic program. Reuters
published an expose outlining how Iran exploits sanctions loopholes to import ore from Germany and France that
could be used for making armor and missiles. More importantly, the Iranian nuclear weapons program has never
once stopped because of sanctions. The only time that Iran ever suspended its nuclear program was after the U.S.
invasion of Iraq, when Iran briefly feared that a U.S. attack was imminent. Obama's Iran policy has thus far failed to
produce any credible deterrent. It's time for Obama to build on the lead of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird,
who warned last month that Iran only has only a few months to demonstrate to the West that it is serious about a
negotiated solution to the standoff. Israel doesn't have the luxury of treating its red lines the way Obama has

the volatile Middle East

of today could become far more engulfed in war and instability . Netanyahu's latest
message may be the canary in the coalmine giving its final warning, so Obama should provide bold
leadership on this critical issue before it's too late . New Jersey-sized Israel survives only
treated the one he set for Syria's use of chemical weapons; that means that

by the strength of the military force that it projects. Critical to that deterrent is making good on its threats, as Israel
did with its destruction of the Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs, in 1981 and 2007, respectively, and its ongoing
surgical airstrikes to prevent Syria from transferring game-changing weapons to Hezbollah. Given such exploits,
isolationists might wonder why the U.S. should bother; let Israel bear all of the costs and risks of eliminating the
Iranian nuclear threat for us, goes the thinking. But the nuclear program in Iran is far more dispersed, hardened,

and distant than what Israel neutralized in Iraq and Syria. Iranian nukes are truly vulnerable only to U.S. military
capabilities. Expecting Israel to do the job is like a heavyweight-boxing champion asking his featherweight friend to
defend him against the approaching middleweight champion. Such cowardly tactics needlessly endanger the
featherweight ally, but -- more importantly -- there is a good chance that the middleweight won't be fully
neutralized and will feel far more emboldened to attack the heavyweight after he concludes (alongside the rest of
the world) that the heavyweight is just a paper tiger. Iran can already attack U.S. interests across the Middle East
and Europe. And as early as 2015, Iran could develop and test ballistic missiles that could strike the continental
U.S., according to a Pentagon report released last week ("2013 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat Assessment").

Obama can wait for the U.S. to be drawn into war with a nuclear-armed
Iran, or he can proactively address the threat before Iran acquires nukes.
But he cannot hide from the threat or hope it away. Obama must lead -- before Iran's nuclear
recalcitrance forces Israel's hand, with potentially apocalyptic consequences .

Nuclear conflict with North Korea is inevitable unless the US

finds a way to calm tensions
Rachman, Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator, 4/1/13
(North Korea tests the limits of a MAD world,
The most alarming aspect of the current crisis with a nuclear-armed North Korea
is that the regime there might be one of those rare aberrations, to which the normal logic of
nuclear deterrence does not apply. Every now and then, during the cold war, there was a

suggestion that some political leader might be prepared to think about the supposedly unthinkable. In the late
1950s, Mao Zedong shocked even the hard-bitten former Stalinists of the Soviet Union when, on a trip to Moscow,
he suggested that nuclear war might not be so bad after all, telling his startled hosts: If the worst came to the
worst and half of mankind died, the other half would remain. Imperialism would be destroyed, and the whole world
would become socialist. In many respects, North Korea has replicated some of the very worst features of Maoist
China: the isolation from the outside world, the labour camps, the cult of personality and the willingness to tolerate
mass starvation at home. The latter is particularly chilling, when one remembers that nuclear deterrence is meant
to rely on an unwillingness to accept the death of millions of your compatriots. There is still an unfortunate
tendency in the west to treat North Korea as a bit of a joke. The internet is full of hilarious photo-shopped pictures
of the podgy young leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-eun. In reality, the Pyongyang regime is about as unfunny as it
gets. It is a totalitarian nightmare that has ruined the lives of millions of people and that now openly threatens the
outside world with nuclear weapons. Trying to guess what the North Koreans are really thinking is a difficult, but
crucial, task. At times, there have been suggestions that the leadership may understand the outside world better
than is sometimes supposed. I once asked a senior Chinese diplomat who had frequent dealings with Kim Jong-il,
the father of the current leader, whether the North Korean dictator had any real knowledge of the west. Of course,
came the reply, he spends all night on the internet. There was some hope that his son would open an even wider
window to the outside world. Surely his time at a Swiss finishing school must have had some impact? At present,

the younger Kim is taking North Korean nuclear posturing to new

and even more dangerous levels. In recent days his government has said
that it is now in a state of war with South Korea and has talked of
launching nuclear strikes on the US. The American and South Korean response has been taken

from the classic MAD playbook. By sending nuclear-capable bombers on a trial run over South Korea, the Americans
are responding as the theorists of nuclear deterrence would advise: Dont blink. Dont show weakness. The other
side will back off, rather than risk nuclear annihilation. Seoul has also said that its military should respond
immediately to any provocation, without considering the wider political implications. The danger is that such
policies assume a rational adversary. Indeed Americas foremost experts on North Korea, such as former
ambassador Chris Hill, continue to argue that North Korea has no real intention of provoking a conflict with the US.
The real danger, they say, is that

an inexperienced leadership in Pyongyang will

provoke a conflict by accident . Even then, the assumption is that any exchange of fire is likely to
be brief and to stop well short of anything involving nukes. That is probably right. But the unsettling reality is that

If there is a regime anywhere that might just defy the normal

logic of nuclear deterrence, it is North Korea. That suggests that the
current US and South Korean policy based on unblinking firmness and a
refusal to yield to nuclear blackmail may need to be dialled down. The most
important task now is to concentrate on calming the immediate situation.
we cannot be sure.

That may require fewer, rather than more, military exercises between the US and South Korea.

Hamel-Green, Executive Dean at Victoria, 1/5/10

(The Path Not Taken, the Way Still Open: Denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and
Northeast Asia,
The international community is increasingly aware that cooperative diplomacy is the most productive way to tackle
the multiple, interconnected global challenges facing humanity, not least of which is the increasing proliferation of

Korea and Northeast Asia are instances

where risks of nuclear proliferation and actual nuclear use arguably have increased in
recent years. This negative trend is a product of continued US nuclear threat projection against the DPRK as
nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

part of a general program of coercive diplomacy in this region, North Koreas nuclear weapons programme, the
breakdown in the Chinese-hosted Six Party Talks towards the end of the Bush Administration, regional concerns over
Chinas increasing military power, and concerns within some quarters in regional states (Japan, South Korea,
Taiwan) about whether US extended deterrence (nuclear umbrella) afforded under bilateral security treaties can
be relied upon for protection. The consequences of failing to address the proliferation threat posed by the North
Korea developments, and related political and economic issues, are serious, not only for the Northeast Asian region

there is the possibility of nuclear attack,

whether by intention, miscalculation, or merely accident, leading to the
resumption of Korean War hostilities. On the Korean Peninsula itself, key population centres are
but for the whole international community. At worst,

well within short or medium range missiles. The whole of Japan is likely to come within North Korean missile range.
Pyongyang has a population of over 2 million, Seoul (close to the North Korean border) 11 million, and Tokyo over

Even a limited nuclear exchange would result in a holocaust of

unprecedented proportions. But the catastrophe within the region would not be the only outcome.
New research indicates that even a limited nuclear war in the region would
rearrange our global climate far more quickly than global warming. Westberg draws attention to
20 million.

new studies modelling the effects of even a limited nuclear exchange involving approximately 100 Hiroshima-sized
15 kt bombs2 (by comparison it should be noted that the United States currently deploys warheads in the range
100 to 477 kt, that is, individual warheads equivalent in yield to a range of 6 to 32 Hiroshimas).The studies indicate
that the soot from the fires produced would lead to a decrease in global temperature by 1.25 degrees Celsius for a

nuclear darkness will

cause a deeper drop in temperature than at any time during the last 1000
years. The temperature over the continents would decrease substantially more than the global average. A
period of 6-8 years.3 In Westbergs view: That is not global winter, but the

decrease in rainfall over the continents would also followThe period of nuclear darkness will cause much greater
decrease in grain production than 5% and it will continue for many years...hundreds of millions of people will die
from hungerTo make matters even worse, such amounts of smoke injected into the stratosphere would cause a
huge reduction in the Earths protective

Lifting the embargo solves gives Obama leverage to

successfully negotiate with Iran and North Korea
Sergio Dickerson, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2010 (UNITED STATES

Today, 20 years have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall its time to chip away at the diplomatic wall that still
remains between U.S. and Cuba. As we seek a new foreign policy with Cuba it is imperative that we take into
consideration that distrust will characterize negotiations with the Cuban government. On the other hand, consider
that loosening or lifting the embargo could also be mutually beneficial. Cubas need and
Americas surplus capability to provide goods and services could be profitable and eventually addictive to Cuba.
Under these conditions, diplomacy has a better chance to flourish. If the Cuban model succeeds President

Obama will be seen as a true leader for multilateralism. Success in Cuba

could afford the international momentum and credibility to solve other
seemingly wicked problems like the Middle East and Kashmir. President Obama
could leverage this international reputation with other rogue nations like
Iran and North Korea who might associate their plight with Cuba. The U.S.
could begin to lead again and reverse its perceived decline in the greater
global order bringing true peace for years to come.

North Korea and Iran will be more likely to make concessions

after the plan because theyll see the benefits of engagement
Klaas Hinderdael, Associate Case Manager at Kroll risk management, 6/11/ 11
(Breaking the Logjam: Obama's Cuba Policy and a Guideline for Improved
In the context of Ral shifting course in Cuba, the Obama administration
has the opportunity to highlight the benefits of both the use of soft power and a
foreign policy of engagement. As evidence mounts that the United States is
ready to engage countries that enact domestic reforms, its legitimacy and
influence will grow. Perhaps future political leaders, in Iran or North Korea for
example ,

will be more willing to make concessions knowing that the United

States will return in kind . The United States should not wait for extensive democratization before
further engaging Cuba, however. One legacy of the Cold War is that Communism has succeeded only where it grew
out of its own, often nationalistic, revolutions. As it has with China and Vietnam, the United States should look
closely at the high payoffs stemming from engagement. By improving relations, America can enhance its own
influence on the islands political structure and human rights policies. At home, with the trade deficit and national
debt rising, the economic costs of the embargo are amplified. Recent studies estimate that the US economy
foregoes up to $4.84 billion a year and the Cuban economy up to $685 million a year.50 While US-Cuban economic
interests align, political considerations inside America have shifted, as commerce seems to be trumping antiCommunism and Florida ideologues.51 Clearly, public opinion also favors a new Cuba policy, with 65 percent of
Americans now ready for a shift in the countrys approach to its neighboring island.52 At this particular moment in
the history of US-Cuban relations, there is tremendous promise for a breakthrough in relations. In a post-Cold War
world, Cuba no longer presents a security threat to the united States, but instead provides it with economic
potential. American leaders cannot forget the fact that an economic embargo, combined with diplomatic isolation,

American policymakers should see

Cuba as an opportunity to reap the political, economic, and strategic rewards of
shifting its own policies toward engagement. By ending the economic
embargo and normalizing diplomatic relations with the island, President Obama would indicate
has failed to bring democracy to Cuba for over 50 years.

that he is truly willing to extend his hand once Americas traditional

adversaries unclench their fists.

Only an end to the embargo can revitalize US relations with

Latin American
Robert White, Senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, 3/7/ 13

(After Chvez, a Chance to Rethink Relations With Cuba,
An end to the Cuba embargo would send a powerful signal to all of Latin
America that the United States wants a new, warmer relationship with
democratic forces seeking social change throughout the Americas. I joined the State
Department as a Foreign Service officer in the 1950s and chose to serve in Latin America in the 1960s. I was inspired by President John F. Kennedys
creative response to the revolutionary fervor then sweeping Latin America. The 1959 Cuban revolution, led by the charismatic Fidel Castro, had inspired
revolts against the cruel dictatorships and corrupt pseudodemocracies that had dominated the region since the end of Spanish and Portuguese rule in the
19th century. Kennedy had a charisma of his own, and it captured the imaginations of leaders who wanted democratic change, not violent revolution.
Kennedy reacted to the threat of continental insurrection by creating the Alliance for Progress, a kind of Marshall Plan for the hemisphere that was
calculated to achieve the same kind of results that saved Western Europe from Communism. He pledged billions of dollars to this effort. In hindsight, it
may have been overly ambitious, even nave, but Kennedys focus on Latin America rekindled the promise of the Good Neighbor Policy of Franklin D.
Roosevelt and transformed the whole concept of inter-American relations. Tragically, after Kennedys assassination in 1963, the ideal of the Alliance for
Progress crumbled and la noche mas larga the longest night began for the proponents of Latin American democracy. Military regimes flourished,
democratic governments withered, moderate political and civil leaders were labeled Communists, rights of free speech and assembly were curtailed and
human dignity crushed, largely because the United States abandoned all standards save that of anti-Communism. During my Foreign Service career, I did
what I could to oppose policies that supported dictators and closed off democratic alternatives. In 1981, as the ambassador to El Salvador, I refused a
demand by the secretary of state, Alexander M. Haig Jr., that I use official channels to cover up the Salvadoran militarys responsibility for the murders of
four American churchwomen. I was fired and forced out of the Foreign Service. The Reagan administration, under the illusion that Cuba was the power
driving the Salvadoran revolution, turned its policy over to the Pentagon and C.I.A., with predictable results. During the 1980s the United States helped

expand the Salvadoran military, which was dominated by uniformed assassins. We armed them, trained them and covered up their crimes. After our
counterrevolutionary efforts failed to end the Salvadoran conflict, the Defense Department asked its research institute, the RAND Corporation, what had
gone wrong. RAND analysts found that United States policy makers had refused to accept the obvious truth that the insurgents were rebelling against
social injustice and state terror. As a result, we pursued a policy unsettling to ourselves, for ends humiliating to the Salvadorans and at a cost
disproportionate to any conventional conception of the national interest. Over the subsequent quarter-century, a series of profound political, social and
economic changes have undermined the traditional power bases in Latin America and, with them, longstanding regional institutions like the Organization
of American States. The organization, which is headquartered in Washington and which excluded Cuba in 1962, was seen as irrelevant by Mr. Chvez. He
promoted the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States which excludes the United States and Canada as an alternative. At
a regional meeting that included Cuba and excluded the United States, Mr. Chvez said that the most positive thing for the independence of our continent
is that we meet alone without the hegemony of empire. Mr. Chvez was masterful at manipulating Americas antagonism toward Fidel Castro as a
rhetorical stick with which to attack the United States as an imperialist aggressor, an enemy of progressive change, interested mainly in treating Latin
America as a vassal continent, a source of cheap commodities and labor. Like its predecessors, the Obama administration has given few signs that it has
grasped the magnitude of these changes or cares about their consequences. After President Obama took office in 2009, Latin Americas leading statesman

the president of Brazil, urged Mr. Obama to normalize relations with

Cuba. Lula, as he is universally known, correctly identified our Cuba policy as the chief
at the time, Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, then

stumbling block to renewed ties with Latin America, as it had been since the very early years of
the Castro regime. After the failure of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, Washington set out to accomplish by stealth and economic strangulation what it had
failed to do by frontal attack. But the clumsy mix of covert action and porous boycott succeeded primarily in bringing shame on the United States and
turning Mr. Castro into a folk hero. And even now, despite the relaxing of travel restrictions and Ral Castros announcement that he will retire in 2018, the
implacable hatred of many within the Cuban exile community continues. The fact that two of the three Cuban-American members of the Senate Marco
Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas are rising stars in the Republican Party complicates further the potential for a recalibration of Cuban-American
relations. (The third member, Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, is the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but his
power has been weakened by a continuing ethics controversy.) Are there any other examples in the history of diplomacy where the leaders of a small,
weak nation can prevent a great power from acting in its own best interest merely by staying alive? The re-election of President Obama, and the death of
Mr. Chvez, give America a chance to reassess the irrational hold on our imaginations that Fidel Castro has exerted for five decades. The president and his
new secretary of state, John Kerry, should quietly reach out to Latin American leaders like President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Jos Miguel
Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States. The message should be simple: The president is prepared to show some flexibility on
Cuba and asks your help. Such a simple request could transform the Cuban issue from a bilateral problem into a multilateral challenge. It would then be up
to Latin Americans to devise a policy that would help Cuba achieve a sufficient measure of democratic change to justify its reintegration into a hemisphere

If, however, our present policy paralysis continues, we

will soon see the emergence of two rival camps, the United States versus
composed entirely of elected governments.

Latin America . While Washington would continue to enjoy friendly relations with individual countries like
the vision of Roosevelt and Kennedy of a hemisphere of partners
cooperating in matters of common concern would be reduced to a
historical footnote.
Brazil, Mexico and Colombia,

Increasing US Latin American credibility is key to limiting

Chinese influence
David Perez JD Yale Law School 2010
(America's Cuba Policy: The Way Forward: A Policy Recommendation for the U.S.
State Department, Harvard Latino Law Review, Lexis)
The absence of a strong American presence over the last eight years has
also given China the opportunity to step in as a major player , both economically
and politically, in regions all around the world, but particularly in Latin America. The Chinese
government has invested a tremendous amount of soft power in Latin
America, where it is now the continent's third largest trading partner, with an annual trade growth of 30% since
2001. n115 American disinterest in Latin America has convinced many
countries to adopt a "Pacific view," whereby China steps in to fill the gap
left by America's absence. n116 After signing a free trade agreement with Chile, China quickly
displaced the United States as that country's largest export market. China also [*224] recently displaced the U.S. as
Brazil's biggest trading partner. n117 In 2000, trade between China and Latin America hovered around $ 13 billion,
but in 2007, that number had increased to $ 102 billion, and by 2008 total trade was valued at $ 140 billion. n118
Even despite the current financial crisis, trade between China and Latin America is likely to grow during the next

China's interest in Latin America is also based on its increasingly

assertive global political agenda. In 2007, Costa Rica dropped its diplomatic recognition of
five years.

Taiwan, a move heavily courted by Chinese officials. In 2008, President Hu rewarded Costa Rica's new policy by

a new
policy paper on Sino-Latin American relations to coincide with President Hu's most recent
trip to the region. It charts China's growing relationship with Latin America and
promises increased cooperation in scientific and technological research,
cross-cultural educational exchanges, as well as political and economic
visiting San Jose and signing a free trade agreement in 2010. n119 China also timed the release of

exchanges. n120 As China's role in Latin America increases, American clout

correspondingly decreases in terms of relative power. To be sure, the U.S. will remain
the major powerbroker in the Americas for decades to come, but will increasingly have to make room for a new

Given this diminishing economic position, Washington will have to

rely more heavily on diplomatic initiatives that shore up credibility rather
than simply economic incentives and disincentives, such as bilateral trade

Chinese influence in Latin America allows them to peel away

critical Taiwanese allies which emboldens an invasion
Robbie Fergusson, Researcher at Royal Society for the Arts, 7/23/ 12

(The Chinese Challenge to the Monroe Doctrine,

Taiwan domestic, or foreign policy? Chinas goals in the region amount to more than the
capture of natural resources. Although the Peoples Republic of China considers resolution of the
Taiwan issue to be a domestic issue, it is with some irony that one of Chinas main foreign policy
goals is to isolate Taipei internationally. The PRC and the ROC compete
directly for international recognition among all the states in the world. .
Nowhere is this more evident than in Latin America, where 12 of the 23 nations that still
have official diplomatic relations with the ROC reside. The historical background Following
the mainland Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the nationalist Kuomintang retreated to the island
of Formosa (Taiwan) where it continued to claim to be the legitimate government of all of China. In June 1950 the
United States intervened by placing its 7th fleet in the Taiwan straits to stop a conclusive military resolution to the
civil war and slowly the battlefield became primarily political, concerned with legitimacy. When the United Nations
was formed in 1945, the Republic of China (ROC) became one of the five permanent members of the Security
Council. This gave the ROC a de facto advantage over the PRC in attaining recognition from other nation states;
particularly as the diplomatic clout of the hegemonic United States supported its position as the true representative
of the Chinese people, until the rapprochement of the 1970s, when the Nixon administration wished to improve ties
with the de facto rulers of China in order to exploit the Sino-Soviet split. UN Resolution 2758 granted the China
seat to the PRC at the expense of the ROC who were in effect exiled from the organization, and the famous 1972
visit of President Nixon to China further added legitimacy to the communist regime. All this resulted in a thawing of

began switching their diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing . The economics of
world opinion, and gradually as the durability and permanence of the PRC regime became ingrained,

international recognition In the Americas, the PRC had international recognition and longstanding support from
ideological allies such as Cuba. However,

the ROC has maintained more diplomatic

support in the Americas than any other region, mainly due to the small
nature of the states involved and the importance of Taiwanese aid to their
economies. Li notes that from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, roughly 10
percent of Taiwans direct foreign investment (FDI) went to Latin America and
the Caribbean, [51] highlighting the concerted effort made in the region. Economic solidarity is
increasingly important to the formation of the Taiwan-Latin America relationship,
for two reasons. The first is that for Latin American states, the decision of which China to support is less
ideological and political than it ever has been; which makes the decision a straight up economic
zero-sum choice. The second is that Latin America is home to natural resources
which are of great significance to the hungry growing economies of the
PRC and the ROC regardless of international recognition. However, while the decision is not political for
Latin American countries, for Taiwan, every country which switches its recognition
to the PRC damages its legitimacy as a nation state in the international
arena. The Table below shows the designation of diplomatic recognition in the region in 2008. Countries
Recognising the PRC (China)Countries Recognising the ROC (Taiwan)Central AmericaMexico, Costa RicaEl Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, PanamaCaribbeanAntigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica,
Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad & TobagoBelize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia,
St. Vincent & the GrenadinesSouth AmericaArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay,

for the PRC, every state which withdraws its

support for the ROC takes it one step closer to being in a position where it
can resolve the Taiwan issue unilaterally. Subsequently, undermining Taiwan is of the
utmost importance to China, and it has taken to outbidding Taiwan in offers of
foreign aid, a strategy made possible by the decline in aid from the defunct Soviet Union, and the West, which
VenezuelaParaguay On the other hand,

is pre occupied with terrorism and the Middle East. Li notes that the regions leaders have turned to Asia for help to
promote trade and financial assistance, and consequently played the PRC and Taiwan against each other. [53]
Despite its smaller size, Taiwan has fared remarkably well in this bidding war ; focusing
its aid investments on infrastructure such as stadiums in St Kitts & Nevis for the Cricket World Cup in 2007.
However, even Taiwans economy can be put under strain by the seemingly relentless stream of foreign aid which
has brought only debateable and mild gains to the Taiwanese cause. This has contributed to the PRC picking off the
few remaining supporters of the ROC take for example, the Dominican case. In early 2004, Commonwealth of
Dominica asked Taipei for a $58 million aid, which is unrelated to public welfare. The Caribbean nation had relied on
Taiwan to develop its agriculture-based economy since 1983. Diplomatic relationship was soon broken after Taipei
turned down the request. [54] This incident showcased the fact that in economic terms, the PRC is winning the
battle for Latin America. Political strategies of the PRC In political terms too; the PRC is in an advantageous position,
thanks in part again to its position within the UN. While it can be argued that China provides incentives but does

the use of
force and direct harm are not the only means available to an economic
entity as powerful as China. It refuses to maintain official relations with
any state that recognises the ROC; an action which can be quite prohibitive to
not threaten harm to induce countries to defect from recognizing Taiwan, [55] the reality is that

the country being able to take advantage of the growing Chinese market. Although Domnguez suggests that the
PRC has not been punitive toward those states that still recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan), [56] the
legitimacy of this claim has to be brought into question for example in June 1996, China fought the extension of
the UN mission in Haiti, to punish the Caribbean nation for its appeal for UN acceptance of Taiwan. [57] This
incident showed that China is prepared to use its global clout to play spoiler and apply indirect pressure on
countries to adopt its position. Similarly, Chinas experience with one-party rule has taught it the importance of
party-to-party relations in addition to state-to-state relations, further cementing the PRC by establishing a
relationship based on goodwill and common understanding. Indeed by the start of 1998 the CCP had established
relations with almost all major political parties in the countries that were Taiwans diplomatic allies in Latin
America, [58] further isolating the ROC. The effect on American interests Were

the ROC to be
deserted by its remaining allies in Latin America, the USA would be
disadvantaged in attempting to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan
Strait. A Taiwan that was not recognised by any state from the Americas,
or Europe (with the exception of the Vatican) would not be seen as a genuine sovereign
entity whose defence would be more important than the upkeep of good
relations between China and the West. As Chinas economic and political
position in the world improves vis--vis both America and Taiwan, so might its
ambitions. The U.S.A might find itself in a position where it could no
longer withstand the diplomatic pressure to allow the PRC to conclude a
settlement on Taiwan, perhaps by force.

A Taiwan war escalates to US/China nuclear conflict

Taipei Times 3/16/13

(Taiwan could spark nuclear war: report,
Taiwan is the most likely potential crisis that could trigger a nuclear war
between China and the US, a new academic report concludes. Taiwan remains the
single most plausible and dangerous source of tension and conflict
between the US and China, says the 42-page report by the Washington-based
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prepared by the CSIS Project on
Nuclear Issues and resulting from a year-long study, the report emphasizes that Beijing continues to be
set on a policy to prevent Taiwans independence, while at the same time
the US maintains the capability to come to Taiwans defense. Although tensions
across the Taiwan Strait have subsided since both Taipei and Beijing embraced a policy of engagement in 2008,

the situation remains combustible, complicated by rapidly diverging crossstrait military capabilities and persistent political disagreements, the report
says. In a footnote, it quotes senior fellow at the US Council on Foreign Relations Richard Betts describing Taiwan as
the main potential flashpoint for the US in East Asia. The report also quotes Betts as saying that neither Beijing
nor Washington can fully control developments that might ignite a Taiwan crisis. This

is a classic recipe
for surprise, miscalculation and uncontrolled escalation, Betts wrote in a separate
study of his own. The CSIS study says: For the foreseeable future Taiwan is the contingency in which nuclear
weapons would most likely become a major factor, because the fate of the island is intertwined both with the
legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party and the reliability of US defense commitments in the Asia-Pacific
region. Titled Nuclear Weapons and US-China Relations, the study says disputes in the East and South China seas
appear unlikely to lead to major conflict between China and the US, but they do provide kindling for potential
conflict between the two nations because the disputes implicate a number of important regional interests, including
the interests of treaty allies of the US. The danger posed by flashpoints such as Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula and
maritime demarcation disputes is magnified by the potential for mistakes, the study says. Although

Beijing and Washington have agreed to a range of crisis management mechanisms,

such as the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement and the establishment of a direct hotline between the

miscommunication and
misunderstanding remain and draw on deep historical reservoirs of suspicion, the report
says. For example, it says, it is unclear whether either side understands what kinds of
actions would result in a military or even nuclear response by the other party. To make
Pentagon and the Ministry of Defense, the bases for

things worse, neither side seems to believe the others declared policies and intentions, suggesting that escalation
management, already a very uncertain endeavor, could be especially difficult in any conflict, it says. Although
conflict mercifully seems unlikely at this point, the report concludes that it cannot be ruled out and may become
increasingly likely if we are unwise or unlucky. The report says: With

both sides possessing and

looking set to retain formidable nuclear weapons arsenals, such a conflict would be
tremendously dangerous and quite possibly devastating.

Agriculture Advantage

2AC - AT: Lifting Embargo Kills Cuban Ag

1) No uniqueness for the turn
a) Capital shortages lack of investment is moving Cuba away
from agro-ecology, thats King
b) Venezuela - theyre giving Cuba oil and chemical fertilizer
now in exchange for doctors, thats Patel
2) Cant be a turn - status quo one way trade only benefits US
Phil Wolfson, practicing psychiatrist/psychotherapist in the Bay Area, Sep/Oct 10
(Cuba S Tikkun Magazine, Sept/Oct,

But the water problem of Havana is not just about the embargo. It is also about capital accumulation. And if there is
one overarching historical failure of leadership, it is the lack of clarity and success in this nearly fifty-year-old,
erratic, planned economy. For it is one thing to defend the Revolution, to stave off the hostile U.S. giant, and it is
another to become a client state of the contending giant -- the USSR -- with its terrible history of bureaucracy,
stagnation, and failure to anticipate and thrive, not to mention its failure to create better, democratic, and more fun
lives for its citizens. And that dependency is not an excuse for not building an independent economy, as if states
and conditions were permanent and not in constant flux. If you take foreign money, at least struggle for your own
conditions and your own economic needs, for self-sufficiency in vital industries such as agriculture. Don't let your
cement plants disintegrate. Don't let your agriculture decline in favor of foreign imports. Build up what you have as
resources -- use labor and horticulture, tap the sun, grow plants, irrigate, grow soy and nuts and stuff that feeds -so that when change occurs you have some resilience. Please! Although sugar no longer serves as the main engine
of the Cuban economy (sugar production is down to 1.5 million tons or so from its Soviet era levels of 7 million to 8
million tons, so Cuba is no longer a factor in the global sugar economy and has little to export), special trade
relations that are predictably fragile and subject to political winds still grease the vulnerable economy. For example,
Cuba maintains a special relationship with Venezuela in which the Chavez government provides oil at bargain prices
in exchange for doctors and health care workers and, no doubt, political support. Another case in point involves the
billion-plus dollars that flow from relatives in the United States to relatives in Cuba. This remittance economy
creates harsh inequities -- one needs to have a relative to buy the good stuff -- and moreover the United States

imports 50 percent of its foodstuffs from abroad, and 50 percent of these
imports, including soy, wheat, rice, and poultry, come from the United States. With Cuba not
allowed to sell anything to the United States -- the embargo again -- the trade
imbalance is deliberately profitable to the U.S. agricultural industry . Wow!
could cut this revenue stream off at any time, forcing Cuba to suffer. Less well known is the fact that

3) Cubas model will outcompete alternatives theyll be able

to resist pressure to change because their organic products
will be cost competitive. Ensures global spread, thats Cornell
4) The Cuban model will win out in the global market the aff
causes modeling not abandonment
Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco, August 2k
(Cubas New Revolution,
Most of Cuba's ecological innovations were made more out of necessity than by
design. However, the Cubans believe that many of these changes are here to stay, even
if the availability of fossil fuels and chemical agents improve . We will never go
back, one farmer told me I'm sorry it took us so long to figure this out Indeed, as a number of Cuban scientists

pointed out, sooner or later all countries will have to make the transition to a more environmentally sustainable
economy. The revolution and the U S. embargo freed us from having to follow the U 8. model of development,
says Raoul Guiterrez, who works for a tour agency. Unfortunately, we ended up following the Soviet model, which
didnt work either. Now, we have been forced to do what we should have done from the beginning - find a Cuban
model, sensitive to our countrys cultural, economic, and environmental needs. Environmental education is taught
in every grade at every level of education There are prime-time radio and television shows on environmental
themes. There is a major cleanup of Havana Harbor, thanks to a grant from Scandinavian countries. There is a
major recycling program focusing on glass, aluminum, card-- board, and paper collected from every urban
neighborhood and many smaller towns as well. High school students are recruited, with the incentive of cash
donations for their schools, to collect recyclable materials. There is a growing emphasis on natural medical
practices, including homeopathy, Eastern traditions, and traditional Cuban medicines. Green pharmacies are in
most towns and neighborhoods, and alternative medicine is a recognized specialization in Cuban medical schools.
The greening of Cuba would allow for an unprecedented degree of opportunities for environmental architects,
appropriate-technology specialists, organic farming consultants, and others from the United States, yet such
assistance is deemed illegal by the Clinton Administration, which has threatened those willing to provide such aid
with fines and jail terms. It is ironic that pressure against Cuba has increased as it has moved away from the old
rigid Communist development strategies to embracing Green development strategies. Yet perhaps a Green Cuba

Green model actually serves as a viable alternative to the foreign-investment
driven, capital-intensive model promoted by the United States, the World Bank,
actually is a bigger threat than a Red Cuba. The Communist model was clearly unsustainable on many levels. Yet

the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization. Indeed, Cuba may constitute the threat of a
good example, which is perhaps the biggest threat of all.

5) Lifting the embargo is critical to sustained viability of the

Cuba model
a) Market Cuba needs more customers. US purchasing power
is a huge customer base right next door. Thats Kost
b) Investment Its the only way to get a needed inflow of
capital into Cuban agriculture and prevent backsliding. Thats
Shkolnik and King
c) Modeling The plan results in US adoption of Cuban
agricultural techniques which is critical to global adoption,
thats Shkolnik
6) Increased investment solves sugar production reduces
reliance on fossil fuels
M. Dawn King, Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown, 3/21/ 12

(Cuban Sustainability: The Effects of Economic Isolation on Agriculture and Energy,
The special period in peacetime transformed Cuban agricultural practices toward a more sustainable, organic,
low-input system. However, from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, Cuban agricultural outputs began decreasing .
Sugar production went from around 8.4 million tons per year in 1990 to a meager 1.5 million tons by 2007-2008
(Elledge 2009). Given the goals of the special period to decrease monoculture practices and increase food
production, this statistic may not be all that surprising, yet total agricultural production fell 22% from 2000-2005
(Nova-Ganzlez 2006) while basic food production declined another 8% from 2007-2008 (Elledge 2009). Further,
Cuban dependence on U.S. food imports increased from $4.3 million in purchases in 2001 to $340 million in 2006
(Alvarez 2004, 1; Weissert 2011)1 , and urban agricultural plots decreased from 26,600 in 1997 to 9744 by 2000
(Premat 2005, 154-155)2 . Certainly, the decrease in sugar production is attributable to more than just increasing
basic food production. In the early 2000s, the Castro government shut down half of the countries 156 sugar mills
due to deteriorating infrastructure (Elledge 2009). A lack of national capital has led to many infrastructure problems

disappearance of the sugar industry, once the cause of Cubas

may lead to even more economic
vulnerability for the country. Most of Cubas electric cogeneration is coupled with sugar production. A
decrease in sugar production equates to a heavier reliance on fossil fuels ,
throughout Cuba, but the

depleted soil conditions and lack of diverse food production,

something Cuba does not want and cannot afford. With global sugar prices on the rise, partially due to an increase
in world demand for sugarcane ethanol, Cuba can use what it learned in the special period to produce more
sustainable sugarcane. Nicholas Elledge (2009) from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, argues that by using state
of the art technology, a sugar mill can generate over 10 times the electricity needed for its own operationroughly
equivalent to adding 4 power plants to the island and that an action as simple as modernizing the existing mills
would represent more than a 50% increaseto the systems power capacity. Given Cubas dire need for capital

one means to achieving

Cubas goal of self-sufficiency could be increasing sugar production. This , of
course, requires opening the market up to partial outside investment an
institutional change that may also aid in increasing total food production .
and the fact that food production has decreased over the past decade anyway,

Extension AT: No Embargo Kills Cuban Ag

Cuba wont abandon agro-ecology after the plan their
products will outcompete US products
Eliza Barclay, Freelance Writer for Food First, 9/12/03

(Cuba's security in fresh produce,

Aside from the disruption in self-sufficiency, there is also growing concern that if the embargo
is eventually lifted, global agricultural giants will persuade farmers to drop
their organic methods in favor of high pesticide and fertilizer usage. However, Dr. Nelso
Campanioni Concepcin of INIFAT responded: "We are not going back. We will
increase production, but we will not degrade the environment doing it ."
Speculating on the possible institutional reactions to a global market that peddles genetically engineered seeds,
pesticides, and fertilizers, Rosset said, "There

is a possibility of a negative impact on the

Cuban model. There may be a short term increase in pesticide use and a
stronger interest in biotechnology, but they may not last because they
may not fulfill Cuban agricultural needs." The members of the U.S. Trade and Economic
Council Inc. seem to be chomping at the Cuban market bit. Kavulich said, "We have many members who have
begun discussions with the Cubans over a wide array of products like food and hospitality services and biotech
products." As of now, the only McDonald's in Cuba is located on the Guantnamo Bay naval base, which has
belonged to the United States since 1934. Cuban fast food chains exist and are popular, but they do not dominate

McDonald's and U.S.-produced corn, peas, and carrots in a can are eventually
allowed into Cuba, it will still be up to the Cubans whether they prefer the
foreign food to their own backyard-grown papayas, yucca, and lettuce.
the landscape or pepper the national concept of food, largely because advertising does not exist.

Organoponics wont disappear without the embargo

The Guardian 4/3/08
(Cuba's organic revolution,
The US trade embargo is losing its "symbolic meaning", says Julie M Bunck, assistant
professor of political science at the University of Louisville and author of Fidel Castro and the Quest for a

Revolutionary Culture in Cuba, and as that happens, "Cuba will evolve , embrace the market in
some way, begin to produce and buy and sell normally." General farming will "most likely" move away from organic
methods says Wilkinson. Farming on a large scale after all, he says, has seen a reduction in pesticide and fertiliser

But, he notes: "Organoponicos fulfill a local

and specific need and are unlikely to disappear ." He adds: "The commitment
to organics in agriculture may not be 100% because of climate and the need to boost
production. But policies that encourage environmental protection will continue
so long as the present government remains." When that changes, Cuba's
unique experiment with organic farming will change too.
use mainly due to "financial constraints, not choice".

Cuban farmers wont abandon organic techniques without the

San Francisco Chronicle 3/15/2k
(The Big Green Experiment: Cuba's Organic Revolution,
Cuba's advanced organic farming techniques have led to major cultural
shifts as many city-dwellers have become farmers. But what happens
when the Cuban economy shifts and the embargo is lifted? Now that they are
such capable organic growers, will they revert to chemical farming? Rieux

says no. "Yes, there are people who believe some of the gardeners will revert to the
old practices, but many people will still farm organically. Even when the
embargo lifts, the small farmer will make more money organically because
he spends so little. He's not going to start buying chemicals. He won't
have to. He has the knowledge now.

Ending Embargo key to Cuban Ag Sustainability

Economic isolation will force abandonment of Cuban ag
M. Dawn King, Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown, 3/21/ 12
(Cuban Sustainability: The Effects of Economic Isolation on Agriculture and Energy,
Cuba is well-known for its alternative model of agriculture that focused on
diversifying crops, increasing organic production, and localizing the food
economy. While Cuba adopted this agricultural model out of necessity due
to the massive decline of petroleum imports, their localized, organic food
system was heralded world-wide as a model of sustainability. However, a
less studied aspect of Cuban sustainability is how limited petroleum
imports affected Cuban energy use and energy policy, and how the recent
opening of the energy economy affects their organic agriculture model .
Despite investments in solar, wind, and hydroelectric projects, Cubas main source of renewable energy, sugar
bagasse, declined significantly due to the economic collapse of the 1990s and subsequent crumbling of the sugar

Cuba relies heavily on crude and liquid fuels for

electricity generation, hardly a sustainable model. This paper argues that Cubas
economic isolation during the early 1990s led to an environmentally
friendly agricultural model, yet this same isolation could cripple the
industrys infrastructure. Further,

realization of a sustainable energy model and reduce their agricultural

sustainability . The recent economic opening of the country to foreign investment could boost Cubas
potential for increasing renewable energies, but it is also leading to increased chemical fertilizer and fossil fuel use
weakening Cubas sustainability.

Cuba agricultural is a global model for sustainable farming
Christina Ergas, Graduate Student in Sociology at the Univesrity of Oregon, March
(Cuban Urban Agriculture as a Strategy for Food Sovereignty,
The agricultural revolution in Cuba has ignited the imaginations of people
all over the world. Cubas model serves as a foundation for self-sufficiency,
resistance to neocolonialist development projects, innovations in
agroecology, alternatives to monoculture, and a more environmentally
sustainable society. Instead of turning towards austerity measures and making concessions to large
international powers during a severe economic downturn, Cubans reorganized food production
and worked to gain food sovereignty as a means of subsistence,
environmental protection, and national security.1 While these efforts may have been
born of economic necessity, they are impressive as they have been developed in
opposition to a corporate global food regime.

Cuba is key to agroecology

Abigail Conrad 4/13/ 2013
[Abigail Conrad completed a B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Rochester in 2008. She is
currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. Her research
focuses on food security, agriculture, and livelihoods in Central Malawi, where she completed
preliminary research in 2008 and 2010. She is currently conducting her dissertation research in
Central Malawi on the relationship between the alternative agricultural practice of permaculture, and
food and nutrition security, The Guardian, The benefits of alternative farming methods,] Small-scale farmers produce food for 70% of the global population. Yet, they are some of

Alternatives to conventional farming

should be embraced to improve subsistence farmers' yields and to ensure
the world's poorest and most food insecure people.

adequate food production for the growing global population . The stark reality,
according to the International Food Policy Research Institute, is that the world needs to
produce more food with fewer resources. Agroecology, a farming approach
that mimics natural ecosystems, is an alternative method that can
produce more food using fewer resources . Small-scale farmers in Africa
have used agroecology to more than double crop yields within 3 to 10
years of implementation, according to the UN special rapporteur on the
right to food. Farmers also use agroecology to improve soil fertility, adapt
to climate change, and reduce farming input costs. In contrast, conventional

farming is characterised by monocropping, green revolution technologies, and synthetic fertiliser. It is

resource intensive in terms of capital, land, water, and fossil fuel use. Conventional farming threatens
future food production by reducing biodiversity, and contributing to environmental degradation and

Permaculture, a contraction of permanent

agriculture, is a promising design system for the application of
agroecology. It was developed in Australia in the 1970s based on agroecology and indigenous
climate change which lower yields.

farming systems. In practice, permaculture farms are organic, low-input, and biodiverse, and use
techniques like intercropping trees, planting perennials, water harvesting, and resource recycling.
There are numerous permaculture projects globally. However, they are largely disparate, small-scale

While experts have endorsed agroecology's ability to address food

and farming problems, permaculture is not widely known , and has failed
to draw broader funding and policy support. Permaculture programmes
are more multifunctional than typical agricultural development programs.
This is important given the growing call for "triple-win solutions" for agriculture, health, and
environmental sustainability. For example, Partners in Health ran a model permaculture farmer
programme in Malawi which helped HIV/Aids patients get the additional caloric and micronutrient
intake that they need. Elsewhere, in Malawi and South Africa, permaculture is used "as a sustainable,
non-donor dependent tool for improving the health, food and nutrition security, and livelihoods," of
orphans and vulnerable children, according to a recent USAid report. Indonesia, Oxfam funded a
permaculture school that taught ex-combatants and tsunami survivors how to improve their food
security and livelihoods, while protecting the environment. As a recent article highlighted,

permaculture farmers in Malawi have, on average, better food security

and higher crop and diet diversity than conventional farmers .

Cuba is the model for polyculture.

Project Censored 10 [Cuba Leads the World in Organic Farming, Apr 30, 2010, pg.

Cuba has developed one of the most efficient organic agriculture systems in the
world, and organic farmers from other countries are visiting the island to
learn the methods .
Due to the U.S. embargo , and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba was unable to import
chemicals or modern farming machines to uphold a high-tech corporate farming culture .

Cuba needed to find another way to feed its people. The lost buying power for agricultural imports led to a general
diversification within farming on the island.

Organic agriculture has become key to feeding the

nations growing urban populations.

Cubas new revolution is founded upon the development of an organic agricultural system. Peter Rosset of the

this is the largest conversion from

conventional agriculture to organic or semi-organic farming that the world has ever
known. Not only has organic farming been prosperous, but the migration of small farms and gardens into
Institute for Food and Development Policy states that

densely populated urban areas has also played a crucial role in feeding citizens. State food rations were not
enough for Cuban families, so farms began to spring up all over the country. Havana, home to nearly 20 percent of
Cubas population, is now also home to more than 8,000 officially recognized gardens, which are in turn cultivated
by more than 30,000 people and cover nearly 30 percent of the available land. The growing number of gardens
might seem to bring up the problem of space and price of land. However, the local governments allocate land,
which is handed over at no cost as long as it is used for cultivation, says S. Chaplowe in the Newsletter of the
World Sustainable Agriculture Association.

The removal of the chemical crutch has been the most important factor to
come out of the Soviet collapse, trade embargo , and subsequent organic revolution. Though
Cuba is organic by default because it has no means of acquiring pesticides and
herbicides, the quality and quantity of crop yields have increased. This increase is
occurring at a lower cost and with fewer health and environmental side effects than ever. There are 173
established vermicompost centers across Cuba, which produce 93,000 tons of natural
compost a year. The agricultural abundance that Cuba is beginning to experience is
disproving the myth that organic farming on a grand scale is inefficient or
So far Cuba has been successful with its transformation from conventional, high
input, mono-crop intensive agriculture to a more diverse and localized farming
system that continues to grow. The country is rapidly moving away from a

monoculture of tobacco and sugar. It now needs much more diversity of food crops as well as
regular crop rotation and soil conservation efforts to continue to properly nourish millions of Cuban citizens.
In June 2000, a group of Iowa farmers, professors, and students traveled to Cuba to view that countrys approach

Rather than relying on chemical fertilizers, Cuba relies on

organic farming, using compost and worms to fertilize soil. There are many differences
to sustainable agriculture.

between farming in the United States and Cuba, but in many ways theyre ahead of us, say Richard Wrage, of
Boone County Iowa Extension Office. Lorna Michael Butler, Chair of Iowa State Universitys sustainable
agriculture department said, more students should study Cubas growing system. (AP 6/5/00)

Cuba is the global model

Barclay 03 [Eliza Barclay, Cuba's security in fresh produce, Food First, September 12th, 2003, pg.

The news of Cuba's success has been slowly leaking out since the early 1990s, and the
country is beginning to take on legendary status as a model for sustainable
agriculture and local food production in the eyes of environmental advocates,
farmers, and development specialists. Already lauded for years by the steady stream of
sustainable farming gurus from around the world who have made the pilgrimage to observe the
success of organic and local food production, Cuba's experiment with sustainable agriculture
has succeeded beyond its trial period.
American farmers have been shuttled to Cuba in "fact-finding missions" and "reality
tours" by crafty NGOs who have obtained the highly coveted U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign
Assets Control (OFAC) licenses allowing them to sponsor travel to Cuba for educational purposes. Whether many
of these trips will be allowed to continue is unclear; in March 2003, OFAC announced the end of people-to-people
exchanges. Most groups who have had the appropriate licenses are scheduled to lose them by December 2003.

a rapidly approaching future of shifting economic opportunities poses

questions and potential


risks to this Cubas model , regarded as precious by so many of its advocates.

Cuba is taking the lead in vermicomposting

Barrows 11 [Preston Barrows, Earthworm Compost Boosts Agricultural Production Around the World,
Yahoo! Contributor Network, Aug 11, 2011, pg.

Earthworms play an integral component in agriculture . Where when earthworms built up the
soil naturally, the use of modern farming practices has greatly decreased their
numbers. Some will say that via chemical means, like fertilizers and pesticides, we have elevated crop
production. This is true, but every year our soil is becoming much more and much more
barren. It takes much more and more chemicals to grow the same crops. The soil microorganisms that
aid produce humus and give soils their growing capacity are dwindling. Points
have to alter, and an example of forced change may be the modest country of Cuba.
In 1986, the Cuban government began a vermicomposting program to style secure and efficient soil
management tactics. Cuba was caught in a vise of economic sanctions, political pressures, and lowered crop

Cuba was faced with no choice but to locate alternatives to its past
dependency on imported fossil fuels, fertilizers, pesticides, and animal feed.
Cuban scientists developed a full technological package for the production of humus
from earthworms, a process recognized as vermicomposting or vermiculture. They found

the ideal application rate was 4 tons per hectare of earthworm humus for most crops. Because the implementation
of this program, imported agricultural products have been cut by as much as 80 percent.
Cuba's vermicomposting program began with two smaller boxes of redworms, Eisenia fetida and Lumbricus
rubellus. Today you will discover 172 vermicompost centers throughout the country. In
1992, these centers produced 93,000 tons of worm vermicompost. A number of different institutions and
companies are involved in vermiculture operations, but most of the study is conducted by the Institute of Soils and
Fertilizers and by the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences..

Cuba is the global leader in poly-culture

Christina Ergas April 19, 2013
[In my research, I utilize a comparative case-study design that includes fieldwork I conducted in both Cuba and the
United States. With these cases I compare urban sustainability projects, particularly urban agriculture and
communal living, in two different political and economic contexts to highlight the opportunities and constraints
associated with both contexts. My goal with this research is to use this comparison to illuminate the challenges that
urban planners and activists must contend with in order to mitigate the social and environmental damages that the
legacy of industrial cities has left us, Food Sovereignty: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Cuba, Global Research, ]

People worldwide have been affected by these policies and have fought
back. Some nations have taken to task corporations like Monsanto , as in the
case of Indias response to genetically modified eggplant, which involved a boycott of Monsantos products and

There are burgeoning local food

movements, even in the United States, that despite numerous challenges
attempt to produce food outside the current large-scale agricultural
paradigm.4 There are also international movements that are working to change agricultural policies and
demands for the eradication of genetically modified foods.3

practices. For example, La Va Campesina is an international movement comprised of peasants, small-scale

Their primary goals are to stop neoliberal policies that

promote oligopolistic corporate control over agriculture and to promote
food sovereignty. In conjunction with these movements, Cuba has made remarkable
strides toward establishing a system of food sovereignty. One of their
most notable projects in this regard is their institutionalized and
organized effort to expand agroecological practices, or a system of agriculture that is
farmers, and their allies.

based on ecological principles and environmental concerns. Cuba has largely transformed food production in order
to pursue a more sustainable path. These practices are not limited to the countryside.

Cuba is the

recognized leader of urban agriculture .5 As Koont highlights, the Cuban National Group for
Urban Agriculture defines urban agriculture as the production of food within the urban and peri-urban perimeter,
using intensive methods, paying attention to the human-crop-animal-environment interrelationships, and taking

This results in diversified

production of crops and animals throughout the year, based on
sustainable practices which allow the recycling of waste materials (29). In
advantage of the urban infrastructure with its stable labor force.

2007, urban agriculture comprised approximately 14.6 percent of agriculture in Cuba. Almost all of urban
agriculture is organic.

Cuban Model is key to global challenges to monoculture

Christina Ergas April 19, 2013
[In my research, I utilize a comparative case-study design that includes fieldwork I conducted in both Cuba and the
United States. With these cases I compare urban sustainability projects, particularly urban agriculture and
communal living, in two different political and economic contexts to highlight the opportunities and constraints
associated with both contexts. My goal with this research is to use this comparison to illuminate the challenges that
urban planners and activists must contend with in order to mitigate the social and environmental damages that the
legacy of industrial cities has left us, Food Sovereignty: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Cuba, Global Research, ]

The agricultural revolution in Cuba has ignited the imaginations of people

all over the world. Cubas model serves as a foundation for self-sufficiency,
resistance to neocolonialist development projects, innovations in
agroecology, alternatives to monoculture, and a more environmentally
sustainable society. Instead of turning towards austerity measures and making concessions to large
international powers during a severe economic downturn, Cubans reorganized food production
and worked to gain food sovereignty as a means of subsistence,
environmental protection, and national security.1 While these efforts may have been
born of economic necessity, they are impressive as they have been developed in
opposition to a corporate global food regime.

Cuban model solves agriculture and is sustainable longer

By Kassondra Cloos Posted: 04/19/2013 11:36 am EDT
[ I am a Copy Editor for The Pendulum, Elon Universitys student news organization, and an Honors Fellow and
Journalism major in the Class of 2013. Previously, I have worked as a National Fellow for News21 in Phoenix,
interned for Al Jazeera English and The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in Washington, D.C., and held
numerous other editorial positions at The Pendulum, Huffington Post, Sustainable Farming In Cuba Ideal Job In An
Isolated Country,]

The food grown at OVA stays within the country, and is diverse and
completely sustainable . Everything is recycled and organic, unlike other farming
practices around the world that rely on the ability to force crops to grow
when nature would have it another way. As Moore says, farmers in many other parts of
the world do not wait out inopportune weather or push back a growing season. Instead they
spread tons of fertilizers to stay on schedule. Its cheap. And so is fossil
fuel. Moore predicts that farming wont significantly change for the better until
the world is forced to reckon with the diminishing supply of nonrenewable
resources that power the engines that transport food across scores of
time zones before it hits the dinner table. Its cheaper to burn gas using machines to
plow, plant, harvest and haul food than it is to sit down and think about how to more efficiently

Under a dictatorship like the one in Cuba, change can be

forced or necessitated overnight, he said. In a democracy, theres great
freedom to choose the easy way out but it has hidden costs for everyone
along the way.
manage resources.

Cuba is spearheading a global transition

Gersper et al. 93 - Professor of Soil Science @ UC Berkeley. [Paul L. Gersper, Carmen S. RodrfguezBarbosa (doctoral candidate in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan.), & Laura F.
Orlando (Executive Director of the Resource Institute for Low Entropy Systems), Soil Conservation in Cuba: A
Key to the New Model for Agriculture, Agriculture and Human Values, SUMMER, 1993, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp
Cuba's vermicomposting program started in 1986 with two small boxes of redworms, Eiseniafoetida and
Lumbricus rubellus. Today there are 172 vermicompost centers that in 1992 produced 93,000 tons of worm humus
(see Graph 1).

Several different institutions and companies are involved in vermiculture

operations. Research is conducted primarily by the Institute of Soils and Fertilizers and the

National Institute of Agricultural Sciences. At the Soil Institute plans exist for a vermiculture research facility, but
construction has not started. The Institute

is presently spearheading efforts to market and sell

worm humus in 40 kg, 1 kg, and 1/2 kg bags under the trade name Midas. A 40 kg bag of Cuban worm humus
can sell for as much as $80-100 (U. S.) on the international market, though humus production has not reached

Income generating schemes have focused on joint

production ventures and the sale of technical assistance for start-up venniculture
programs outside Cuba. Pg. 20
levels that permit significant exports.

Cuba is the vanguard of a global model for sustainable

Ruiz-Marrero 6-9-13

Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero is a research associate at the Institute for Social Ecology and
director of the Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety

Cuba is the one country in the world that has made the furthest strides,
and in the shortest time, in moving from industrial conventional
agricultural production to organic farming. This achievement has been celebrated and
documented by numerous experts and observers, including land reform scholar Peter Rosset and agroecologist
Miguel Altieri, academic bodies like the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA), and NGOs such
as Food First and the Worldwatch Institute, and have been the subject of a 2006 documentary, titled The Power of
Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (2). The country was in a very unusual and critical situation at the
beginning of the 1990s. With the implosion of the Soviet block, the subsidies that Cuba received in the form of food
and farm inputs ceased overnight, causing an unprecedented crisis. With the Torricelli and Helms-Burton Acts,
passed in 1992 and 1996 respectively, the American embargo tightened its noose around Cubas economy, further
worsening an already dire scenario. But the Caribbean island nation pulled through by way of a successful
transformation of its agricultural model, moving it towards agroecological production largely based on small family
farms. Back in March in the Colombian city of Medelln I had the great pleasure of spending time with Cuban
professors Fernando Funes and Luis Vsquez, both of them scientists of international renown and faculty members
of SOCLAs doctoral program (3). Between long walks through the city center and over beers in the Pilarica
neighborhood, we talked at length about the challenges of agriculture, ecology and socialism. This article is based
on those conversations and on published writings by Funes and other authors. Funes says that following the
withdrawal of Soviet support, the critical situation created in Cuban agriculture propitiated the transformation of
the agrarian structure and the reach of a new technological, economic, ecological and social dimension, with the
end of achieving food security with new methods and strategies. (4) But before seeking to apply the Cuban
experiences to other countries and contexts it is necessary to consider the countrys unique and extraordinary
circumstances. The 1959 revolution and subsequent sweeping land reform were a unique happening in Latin
American history: the landed ruling class was defeated, uprooted and expelled. The countrys wealth and land were
redistributed; and as a result, access to land is not a problem, and all farmers in the country enjoy first-rate free
education and health care. Latin Americas land-owning elites, assisted by the murderous US counterinsurgency,
have not spared any resources, be they financial, ideological or military, to prevent another Cuban-style revolution
in the Western hemisphere. Nevertheless,

applied in other countries.

many of Cubas lessons can be learned and

One of the key elements in the success of agroecology and food

sovereignty in Cuba has been the support of the state. The Cuban experience demonstrates that a successful
transition to agroecology requires major involvement by the public sector. The countrys organic revolution
contradicts the common image of the Cuban government as bureaucratized and lacking in creativity or imagination.
If the Cuban state were as inflexible and inefficient as the revolutions derisive critics make it out to be, it would not
have taken the right measures, and in a rapid and decisive manner, to avert a fatal food crisis. Among the
concrete steps taken by the government are the establishment of 276 centers for the reproduction of
entomophages and entomopathogens (organisms that are natural enemies of pests), a National Urban Farming
Program with 26 subprograms that span the production of vegetables, medicinal plants, condiments, grains, fruit,
and animal breeding (hens, rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs, bees and fish) that are developed throughout the country,
and a program for the promotion of ecological agriculture within the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP).
Funes explains the fundamentals of this ecological agrarian revolution: These advances went from the use of
biopesticides and biological controls, to different applications of biofertilizer, compost, earthworm humus, biosoils,
animal traction, etc., on a grand scale and in a rapid manner. The techniques explored and developed also
included polyculture, rotation, intelligent use of nitrogen-fixing legumes, and a great variety of ecological solutions
for pest and weed problems. Along with innovation also came full acknowledgement of ancient traditions of great
relevance and usefulness. Says Funes of the Cuban campesino sectors recovery from the crisis: A mixture of
traditional farming practices and organic fertilization common in the Cuban countryside, brought in from Europe by
Spanish immigrants centuries back, and appropriate strategies for climate management, phases of the moon and
many times even religious beliefs and sayings embedded in peasant wisdom, no doubt permitted this sector to be
the one that showed a most convincing recovery- and in the least amount of time- to the crisis of inputs. But state
action by itself, though necessary, is not enough to carry agroecology forward. This has been proven in Venezuela,
Bolivia and Ecuador, where progressive governments oriented by Bolivariano anti-imperialist ideals fully favor food
sovereignty and ecological agriculture and have made of them official state policy. These governments issued
directives to this effect to the public universities and agriculture ministries, but nothing happened. Bureaucrats,
agronomists and academic scholars raised and formed in the green revolution model of US-style industrial
mechanized chemical-intensive farming, simply ignored the dictates from the higher echelons and continued doing
what they had always done: promote monocultures and pesticides while ignoring the new agricultural practices and
discourses that originated from ecology and grassroots mobilization. Not to say that nothing was achieved there.
The Andes region is one of the worlds hotbeds of peasant-based agroecological innovation, and Venezuela hosts
the Paulo Freire Latin American Institute of Agroecology (IALA). But bureaucratic resistance from the mid-layers of
government has thwarted the potential for a truly profound transformation of agriculture. The achievements of
these three South American countries pale in comparison with Cubas organic revolution. How did Cuba do it?

Cuba prevented its organic agroecological revolution from suffering a

bureaucratic death thanks to a combination of decentralization and
participatory models. State enterprises were broken up into Basic Units of Cooperative Production

(UBPC). According to Funes, this has given farmers the liberating feeling of being owners of the land they work by

giving them real protagonism in decision-making processes, which has resulted in increased productivity. The word
he uses is autogestin, a Latin American word that describes processes of self-management and enhanced

One of the hallmarks of Cubas

agroecological revolution is the development of innovative and novel
participatory methodologies of agricultural research with horizontal processes of
individual autonomy in small-scale enterprises.

discussion, validation and adaptation of new ideas and proposals. These methodologies, which owe much to Paulo
Freires Pedagogy of the Oppressed, are known collectively as campesino a campesino (peasant to peasant). Born
in the Mesoamerican region in the 1970s,

CAC has revolutionized ecological farming all

over Latin America and is spreading all over the world . Its remarkable history is told
in Food First director Eric Holt-Gimnezs book Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin Americas Farmer to
Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture (5).

Polyculture solves better than monoculture and can be large

scale in all countries
James A. Dewar, 2007
[James A. Dewar is the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Long-Term Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND
Graduate School. For the past 25 years, Dewar's main research interests have been strategic planning,
planning methodologies, and policymaking under uncertainty,Rand Institute, Perennial Polyculture
Farming Seeds of Another Agricultural Revolution?,]

If one divides
agriculture into commercial or industrial agriculture and subsistence
agriculture, the latterproducing enough food to meet basic needsis
often equated with hunger and poverty. While the number of people in
The interconnections among hunger, poverty, and agriculture are manifold and complex.

urban areas who live in poverty and are hungry has been on the rise for
several decades , a wide majority of those who are poor and hungry are
trying to get by on subsistence agriculture. Figure 10 is one measure of this prevalence,
showing for example that in countries where more than 35 percent of the population is undernourished, almost 70
percent of the population is employed in agriculture. If agricultural productivity could be improved, it would have
beneficial effects on both hunger and poverty worldwide. There is, of course, a good deal of active research aimed
at improving agricultural productivityespecially in developing countries .

Much of the improvement

available from Green Revolution technologies, however, comes from hybrid
seeds (for annual monoculture farming) and from fertilizers, pesticides,
and herbicides. But most subsistence agriculture in the world does not use
these technologies. In fact, it often qualifies as organic simply because the
farmer lacks the money to buy fertilizer, pesticides, or genetically
modified seeds. Depending on the reasons for poor agricultural
productivity, then, perennial polycultures could improve productivity and
help reduce both hunger and poverty. The common causes for the failure
of agricultural productivity to provide sufficient nourishment are poor soil;
erosion; lack of money for seeds (especially the hybrid seeds of modern agriculture),
fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides; and poor irrigation/drought.
Perennial polyculture agriculture could help in all of these areas . Poor soil
is common in developing countries with high levels of hunger and poverty
(see Figures 5 and 6). Perennial polycultures could produce food crops while
actually adding nitrogen to the soil . Soil erosion through water and wind
erosion are also common problems in poor countries (see Figures 3 and 4).
Perennial polycultures could produce food while stabilizing the soil yearround against both water and wind erosion. If the cost of hybrid seeds,

fertilizers, pesticides, etc. is a problem, perennial polycultures could at

least reduce the costs of seeds (because a years worth of seeds will
produce for several years rather than just one), fertilizers, herbicides,
pesticides, and other farming equipment (see Reduced Energy Use below),
making increased productivity less expensive. Finally, lack of water is
another common factor in poor agricultural productivity . Figure 8 shows a general
measure of water availability for all purposes, and Figure 11 shows how much freshwater is used in the agricultural
sectors worldwide.

Perennial polycultures could increase agricultural

productivity through more efficient use of available water . Typically, the individual
problems related to agricultural productivity in subsistence agriculture are all present in cases of hunger and

Therefore, the potential contribution of perennial polycultures to

subsistence agriculture is all the more significant. Perennial polycultures

bring the promise of producing more food at less cost for the poorest and
hungriest in the world . According to one report: Evidence consistently shows that agricultural growth
is highly effective in reducing poverty. It has been reported that every 1% increase in per capita agricultural output
led to a 1.6% increase in the incomes of the poorest 20% of the population. Another study concluded from a major
cross-country analysis that, on average, every 1% increase in agricultural yields reduced the number of people
living on less than a dollar a day by 0.83%.18 There is one additional advantage of perennial polycultures over

That is,
annual monocultures work most efficiently on a large scale, but perennial
polycultures work well at any scale , from small family farm to large open
prairie. This factor makes them particularly adaptable to parts of the
world that could most benefit from their other strengths.
annual monocultures in areas of hunger and povertyperennial polycultures are scale neutral.

Organic Agriculture Impacts

Organic agriculture is key to planetary survival.
Blakemore 10 - Studied VermEcology for 30 years and holds qualifications in ecology, computing and
permaculture. [Dr. Rob Blakemore, Wonder Worm to the rescue, Our World 2.0, July 2, 2010, pg.

worms help save the planet ? I think so and, before arguing my case, please let me state my
position from the start: I am an ecologist. Not just the type of trendy person who faithfully recycles

although I am fashionably green and a semi-vegetarian who tries to recycle as many beer bottles as possible. No, I
am also the other, scientific kind.
The science of ecology is generally defined as a study of organisms and their environment, i.e., everything!
However, I would be somewhat more categorical and say that it is The study of organisms, their products
whether alive or dead, and their environment i.e., even more of everything, including fossil fuels and human
An ecologist then, is someone who considers holistic workings of a natural ecosystem in all its complexity and
diversity throughout its time-cycle while breaking it down into its component parts and honing in on its few key,
controlling entities. Simultaneously practicing as a generalist and as a multi-faceted specialist.
Deeds of the dirt

The experience of growing up in rural England alongside my grandfather, the village farrier who
was also a bee keeper and gardener, as well as my weekend work with farmers and gamekeepers,
immersed me in general natural history. This education was formalized by
academic degrees in terrestrial and aquatic biology and, for me the key to life, soil
ecology. The main movers and shakers in the soil are the living organisms, paramount amongst which is the

humble, hidden earthworm.

Here I must air my strong objections to marine biologists such as Sylvia Earle who pointed out after winning the
TED 2009 Prize that the oceans make up 70% of the surface of the Earth and the rest is just dirt.

Approximately 99.4% of our food and fibre is produced on land

and only 0.6% comes from

oceans and other aquatic ecosystems combined, according to FAO. The calorific value obtained from ocean
catches, freshwater fishing and aquaculture adds up to just about 10-16% of the current human total. (These
figures are slightly skewed for maritime countries like Japan and Iceland but still, more than 80% of our nutrition
is terrestrial in origin).

the oceanic ecosystem is wholly dependent upon

dissolved nutrients washed down or blown from the soil and is similarly affected by
pollution mainly from activity on the land. Her survival depends as much as anyones on
the just dirt part.
Furthermore, I am sure Dr. Earle accepts that

Thus it is abysmal that scientific knowledge of the oceans is infinitely deeper than for terrestrial ecosystems.
Moreover, Leonardo da Vincis observed 500 years ago that We know more about the movement of celestial
bodies than about the soil underfoot and this still rings true today. The journal Science, realizing that our
knowledge is so scant, produced a special 2004 issue entitled Soils The Final Frontier.
Why waste precious funds and brain resources on the vain discovery of useless planets overhead or new deep-sea

vital unrecognized organisms literally beneath

our feet disappear at an increasingly alarming rate and to our peril ?
species that will still be there tomorrow, while

Why are we not concentrating our efforts and valuable resources on protecting and preserving the tangible deeds
of our earthly home patch for current and future generations of Earthlings? Where on earth is our Soil Ecology
Global worming

We talk of greenhouse gasses and global warming yet it is the lithosphere, not the
oceans nor trees, that acts as the major global carbon sink . This is especially so
following the discovery just over a decade ago of glomalin, a tightly bound organic molecule accounting for an
extra 30% of stored soil carbon. (The energy crisis too can be cured by simply tapping freely into subterranean
geothermal energy, as recounted in an Our World 2.0 article on this red hot power.)

Proper management of our arable, pastoral and forest soils is the most practically feasible
mechanism to sequester atmospheric carbon without any adverse effects .
Atmospheric carbon is entirely recycled via the soil from plants in around 12-20
years all of this being processed through the intestines of worms .

Vermicomposting of organics and encouraging soil biodiversity by rebuilding humus provides a

natural closed-system remedy with neither waste nor loss of productivity .

Down-to-Earth soil species

All manner of dirt and disease always ends up in the sod and consequentially its ecology is naturally robust. Yet,
the soil suffers the most profound and significant effects from over-exploitation and faces the greatest threat from
erosion, destruction and pollution with artificial chemicals and/or transgenes.
Despite its importance, soil biodiversity is so poorly known that even obvious organisms like the relatively large
worms are mostly unclassified. On each field trip I find new species and, of the 10,000 that have been given
scientific names thus far (perhaps less than a third of the total), we know something of the ecology about a dozen
But what we do know doesnt look good. Unprecedented loss of species abundance and diversity combined with
high extinction rates are bringing Earth into new and uncharted territory. We urgently need triage.
Laboratories crammed with scores of ecologists could study just worms for their whole careers and still we would
only progress slightly from our current poor state of knowledge, but our gain would be justifiable and have
tangible effects on resolving pressing environmental issues. But this is not the current situation.

soil ecology because it affects all our lives and is a

crucially important issue for immediate survival of humans and all other

Fundamentally we can justify study of

terrestrial organisms . Whereas earthworm specialists are an endangered and

rapidly declining breed, some scientists attempt to defend their studies that look at a single crop or pest.
In contrast, I would argue that without earthworms there would be no healthy soil in which
any healthy crop could develop in the first place.
If we ask Which group of organisms would cause the most disruption to life
support systems

on the Earth

if lost? My answer would be that rather than fish, birds and

earthworms. They are key links in food chains (not just for fish and
fowl), they act as hosts and vectors for diverse symbionts and parasites, and they are
the major detritus feeders responsible for soil mineralization and recycling of
organic matter. Can other scientists, outside of medicine, claim such importance for their study subject?
bees, or humans it is the

Looking forward to the past

One of the main predictions, highly optimistic, in the revolutionary move into our post-industrial era
(see Alvin Tofflers The Third Wave for details) was that genetic engineering would provide new
production methods and have profound effects on future development. In many ways this has been
borne out in medical use and microbial manufacture with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
that provide some potential benefit and serve some purpose, albeit at huge cost.
But there are equally large risks. Rather obviously, the main characteristic of life is to reproduce and
disperse. The architects of the modified corn, cotton, soy, wheat, rice and spuds are often of exactly
the same companies (or at least profit-driven mind-sets) that produced the toxic chemicals that they
are now telling us their new GMO technology will replace just as chemical engineers promised
solutions to all our problems previously.

Rachel Carsons Silent Spring first alerted us to risks of agricultural chemical

pollution, exacerbated by bioaccumulation in body tissue (especially of invertebrates such as
earthworms) and bioconcentration further up the food-chain. But whatever the problem, these
In 1962

chemicals will eventually disperse and decline once production halts.

With biology the reverse is true. Design a plant to be herbicide or insect resistant and it will increase
and spread by its own means, by cross-pollination or genetic drift. Case in point is the illegitimate
escape in Japan of feral oilseed rape ( Brassica napus) genetically modified to resist herbicide that, as
with any similar calamity, will continue in an uncontrollable fashion.
Rather than addressing immediate environmental issues per se, much of scientific resources are
diverted into molecular studies, mostly for industrial agricultural production, that are inordinately
expensive, or into agronomic trials of effective toxic biocide applications. Mostly this is not requested
by informed consumers nor by farmers who must rely on the advice of often industry-funded experts
and extension officers (hopefully not advertisers).

Surprisingly and shamefully, almost zero funding is available for research on

organic production alternatives that are dismissed as impractical fads . Yet it is their
implementation, since the start of the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, that has brought us this far.
Lets not let topsoil slip through our fingers

Topsoil is the most valuable resource upon which civilizations depend . Its rapid loss
combined with soil fertility and soil health decline are of greatest immediate concern.
How important is loss of topsoil? Basically without fertile topsoil there is no
plant growth and no life on land . How big an issue is loss of topsoil? The 1991
UN funded Global Survey of Human-Induced Soil Degradation Report showed
significant problems in virtually all parts of the world. Just 11% of the Earths
terrestrial surface is cultivated and of the total available, approximately 40% of
agricultural land is seriously degraded, according to the UNS 2005 Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment (MEA).
Loss of topsoil has been due to the combined effects of desertification, salinization, erosion, pollution and
urban/road or other development activities. In the United States alone it is estimated to cost about $125 billion

land degradation among the worlds greatest environmental challenges, claiming it
risked destabilizing societies , endangering food security and increasing
per year. The MEA, which despite its scope did not consider Soil Systems separately, nevertheless

poverty . Among the worst affected regions are Central America, where 75% of land is infertile, Africa, where
a fifth of soil is degraded, and Asia, where 11% is now unsuitable for farming.
In addition to those pollutants commonly recognized as originating from biocides and fertilizers, there are many
other sources such as antibiotics associated with intensive animal production, plus a cocktail of humanprocessed pollutants like drugs, solvents and synthetic hormones from birth control pills that all make their way
into the environment in an infinite variety of unforeseeable combinations.
Suggested remediation to soil decline and agricultural production are to use GMO crops and other high-tech
applications, because there is an assumption that topsoil formation is a centuries-old process that is essentially
non-renewable and thus is gone forever. This view is false and there are several examples of methods that can be
applied to restore fertile topsoils to farms, and in a time frame as short as a matter of a few years.
Feed the worm
When the question is

asked, Can I build top-soil? the answer is Yes , and when the first
question is followed by a second question, How? the answer is Feed earthworms, so wrote Eve Balfour
in the introduction to Thomas J. Barretts book, Harnessing the Earthworm.
Indeed there are many instances of organic farms around the world preserving or restoring healthy soils. Organic
farming has many approaches, with Rudolph Steiners biodynamics being one manifestation. All these solutions
comfortably find a home under the wide umbrella of permaculture, as defined by Bill Mollison. This philosophy
and approach to designing our natural environment for efficient and effective production and for comfortable
living under prevailing conditions is well known and widely adopted by national and local communities and
individuals worldwide.
William Blake urged us [t]o see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower. Soil survey of the
abundance and diversity of earthworms in a soil will provide a good measure of natural fertility, as these are the
monitors and mediators of soil health. That some of our honourable predecessors appreciated the worms role is
manifest by one translation of the Chinese characters for earthworms being angels of the earth.
Seeing a worm turned up by the plough and eaten by a bird started Prince Siddhartha (Gautama Buddah) on his
contemplative path to understanding the Cycle-of-Life. In the Classical world, the father of biology, Aristotle,
called earthworms the soils entrails and it is reported that Cleopatra decreed them sacred.
Charles Darwin, British naturalist and father of evolution , also had an interest in earthworms. In
1881, the year before he died, his 40 year study culminated in publication The Formation of Vegetable Mould

was one of the first scientists to give

credence to conventional wisdom from earlier civilizations about the beneficial effects of
earthworms on soils and plant growth, and thus on human survival .
through the Action of Worms. As a founder of soil ecology, he

Believing his worm work one of his most crucial contributions, Darwin
It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of
the world, as have these lowly organized creatures
The vegetable mould [humus] which covers, as with a mantle, the surface of the land, has all passed many times
through their bodies.
Hopefully it will continue thus.
In 1981, as a centennial tribute to Darwins seminal work, I completed a survey on Lady Eve Balfours Haughley
experimental farm that showed organic methods encourage healthy soil and an earthworm abundance.
Significantly higher maintenance of temperature, moisture and organic matter in the soil equated with double the
carbon content. In this way we could readily fix runaway CO2 in the atmosphere. Moreover, crop production was
equable between organic and non-organic management regimes, even without factoring in the cost savings in
chemicals and environmental degradation. (Details are presented here.)

Look up to the worm

mass extinction of species

due mainly to human activity, global warming from excessive anthropogenic generated carbon, and risk
of social and political dysfunction from impending resource and food shortages
caused by population pressure can all be redressed by educating people (and politicians!)
about restoring soil health and fertility. One way to start is to re-process organic
wastes via worms, for a natural compost fertilizer.
My thesis is that each of the three major interlinked influences on our world

Alternatives to industrial agriculture are a prerequisite for

global survival
Shand 2K

Hope Shand is Research Director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International

(RAFI). RAFI is an international non-governmental organization dedicated to the
conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, Biological Meltdown:
The Loss of Agricultural Biodiversity
This story illustrates not only the tremendous value of rapidly disappearing crop
genetic diversity, but also the fact that it is impossible to talk about the
conservation of species and ecosystems separate from farm communities
and indigenous peoples. The world's main food and livestock species have
their centers of genetic diversity in the South. Generations of farmers in the
tropics and sub-tropics have consciously selected and improved plants and animals
that are uniquely adapted to thousands of micro-environments. Today, farming
communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America are the primary custodians
of most of the earth's remaining agricultural biodiversity. They are also
carriers of unique knowledge about genetic resources and entire
ecosystems. Agricultural biodiversity refers to that part of biodiversity that feeds
and nurtures people--whether it is derived from the genetic resources of plants,
animals, fish or forests. We are losing genetic resources for food and
agriculture at an unprecedented rate. It can best be described as a
biological meltdown. The statistics are numbing: Crop genetic resources are
being wiped out at the rate of 1-2% every year. Since the beginning of this century,
about 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost.
Livestock breeds are disappearing at an annual rate of 5%, or 6 breeds per month.
In Europe, half of all breeds of domestic animals that existed at the turn of the
century have become extinct, and 43% of the remaining breeds are endangered.
Tropical forests are falling at a rate of just under 1% per annum, or 29 hectares per
minute. From 1980-1990, this is equivalent to an area the size of Ecuador and Peru
combined. Marine fisheries are collapsing. About 70% of the world's conventional
marine species are fully exploited, overexploited, depleted or in the process of
recovering from overfishing. One-fifth of all freshwater fish are already extinct or
endangered. Whether in farmers' fields, forests, or fisheries, the genetic variation
needed to meet human food needs is slipping into oblivion. Equally alarming,
genetic resources are being privatized and their natural habitats plundered. We are
losing the biological options we need to strengthen food security and to
survive global climate change. The consequences, warns the United
Nations, are "serious, irreversible and global." Erosion of crop and animal
diversity threatens the existence and stability of our global food supply
because genetic diversity (found primarily in the South) is vital for the maintenance
and improvement of agriculture. To maintain pest and disease resistance in our

major food crops, for instance, or to develop other needed traits like drought
tolerance or improved flavor, plant breeders constantly require fresh infusions of
genes from the farms, fields and forests of the South. But agricultural biodiversity is
not just a raw material for industrial agriculture; it is also the key to food security
and sustainable agriculture because it enables poor farmers to adapt crops and
animals to their own ecological needs and cultural traditions. Without this diversity,
options for long-term sustainability and agricultural self reliance are lost. Why Are
We Losing Agricultural Biodiversity? The greatest factor contributing to the
loss of crop and livestock genetic diversity is the spread of industrial
agriculture and the displacement of more diverse, traditional agricultural
systems. Beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, the Green Revolution introduced highyielding varieties of rice and wheat to the developing world, replacing thousands of
farmers' traditional crop varieties and their wild relatives on a massive scale. The
same process continues today. New, uniform plant varieties are replacing farmer's
traditional varieties - and the traditional ones are becoming extinct. In the United
States, more than 7000 apple varieties were grown in the last century. Today, over
85 percent of those varieties - more than 6000 - are extinct. Just two apple varieties
account for more than 50% of the entire US crop. In the Philippines, where small
farmers once cultivated thousands of traditional rice varieties, just two Green
Revolution varieties occupied 98% of the entire rice growing area in the mid-1980s.
Industrial agriculture requires genetic uniformity. Vast areas are typically
planted to a single, high-yielding variety or a handful of genetically similar cultivars
using capital intensive inputs like irrigation, fertilizer and pesticides to maximize
production. A uniform crop is a breeding ground for disaster because it is more
vulnerable to epidemics of pests and diseases. The same is true with livestock
genetic resources. The introduction of "modern" breeds that are selected solely for
maximizing industrial production has displaced or diluted indigenous livestock
breeds worldwide. The commercial white turkey that is mass-produced on factory
farms in Europe and North America has been bred for such a meaty breast that it is
no longer able to breed on its own! This broad-breasted breed - which accounts for
99% of all turkeys in the United States today - would become extinct in one
generation without human assistance in the form of artificial insemination. The
spread of industrial agriculture in the South places thousands of native breeds at
risk. In India, just 3 decades after the introduction of so-called "modern" livestock
breeds, an estimated 50% of indigenous goat breeds, 20% of indigenous cattle
breeds, and 30% of indigenous sheep breeds are in danger of disappearing. Though
frequently characterized as "resource poor," many of the South's farming
communities are extraordinarily rich in plant and animal genetic diversity and in
traditional knowledge. But these are endangered resources. With the drive for
export monoculture and the spread of Green Revolution technology in the South,
the dominant model for agricultural production has been based on external inputs-imported genetic stock, technology and the ideas of outside "experts." Ironically,
the Green Revolution approach (high-input, high-tech, and high-yielding crop and
livestock breeds) has proved so "successful" that it has very nearly extinguished the
farming communities' most vital "internal" resources - farmers' traditional
knowledge and the rich reservoirs of plant and animal genetic diversity that they
have selected and improved for generations. The erosion of traditional knowledge
and agricultural diversity not only marginalizes the South's food producers and
farming communities, it jeopardizes world food security for all. The "Gene"

Revolution At the United Nations' World Food Summit in November 1996,

governments of the world underscored the importance of trade liberalization to food
security and implicitly endorsed a growing reliance on capital-intensive, hightechnology agricultural production. Export agriculture was held up as the answer to
food security, while food self-reliance was ignored. Side-stepping the more
important issues of structural reforms (such as access to food and redistribution of
land and resources), the familiar response of international agricultural research
institutions is to recycle the Green Revolution and boost it with a heavy dose of
biotechnology. Not surprisingly, commercial biotechnology does not address the
needs of peasant farmers in marginal farming areas of the South, and has little to
do with feeding hungry people. Globally, agricultural biotechnology is controlled by
a handful of seed, agrochemical and pharmaceutical corporations whose proprietary
products are designed primarily to meet the needs of Northern industry. It's a highstakes game, and few enterprises can afford to compete. Consider, for example,
that Monsanto spent no less than $100 million developing its herbicide tolerant
soybean (a soybean that can withstand spraying of Monsanto's bestselling weed
killer). DNA Plant Technology spent over $6.3 million defending its biotech patents
on longer shelf-life tomatoes. Pioneer Hi-Bred claims that one of its new, geneticallyengineered maize varieties requires access to 38 different patent claims involving
16 separate patent holders. Proprietary technologies are seldom accessible or
affordable to customers in the South. In India, for example, where 70% of pesticides
are used on cotton and rice, researchers were anxious to develop genetically
engineered crop varieties containing genetic resistance to the insects that harm
them. US-based Monsanto corporation reportedly offered to sell its patented, insectresistant gene to the Indian government for $7.74 million. The cost was too high,
and the Indian government was forced to reject the deal. Have we learned from the
mistakes of the Green Revolution? It appears not. There is little doubt that the 21st
century's "gene revolution" can and will be used to promote industrial monocultures
and genetic uniformity on a massive scale. A new tree cloning venture in Indonesia
(owned by a US and Australian firm) illustrates how biodiversity could be diminished
and job opportunities restricted by a high-tech forestry initiative. The company
claims that it has the capacity to produce 10 million genetically uniform teak and
eucalyptus seedlings per year using a robotic assembly line that operates around
the clock with a single human attendant. Historically, when industrial tree
plantations are based on uniform, introduced species, the native biodiversity is
inevitably lost. Similarly, new breakthroughs in the cloning of mammals will
someday allow researchers to manipulate a test tube full of embryonic cells to
produce scores of genetically identical livestock. Farmer-Led Food Security
Ultimately, farming communities hold the key to conservation and use of
agricultural biodiversity, and to food security for millions of the world's poor. They
are the innovators best suited to develop new technologies and management to
their diverse ecosystems. If international aid and development institutions dismiss
peasant farmers, exclude structural reforms, and ignore the indigenous crops and
livestock breeds that poor farmers depend upon for survival, then they fail to
address actual hunger. At the Science ' Academies Summit held in India in July
1996, several African scientists expressed their frustration with foreign ideas for
introducing high-tech agriculture in the South, noting that traditional African crops
are ignored or undervalued in international agricultural research. "I don't want a
Green Revolution," said Iba Kone of the African Academy of Sciences, "I want a
Black Revolution. I want to return to our indigenous crops." Similarly, the common

approach of importing industrial animal breeds to boost productivity of livestock in

the South is now being rethought, in recognition of the fact that native breeds are
far more likely to be productive under low-input conditions. "In 80% of the world's
rural areas the locally adapted genetic resources are superior to common modern
breeds," concludes Keith Hammond, the U.N. Food and Agriculture's expert on
animal genetics. For poor farmers, an animal's most essential quality is not its rate
of growth or yield of milk, but its basic ability to survive and reproduce, which in
turn ensures the family's self-reliance and survival. In the long run, the conservation
of plant and animal genetic diversity depends not so much on the small number of
institutional breeders in the formal sector (governments, university and industry),
but on the vast number of traditional farmers who select, improve and use plant and
livestock diversity, especially in marginal farming environments. The challenge for
the world community is to link conservation and development by enabling farm
communities to assume a major role in managing and benefiting from the genetic
resources on which their livelihoods depend. Ultimately, we cannot save the world's
biological diversity unless we also nurture the human diversity that protects and
develops it. If we undervalue or ignore the traditional knowledge of farmers
and rural people who use and manage biodiversity as the basis for their
livelihoods, we lose our last, best hope for salvaging and developing the
living resources upon which we all depend.
Polyculture is key to solving water shortages and ocean dead zones
James A. Dewar, 2007
[James A. Dewar is the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Long-Term Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND
Graduate School. For the past 25 years, Dewar's main research interests have been strategic planning,
planning methodologies, and policymaking under uncertainty,Rand Institute, Perennial Polyculture
Farming Seeds of Another Agricultural Revolution?,]

Freshwater systems are contaminated throughout the world. Agriculture is

not the only source of freshwater contamination, but it is a major one. The
FAO identifies agriculture as the single largest user of freshwater on a
global basis and as a major cause of degradation of surface and
groundwater resources through erosion and chemical runoff.10 Common
contaminants in freshwater systems from agricultural runoff include phosphorus nitrogen, metals, pathogens,

The agricultural sources of those

contaminants are primarily fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides . Maps of
sediment, pesticides, salt, and trace elements (e.g., selenium).

freshwater contamination would not tell the story of water contamination by agriculture because of the
contributions from industry and other sources. There is one area, however, in which the agricultural contribution to

A dead zone in
the ocean is created by nitrogen and phosphorus (found in fertilizers) that
wash down rivers and flow into the ocean. The nitrogen and phosphorus
ignite algae and phytoplankton blooms. When these blooms die, they drop to the
ocean floor and decompose, using up the oxygen of the deeper water. This
severe depletion of oxygenknown as hypoxiakills every oxygen-dependent sea
creature in the area. There are now some 146 dead zones in the oceans of the world, and they cover a
water contamination is reasonably clear. That is in the dead zones in the worlds oceans.

total area measured in tens of thousands of square miles. The circles in Figure 9 are the major dead zones (as of
2002). The colors indicate whether the dead zones are annual (red), episodic (blue), periodic (pink), or persistent
(yellow). Most are annual dead zones that appear in the summer and autumn and disappear over the winter. From

it is clear that most of the dead zones are related to intensive

agriculture in developed countries, although there are now dead zones in
the map,

such developing countries as China, Brazil, and Mexico. With continued

emphasis on fertilizers for improving productivity of agriculture in
developing countries, dead zones are likely to continue to appear and to
grow. Agricultures contribution to dead zones has been measured for
some areas . Sources of nitrogen from the Mississippi River basin, for example, are estimated to include
commercial fertilizers (41 percent); legumes (33 percent); animal manure (16 percent); atmospheric deposits (8
percent); and municipal and domestic wastes (1 percent).11

Clearly, if perennial polycultures

could significantly reduce (or eliminate) the amount of commercial and

animal fertilizers required for food production, the contaminants in
freshwater basins would be reduced and the oceans dead zones would be
significantly reduced . We know that fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and
other chemicals used in modern farming cause further contamination of
ground water and waterways, but it is more difficult to say how much the
situation would improve if those sources were significantly reduced
because of the multisource nature of most water contamination .
Nevertheless, in the best of scenarios, perennial polyculture farming could
go a long way toward eliminating water and wind erosion, soil
degradation, water depletion, and water contamination.

Monoculture caused Bio-D loss, only Polyculture can Solve

James A. Dewar, 2007
[James A. Dewar is the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Long-Term Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND
Graduate School. For the past 25 years, Dewar's main research interests have been strategic planning,
planning methodologies, and policymaking under uncertainty,Rand Institute, Perennial Polyculture
Farming Seeds of Another Agricultural Revolution?,]

biodiversity refers to the number and diversity of species,

the genetic material of those species, and the natural communities,
ecosystems, and landscapes of which those species are part. Biodiversity
includes animal as well as plant species. It has been recognized as extremely important by
In its simplest form,

the environmental and scientific communities because of its numerous benefits, and the current rate at which we
are losing it is alarming.

Increased human activities and a rapidly growing global

population are threatening the Earths biodiversity. Worldwide, numerous

plant and animal species are becoming extinct every year, at an estimated
loss of species in the tens of thousands per year.13 Worldwide animal extinction rates
are estimated to be 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than natural extinction rates.14 With these extinctions,

natural systems that humans depend upon are degraded or lost, and the
effects may be significant. Given current scientific knowledge, it is unclear at what point current
biodiversity loss rates could lead to natural systems breaking down and critical problems; however, evidence of
causes for concern already exists. For example, in California,

habitat alterations and pesticide

use have degraded natural ecosystems to the extent that few wild bees
are left . California farmers, who have always relied on wild bees for pollination, must now rent bees to
pollinate key agricultural crops.15 Evidence of the global importance of biodiversity can be found in the signing of
the Convention of Biodiversity by over 150 nations at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit and the attention
given to biodiversity conservation at the summer 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg,

A conservative estimate of the annual economic and

environmental benefits of biodiversity in the United States is $300 billion,
and worldwide $3 trillion.16 Other estimates of the worldwide economic benefits of biodiversity range
South Africa.

as high as $33 trillion per year.17 In a natural prairie, there can be more than 200 plant species in a given area and
perhaps several times that number of microscopic soil animals that are important to efficient prairie operation.

true reengineering of the prairie would dramatically increase the

biodiversity over a monoculture on the same plot of land . However, any lessambitious reengineering of the prairie that includes a variety of plant species in a perennial
polyculture would contribute to the diversity of plant life over a
monoculture and promote biodiversity more widely. There are other ways
in which perennial polyculture farming could help the environment (e.g.,
polycultures produce more plant material in the ground, thus sequestering
more carbon dioxide), but the five areas outlined above represent the primary worldwide agriculture
induced environmental problems that could be mitigated.

Monoculture use makes crops susceptible; causes ag

unsustainability and ensures complete collapse
Zorach, 11 (Alex, 12/27/11, Monoculture Farming - Disadvantages And Negative Effects On The
Environment, Ezine Articles, M.A. in statistics from Yale (2008), an M.S. in applied mathematics from U.
Delaware (2007), and a B.A. from Oberlin College, has worked as a consultant in statistics and information
technology, and also has experience in operations research, management consulting, retail pricing, ecology, and
accounting, JPL)
The most compelling disadvantage of monoculture farming is that it is not adaptable. Wild
ecosystems are diverse, and wild populations of plants and animals are also diverse. An ecosystem contains numerous
different species, each with unique adaptations to its environment, and distinct strengths and weaknesses in response to
changing conditions. Similarly, the natural population of a plant or animal species has

genetic variability, and each individual plant or animal has slightly different
traits. Furthermore, each population, and the ecosystem as a whole, is constantly
changing, adapting to the changing environmental conditions and the conditions
imposed by the other populations and species in the system . Monoculture smooths out this
variability, destroying the diversity and replacing it with, at best, a single species, and
at worst (as is the norm in the U.S.), a single cultivar - rows and rows of
genetically identical crops, essentially cloned, reproduced through cuttings or genetically engineered seed
stock. Susceptibility to pests: The ecological landscape of monoculture is that there is a massive range of
genetically identical plants, against a backdrop of wild pests, which include
fungi, bacteria, insects, and numerous other organisms. These pests each have a
wild population with its own biodiversity, and their populations are
constantly changing and adapting to being able to eat the crops or benefit from the
presence of whatever crops are being grown. The monoculture crops, however, are not changing,
and are not able to adapt because they have no genetic variability and are not
allowed to reproduce naturally. Plant pests, weeds, also adapt, seeding into the fields of
crops, taking advantage of the extra sunlight, as most monoculture crops let through ample light and are not making full
use of the sun's energy. The only way to control pests in this setup is to expend ever-greater energy and resources on
chemical control, either through the spraying of pesticides, fungicides, or bactericides on crops, or through the genetic
engineering of crops to enable them to produce these chemicals themselves. But without the natural adaptation, pests

will eventually evolve to resist any of these defenses. The setup of monoculture is
inherently doomed, as it is working against the natural ways in which ecosystems work. It is completely
unsustainable in the long-run.

Monoculture use blocks small farmers from developing countries out of their
markets; turns their food security scenarios
Brenner, 12 (Alexander, 1/7/12, The Monopoly of Monocultures, Animal Technician at the Yale University
School of Medicine, JPL)
Why companies like DuPont (DD) and Archer Daniels Midland use monocultures, besides the enormous monetary gain, is
to focus resources in one specific venture in order to yield the highest results. Producing huge amounts of food is a product
plan with which it is hard to argue, until the world begins to understand that what is good for the farmer, ultimately helps
the most people. Shiva wants us to understand the claims giant agricultural companies make are

not based in fact. The world hunger they claim to cure is a result of their very
actions. The common person, the starving third world citizen, often loses
employment and indeed their livelihood when they cannot grow their own
produce or work on farms for reasonable wages. The fact that these companies produce food
gives them the blanket to hide under, free from mass public judgement because of the product they produce. People forget ,
in the pursuit of of what sustains us, who the sustenance is ultimately for. To the developing world, and unlike the greater
area of the western world, food is a focus, far apart from taste, and much more important. For the most of the

developing world the main concern is whether or not food can be obtained;
starvation is a real possibility. Focus must be preventing starvation and
malnourishment for the long term . To properly sustain the global
populations we must then focus on local production .
Monoculture use substantially decreases crop yields turns case
Georgetown TTH, 6/29 (Georgetown TTH, Megan Cahill, Anika Khan, Marie Smigthall, 6/29/12,
Agroterrorism: An Assault on Americas Breadbasket, The Triple Helix Online, JPL)
Cultivar mixtures demonstrate positive benefits in two key areas: disease

control and
overall yield. Studies show that on average, yield increase was found to be
10.1% in cultivar mixtures, compared to monoculture mixtures , in the presence of
stripe rust. In addition, a 2.5% increase occurred in the absence of any type of
disease.17 Under leaf rust conditions, cultivar mixtures with 2 components showed a 37%
disease reduction rate, while mixtures with 5 components produced a rate of
70%. Disease reduction due to mixing improved as the number of cultivars in the mixture increased. Ultimately, the
integration of cultivar mixtures into American farming will create a platform
for risk reduction.

Polyculture dramatically reduces energy consumption

James A. Dewar, 2007
[James A. Dewar is the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Long-Term Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND
Graduate School. For the past 25 years, Dewar's main research interests have been strategic planning,
planning methodologies, and policymaking under uncertainty,Rand Institute, Perennial Polyculture
Farming Seeds of Another Agricultural Revolution?,]

The impact of perennial polycultures on energy use would primarily be in

developed countries where food production now accounts for 17 percent
of all energy use (though only 2 to 5 percent is actually consumed on the farm), but it is worth
at least a brief mention here. Since the early 20th century, the amount of energy
required per hectare of corn production, for example, has increased over
tenfold.19 Of the energy used in the food production system, the large
amounts of energy that are used in operating heavy farming machinery
and in producing and transporting seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and
herbicides could be substantially saved by using perennial polycultures .
Fertilizers containing nitrogen are particularly fossil-fuel intensive. According to The Fertilizer
Institute, in the year from June 30, 2001, until June 30, 2002, the United States used 12,009,300 short

tons of nitrogen fertilizer.20 Using a nominal figure of 1.4 liters of diesel equivalent per kilogram of
nitrogen, this equates to the energy content of 96.2 million barrels of diesel fuel.

Vermicomposting will preserve the ecological balance

Rajendran et al. 08 Professor of Zoology @Vivekananda College [P. Rajendran, E. Jayakumar,
Sripathi Kandula & P. Gunasekaran Vermiculture and Vermicomposting Biotechnology for Organic Farming and
Rural Economic Development, Eco Web, February 2008, pg.
Sujatha et al. (2003) reported earthworm castings in the home garden often contains 5 to 11 times more Nitrogen,

Castings of earthworm also contain

abundant sources vitamins, antibiotics and enzymes such as proteases, amylases, lipases,
cellulases and chitinases. Vermicompost technology can provide employment to millions of youth, can
eliminate dependence on chemicals; can convert wastes into fertilizer; can bring
waste land under cultivation, can feed hungry citizen and can make a country
green and prosperous in a span of just a few years (Shewta et al., 2004). This technique
also helps to conserve the biodiversity, which is the need of the hour . Apart from providing
self-employment opportunities for the weaker section and profitable agricultural waste utilization it will also
help in maintaining the environmental/ecological balance.
Phosphorous and Potassium than the surrounding soil.

Global collapse triggers wars, spreads epidemics and destroys

Ehrlich & Ehrlich 13 Professor of Biology & Senior Research Scientist in Biology @ Stanford
University [Paul R. Ehrlich (President of the Center for Conservation Biology @ Stanford University) & Anne H.
Ehrlich, Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?, Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences,
Proc. R. Soc. B 2013 280, published online 9 January 2013

Virtually every past civilization has eventually undergone collapse , a loss of

socio-political-economic complexity usually accompanied by a dramatic decline
in population size

[1]. Some, such as those of Egypt and China, have recovered from collapses at

various stages; others, such as that of Easter Island or the Classic Maya, were apparently permanent [1,2]. All
those previous collapses were local or regional; elsewhere, other societies and civilizations persisted unaffected.

In many, if not most,

an ultimate cause

Sometimes, as in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, new civilizations rose in succession.

cases, overexploitation of the environment was

one proximate or

But today,

for the first time, humanitys global civilizationthe worldwide, increasingly

interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded is

threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. Humankind finds

itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as an act of suicide on a grand scale [4],
facing what the UKs Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a perfect storm of
environmental problems [5]. The most serious of these problems show signs of
rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption. But other elements could potentially
also contribute to a collapse: an accelerating extinction of animal and plant populations
and species, which could lead to a loss of ecosystem services essential for human
survival; land degradation and land-use change; a pole-to-pole spread of toxic compounds;
ocean acidification and eutrophication (dead zones); worsening of some aspects of the
epidemiological environment (factors that make human populations susceptible to
infectious diseases); depletion of increasingly scarce resources [6,7], including especially

groundwater, which is being overexploited in many key agricultural areas [8]; and resource wars [9].
These are not separate problems; rather they interact in two gigantic complex adaptive systems: the biosphere
system and the human socio-economic system. The negative manifestations of these interactions are often
referred to as the human predicament [10], and determining how to prevent it from generating a global collapse
is perhaps the foremost challenge confronting humanity.

The human predicament is driven by overpopulation, overconsumption of natural

resources and the use of unnecessarily environmentally damaging tech nologies and
socio-economic-political arrangements to service Homo sapiens aggregate consumption [1117]. How far the
human population size now is above the planets long-term carrying capacity is suggested (conservatively) by

ecological footprint analysis [1820]. It shows that to support todays population of

seven billion sustainably (i.e. with business as usual, including current technologies and standards of living)
would require roughly half an additional planet; to do so, if all citizens of Earth consumed
resources at the US level would take four to five more Earths . Adding the projected 2.5
billion more people by 2050 would make the human assault on civilizations life-support
systems disproportionately worse, because almost everywhere people face systems
with nonlinear responses [11,2123], in which environmental damage increases at
a rate that becomes faster with each additional person . Of course, the claim is often made
that humanity will expand Earths carrying capacity dramatically with technological innovation [24], but it is
widely recognized that technologies can both add and subtract from carrying capacity. The plough evidently first

careful analysis of the prospects does

not provide much confidence that technology will save us [25] or that gross domestic product
expanded it and now appears to be reducing it [3]. Overall,

can be disengaged from resource use [26]

2. Do current trends portend a collapse?
What is the likelihood of this set of interconnected predicaments [27] leading to a global collapse in this century?

a future global
collapse does not require a careful definition. It could be triggered by anything from a small nuclear
war, whose ecological effects could quickly end civilization [32], to a more gradual breakdown because
famines, epidemics and resource shortages cause a disintegration of central
There have been many definitions and much discussion of past collapses [1,3,2831], but

control within nations, in concert with disruptions of trade and conflicts over
increasingly scarce necessities. In either case, regardless of survivors or replacement
societies, the world familiar to anyone reading this study and the well-being of the vast majority
of people would disappear. pg. 1-2

Scarcity Coming - Oil

Julia Wright, Deputy Director of theCentre for Agroecology and Food Security at
Conventry University, 2009
(Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity Lessons from
Over the next few decades, nations will be experiencing fluctuations and
increasing scarcity of fossil fuel supplies, and this will affect food prices.
Alternative farming and food systems are required. Industrialized
countries in particular have been over-consuming fossil fuels by twothirds, and their agricultural sectors have contributed this with their
heavy dependence on cheap fossil energy for mechanization and as a
basis for agrochemical inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers. The
corresponding industrial food systems in which these farming systems are
embedded are similarly dependent on cheap fossil fuels for the everincreasing processing and movement of foodstuffs. The low fuel prices,
combined with the industrys avoidance of paying clean-up costs of environmental
pollution, have enabled the maintenance of low food prices (Vandermeer et al,
1993; Odum, 1994; Tansey and Worsley, 1995; Desai and Riddlestone, 2002;
Harrison, 2004). Alternative, organic agriculture shows to perform better on
a per hectare scale with respect to both direct energy consumption (fuel
and oil) and indirect consumption (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides)
(Scialabba and Hattam, 2002; Ziesemer, 2008). Many of the products of organic
farming are processed and marketed through the industrial food system, but their
prices are higher owing to their factoring-in of their impacts on the environment
(Pretty et al, 2000). Although research has long been under way into energy
alternatives, the agriculture and food sectors make little advance in developing
alternative systems as long as fuel prices remain low.
Julia Wright, Deputy Director of theCentre for Agroecology and Food Security at
Conventry University, 2009
(Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity Lessons from
Global consensus exists over the need for widespread change in order to deal with
peak oil as well as with climate change. It also exists over the need for widespread
change in the food system in order to achieve food security, and in the farming
system to become more sustainable. Yet although these issues have been on the
public radar for at least 40 years, the desired goals and pathways to reach them are
unclear, and relatively little has actually been achieved. Cuba is quite unique in its
mode of centralized governance, and some might argue that because of this it is

difficult to extrapolate from these experiences. Yet in almost every other part of the
world, decisions over resources connected to agriculture and the food supply chain
are highly centralized amongst a few corporations. The extent of real, conscious
choice available to both consumers and producers may be very similar. These
apparently different ideologies could in fact be stemming from the same paradigm,
and Finn (1998) suggests that centralization is a practice promoted by old socialism
as well as by competitive market-driven advocates, albeit that one is state-owned
and the other private. One feature of industrial farming and food systems is the
increasing levels of mechanization and homogenization. These systems, with their
long foodsupply chains, play a large role in current patterns of fossil fuel
consumption. By contrast, Cuba has to some extent been moving in the opposite
direction, towards more decentralized, human-scale and bioregional production and
consumption systems, with greater levels of autonomy, diversity and complexity. As
and when the predicted global fuel supply crisis fully materializes, Cubas example
provides lessons as to how it might be addressed. As Snyder, a US citizen reporting
back from Cuba, stated, Few if any advocates for sustainable agriculture in our own
country would wish to swap our government or economic circumstances with those
found in Cuba. But it sure doesnt hurt to see an example of how we might utilize
the principles of sustainability in the United States to avoid our own Special Period
in the future (Snyder, 2003). Cubas achievement in moving from a highly
vulnerable situation to one heading towards stability also stands in comparison with
the experiences of many low- and middle-income countries struggling with longterm food insecurity. In particular, Cubas example indicates that the Millennium
Development Goal of halving the number of food-insecure people by 2015 is not an
overly ambitious target, but is one that can be achieved by a firm political
commitment to prioritize basic food rights and a semi-regulatory market approach.
Non-socialist countries may not be immediately sympathetic with the measures that
Cuba had taken to ensure equity, such as the use of rations or of prioritizing
domestic markets, yet Cubas experience has shown these measures to be viable
and an arguably necessary means of assuring access to food for all during periods
of vulnerability. This, in the face of fossil fuel deficits, is perhaps the biggest lesson
that Cubas experience of the 1990s has for the rest of the world.
Julia Wright, Deputy Director of theCentre for Agroecology and Food Security at
Conventry University, 2009
(Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity Lessons from
The challenge of declining oil reserves is one of several to confront humanity in the
21st century. Be it shortages of oil, fresh water or food, ill-health, overpopulation or
environmental degradation, these challenges have long been evident and are
attributed to modernization and the ensuing disconnectedness between the
individual, society and the ecosystems within which we live. In the 21st century
more than ever, society is dependent on a range of relatively basic, manmade
technologies as a substitute for complex human faculties and natural processes.
Using the same economic and industrial structures and technologies that
contributed to these challenges, society attempts to address them yet only

succeeds in plugging the leaks. This business-as-usual approach is being

increasingly questioned, and alternatives provided that demonstrate how to
creatively operate an economy within the ecological parameters of the biosphere.
Amongst these alternatives, Cuba frequently features as an embodiment of the
vision aspired to. The inevitable decline in fossil fuels and transition to alternatives
Cuba has pre-empted what many industrial countries will experience. By their finite
nature, there is no debate over whether fossil fuels oil, gas and coal will run out,
but rather when this will occur, whether alternative energy supplies will meet the
ever-increasing demand, and how best to oversee such a transition. Hubbert, the
father of the peak oil concept, predicted that US oil production would peak
approximately 30 years after the peak of oil discovery (Hubbert, 1956). He was
proved to be correct (Deffeyes, 2006), and with the peak in global discovery
occurring in the 1970s, this would mean that the global reserves are, in the first
decade of the 21st century, nearing or already past their peak (Mobbs, 2005). In the
past few years, a plethora of books have been written on this subject.1 The majority
posit that many countries are now past their oil production peaks and are into the
second half of their supplies. According to Strahan (2007), There are currently 98
oil producing countries in the world, of which 64 are thought to have passed their
geologically imposed production peak, and of those 60 are in terminal production
decline. The rate of decline depends on improvements in extracting the more
complicated and costly heavy oils, deepwater oils, polar oils and liquids from gas
plants (Campbell, 2005), as well as on the rate of usage, which is linked to oil prices
and to the increasing demand from less-industrialized countries. Estimates of oil
reserves and improved extraction capacity produced by vested-interest groups,
such as oil companies and oil-producing countries, is conflicting, variable and
generally unreliable (Hopkins, 2006). Nevertheless, even the major oil companies
talk of supply continuing to match current levels of demand for between 20 and 40
years only (Bentley, 2002; Browne, 2005), and all agree on the inevitable transition
to alternatives. An analysis of ways to mitigate and manage the oil decline,
commissioned by the US Department of Energy, concluded that a response should
be initiated at least one decade in advance of the peaking (Hirsch et al, 2005).

Collapse Advantage

Cuban Collapse Coming

Cuban economic collapse coming from Venezuela oil cutoff
Keppel 3/16 (Stephen, ABC News, What Chvez's Death Means for Cuba,

Venezuela and the U.S.

Upon hearing news of the death of Hugo Chvez, scores of Venezuelans
gathered in cautious celebration in Doral, a South Florida community with the highest concentration of
Venezuelans outside Venezuela. They are hoping that Chvez's passing will bring about change in their homeland.

Others in the region were not as happy. Sure Chvez was politically influential in Latin
America, but in many ways his economic influence was even greater especially
with friendly countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia and a score of Caribbean nations that
benefited from Venezuela's oil-discount program, PetroCaribe. In the name of "economic
solidarity," Chvez was extremely generous with these friends, offering oil
at discounted rates and with flexible lending conditions. Nicaragua, for example, was
known to pay for Venezuelan oil with shipments of beef, sugar, coffee, milk and even 19,000 pairs of pants.
According to figures from the state-owned oil company PDVSA, in 2011 Venezuela sent 243,500 barrels of oil a day

the absence of Chvez

and the potential drawdown of economic support would have the biggest
impact on Cuba. That country receives more than 100,000 barrels of
discounted oil per day and billions of dollars each year in exchange for Cuban medical
personnel, technology experts, political consultants and other "professionals." That's because Chvez
had a special relationship with Cuba and the Castros. His relationships with other
presidents were also often very personal. That approach may be difficult to sustain in his
absence. Even if Nicolas Maduro, Chvez's chosen replacement, wins the upcoming election,
he will be more susceptible to domestic pressure to reduce Venezuela's
foreign aid, given all the economic challenges at home. The Cubans have bad
memories of the ending of Soviet patronage in the 1990s and are right to be
worried about what the death of Chvez may bring. Where will Cuba turn
this time if Venezuelan aid dries up? Maybe the United States. That doesn't mean the U.S.
(or around 8 percent of its production) to 16 countries across Latin America. Yet

government, however. Rather, Cuba would likely turn to the nearly two million Cubans living in this country. They
are already sending around $2 billion a year back to the island in remittances. Already, Raul Castro seems to have
been preparing to make the Cuban economy a little bit more flexible and open to investment, and the Obama

Which brings us to
Venezuela's financial situation. The truth is the economic state there has
been uncertain and chaotic ever since Chavez got sick, and that is unlikely
to change in the short term. There is supposed to be a new election, and it appears that Maduro
will win. But he will face a tough economic situation. Plus, he lacks the charisma
of Chvez and may not be able to maintain popularity if things get tougher.
administration has made it easier for Cubans in the U.S. to send money back home.

Oils key to Cubas economy

Benjamin-Alvadaro 10 (Jonathan, Report for the Cuban Research Institute,

Florida International University, PhD, Professor of Political Science at University of

Nebraska at Omaha, Director of the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic
Excellence Program at UNO, Treasurer of the American Political Science Association,
Cubas Energy Future: Strategic Approaches to Cooperation)
The power and hydrocarbon sectors are inextricably linked , as Cuba
produces about 85 percent of its power using liquid fuels, a very high

percentage compared with other countries.3 The total value of the energy
consumed in Cuba has been estimated at 14 percent of GDP , compared with a
world average of about 10 percent. In 2007, domestic production of crude oil accounted
for about 40 percent of total consumption and the rest was imported from
Venezuela. About 50 percent of the total supply of fuel oil is applied to
power generation and 50 percent for transportation and other uses; this is consistent
with the usage breakdown seen in other countries.

Collapse Coming
Cuban economic collapse coming Rauls reforms need more
time to take effect
Arturo Lopez-Levy, Lecturer in International Studies at Denver, 2011

(Change in Post-Fidel Cuba: Political Liberalization, Economic Reform and Lessons

for U.S. Policy,
Most of the changes proposed by Raul Castro have been debated within
Cuban politics debate for the last twenty years. But the V Congress of the PCC in
1997 was a victory of conservative and bureaucratic forces opposed to the
reforms13. As result of the stagnation that followed, significant segments
of the Cuban population questioned the governments willingness to
execute the most needed changes. After twenty years of government
announcements and delays; confidence in the leaderships commitment to
real reform is shaky. In light of this history, part of the population views the
government as oblivious to the costs of excessive gradualism or simply as
trying to buy time to remain in power as long as possible, without a clear
vision for the future or the will to take risks.
These three crises are embedded in a long revolutionary cycle that effects five generations of Cubans14 who grew
up under post-revolutionary rule. For a great number of Cubans on the island and in the Diasporas, the decisive
experiences of their lives are not connected to Fidel Castros triumph in 1959 but instead to the special period.
These last twenty years of economic hardship and scarcity have diminished the Cuban populations capacity for
major political mobilization. They have also concluded a transition from the Cuban revolutions more radical phase
to a Thermidor15, in which the post-revolutionary elite doesnt behave as revolutionary anymore. For them, the
business of revolution is now business.

The convergence of these three crises makes the current situation in Cuba
particularly fragile. While the government has innumerable possibilities as to
how it will bring change to Cuba, the one completely untenable choice
would be to maintain the status quo.

Ending Embargo Key to Reforms

Ending the embargo key to success of reforms
Phillip Peters, Vice President of the Lexington Institute, 11/2/ 2k
(A Policy toward Cuba That Serves U.S. Interests,
Washington should go beyond those measures to allow greater economic
engagement in Cuba. In addition to lifting the travel ban, sectors such as
agriculture, housing, and telecommunications should be freed of all embargorelated restrictions so that full trade and investment could take place . An
economic opening of this type would support the market-based sector
that has developed in Cubas economy in response to the limited economic
reforms in 1993 and 1994. Those reforms are slowly and quietly bringing
about an economic transition in Cubaa development that serves the U.S.
humanitarian interest in the well-being of the Cuban people, our interest in a
Cuba that is capable of functioning in a capitalist world, and our interest
in avoidance of economic misery that could provoke a migration crisis.

AT: Reforms Fails

Rauls reforms will preserve Cuban stability
Sergio Dickerson, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2010 (UNITED STATES
So why would the Obama Administration add the Cuban-relations conundrum to an
already ambitious first term in office replete with issues like the economic recession,
two wars, and health care reform? Perhaps one reason may be timing. Fidel
Castros succession by his brother Raul in 2006 implies after 47 years some
movement towards reforming Cubas repressive government is possible.
Even the 78-year-old Raul, reportedly not in the best health, his government
elite averaging above 70, implies a significant change in Cubas leadership
once his term ends in 2013. Perhaps goodwill overtures expressed by President
Obama will not be reciprocated while Fidel retains tremendous influence as the first
secretary of the Communist Party. Moving U.S.-Cuban relations in a new direction
requires building foreign relations that havent existed in 50 years. President
Obamas seemingly selfless overtures could represent a strategic message to
the Cuban government that is heard and perhaps receives traction when
Cubas leadership can pursue a course without Fidel Castros influence.

Reforms Key to the Economy

Reform failure will cause a Cuban civil war
Arturo Lopez-Levy, Lecturer in International Studies at Denver, 2011
(Change in Post-Fidel Cuba: Political Liberalization, Economic Reform and Lessons
for U.S. Policy,
Indeed, if Cubas economic reform fails and local revolts ensue, the most likely
outcome would be more a civil war such as that seen in Libya, with horrific acts of war,
resistance and violations of human rights throughout the country.
Nationalists who are concerned about the risk of political instability and
criticize the lack of a credible proposal by most Cuban opposition groups
should not be dismissed as opponents of democracy. The support for the
political opposition should not be a litmus test that determines whether
Washington will engage in cooperative dialogue with actors in Cuba .

Collapse Terrorism
Caribbean instability causes bioterrorism
Bryan 1 (Anthony T., Director of the Caribbean Program North/South Center, and
Stephen E. Flynn, Senior Fellow Council on Foreign Relations, Terrorism, Porous
Borders, and Homeland Security: The Case for U.S.-Caribbean Cooperation, 10-21, _homeland_
Terrorist acts can take place anywhere. The Caribbean is no exception. Already the linkages between drug
trafficking and terrorism are clear in countries like Colombia and Peru, and such connections have
similar potential in the Caribbean . The security of major industrial complexes in some
Caribbean countries is vital. Petroleum refineries and major industrial estates in Trinidad, which host
more than 100 companies that produce the majority of the worlds methanol, ammonium sulphate, and 40
percent of U.S. imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), are vulnerable targets. Unfortunately, as
experience has shown in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, terrorists are likely to strike at U.S.
and European interests in Caribbean countries . Security issues become even more
critical when one considers the possible use of Caribbean countries by terrorists as
bases from which to attack the U nited S tates. An airliner hijacked after departure from an airport
in the northern Caribbean or the Bahamas can be flying over South Florida in less than an hour. Terrorists can
sabotage or seize control of a cruise ship after the vessel leaves a Caribbean port. Moreover, terrorists with false
passports and visas issued in the Caribbean may be able to move easily through passport controls in Canada or the
United States. (To help counter this possibility, some countries have suspended "economic citizenship" programs to
ensure that known terrorists have not been inadvertently granted such citizenship.) Again,

countries are



as anywhere else

and deployment of biological weapons


to the clandestine manufacture

within national borders.

Cuban collapse overstretches US forces undermines global

war on terror
Michael Rose, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2002

Solely based on Cuba's proximity to the U.S. and its large population, the
problems in
Cuba could be significant. The north coast of Cuba is only 90 miles south of Key
West, Florida. The nation's population is (11 million) and Cuba is the largest country
in the Caribbean. The coming crisis in Cuba is not something the U.S. government
can ignore and hope it goes away. U.S. security and foreign policy considerations
coupled with domestic considerations will cause the U.S. government to face the
"Cuba Problem" sooner or later. And the sooner the U.S. government implements
policies to shape the environment after Castro's departure the less severe the crisis
will be when this inevitable event occurs. A crisis in Cuba and the resulting
requirement for military forces could put the current war against "terrorism
with a global reach" at risk. Due to the down sizing of the U.S. Armed
Forces it is highly unlikely we could control complete chaos in Cuba and
still have sufficient forces to continue a robust war on global terrorism.
Additionally the emergence of a "failed state" only 90 miles from the U.S.
could provide international terrorist with a staging base in close proximity

to the U.S. The U.S. government could not allow this for long and would be forced to
take strong action. This is not only a U.S. problem, the chaos created by a
cataclysmic end of the Castro regime could have repercussions throughout the
Caribbean and Latin America. Cuban migrations, arms smuggling, and
narcotrafficking would hit the less developed and fragile democracies of the region
especially hard.

Cuba has Bioweapons

Cuba possesses bioweapons it can use at any moment can
retaliate against USA for missteps
Robles 07 (Miami Herald, Ex-insider: Cuba has bioweapons, Feb 28 2007, Robles
is news reporter, and Miami Herald is a newspaper in Miami,

The former chief of Cuba's military medical services is calling for international
weapons inspections of a secret underground lab near Havana, where he says the
government is creating biological warfare agents like the plague, botulism and
yellow fever. Roberto Ortega, a former army colonel who ran the military's medical
services from 1984 to 1994, defected in 2003 and now lives in South Florida. After
living here quietly for four years, this week Ortega went on the Spanish-language
media circuit to denounce what he claims is an advanced offensive biological
warfare weapons program. He spoke Tuesday night at the University of Miami's
Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies where one angry heckler stormed
out accusing him of deliberately sowing fear among Cuban exiles. ''They can
develop viruses and bacteria and dangerous sicknesses that are currently unknown
and difficult to diagnose,'' Ortega told The Miami Herald. ``They don't need missiles
or troops. They need four agents, like the people from al Qaeda or the Taliban, who
contaminate water, air conditioning or heating systems.'' He said Cuba was ready to
use the biological agents ''to blackmail the United States in case of an international
incident'' such as the threat of a U.S. invasion. The Cuban government has denied
such programs exist, but if Ortega's allegations are true Washington could face the
prospect of an enemy nation 90 miles away with the capability of launching germ
attacks. UNDERGROUND LAB Ortega said he told the CIA nearly two years ago
about an underground Cuban facility southwest of Havana. The maximum security
lab dubbed ''Labor One'' has an above-ground civilian cover and employs dozens of
scientists, he said. But in the underground facility, scientists reproduced and
stockpiled deadly germs and bacterias collected in Africa, he added. He visited the
lab in 1992 when he accompanied a high-level Russian military delegation, he said.
''I saw it,'' Ortega said. ``I lived it.'' Ortega is believed to be the first defector with
details of such an alleged biological warfare facility, said University of Miami
professor Manuel Cereijo, who studies Cuba's biotechnology and terrorism issues.
Ortega said he has come forward now because he did not see the CIA taking public
action on his information. The CIA and the U.S. State Department declined to
comment. ''He talks about a place I never heard about,'' Cereijo said. ``There are
many other places where there exists the capacity to develop bioweapons. That
doesn't mean they are doing that. Only a person like him would know.'' ADVANCES
KNOWN Cuba's advanced biotechnology industry is well-known, having produced
vaccines for hepatitis and meningitis B and exported them to dozens of countries
around the world. In 2002, John Bolton, then a top U.S. State Department official for
arms control, said Cuba ``has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research
and development effort.'' In a report last year, the State Department acknowledged
analysts were divided on the issue of whether Cuba has such a program. Experts
also argue that the U.S. government is unlikely to have high-level spies in Cuba
feeding it

information on what must be, if it exists, a highly secret program.

Cuba has the tech to make bioweapons

CBS News 2009 (A leading news and media company. February 11, 2009. U.S.:

Cuba has Biological Weapons.)

The Bush administration said Monday it believes Cuba "has at least a limited
offensive biological warfare" program and may be transferring its expertise to other
countries hostile to the United States. "We are concerned that such technology
could support biological warfare programs in those states," said Undersecretary of
State John Bolton. Bolton did not identify these nations but noted that Cuban
President Fidel Castro visited Iraq, Syria and Libya last year, all of which, like Cuba,
are on the State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism. Bolton said all are
attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction. Bolton, the State Department's
top nonproliferation official, called on Cuba to cease transfers of biological weapons
technology to "rogue states and to fully comply with all of its obligations under the
Biological Weapons Convention." His remarks were prepared for delivery to the
Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group. Bolton said that despite Cuba's
membership on the terrorism list, that nation's threat to American security has been
underplayed. "For four decades Cuba has maintained a well-developed and
sophisticated biomedical industry, supported until 1990 by the Soviet Union," Bolton
said. "This industry is one of the most advanced in Latin America, and leads in the
production of pharmaceuticals and vaccines that are sold worldwide. Analysts and
Cuban defectors have long cast suspicion on the activities conducted in these
biomedical facilities," he said.

Cuba shared bioweapon capabilities with rogue states

CNN World 2002 (Leading news and media company. May 6, 2002. U.S.: Cuba

sharing bioweapons technology.) cuba.weapons/ "Cuba has
provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states. We are concerned that such
technology could support BW [biological warfare] programs in those states," said
John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, in an advance copy of a
speech that CNN obtained. "We call on Cuba to cease all BW-applicable cooperation
with rogue states and to fully comply with all of its obligations under the Biological
Weapons Convention," Bolton told the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based,
conservative think tank. "Beyond the axis of evil, there are other rogue states intent
on acquiring weapons of mass destruction -- particularly biological weapons," he
said. In his January State of the Union address, President Bush referred to Iraq, Iran
and North Korea as part of an "axis of evil" -- countries he said were supporting
terrorism. Cuba, Libya and Syria are pursuing or have the potential to pursue
weapons of mass destruction in violation of treaty obligations, Bolton warned.

AT: Bioterror Defense

Bioterr is a continuing threat
Mike Walter, manager for House Committee on Energy and Commerce, 6/18/ 13
[Written testimony of OHA BioWatch Program Manager Dr. Mike Walter for a House
Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and
Investigations hearing titled Continuing Concerns Over BioWatch and the
Surveillance of Bioterrorism, Homeland Security,]
Chairman Murphy, Ranking Member DeGette, and distinguished members of the
Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. I appreciate the
opportunity to testify on the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) BioWatch Program and
Im honored to testify alongside my distinguished colleague from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Toby Merlin. Bioterrorism remains a
continuing threat to the security of our nation. A biological attack could impact any
sector of our society and place enormous burdens on our nations public health,
with a rippling effect on critical infrastructure. Biological attacks are particularly
challenging because they can be difficult to detect. Detecting a biological attack as
soon as it occurs and identifying the biological agent helps save lives. The early
detection, planning, preparedness, exercising and training capabilities provided by
the BioWatch Program are essential parts of a biodefense posture. Early detection is
critical to the successful treatment of affected populations and provides public
health decision makers more time and thereby more options in responding to,
mitigating, and recovering from a bioterrorist event. If a bioagent is detected and
assessed to be the result of an act of bioterrorism and/or a threat to public health,
prophylactic treatment can be started prior to the widespread onset of symptoms
resulting in more lives saved.

The availability of bioweapons to terrorists keeps the

probability of an attack high and the US cant do anything to
prevent one
The Aspen Homeland Security Group 2012 (The Homeland Security
Program works to heighten public awareness as to the nation's continued
vulnerability to terrorism, WMD Terrorism An Update on the Recommendations of
the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and
Terrorism 11/15/2012, AHSG%20WMD
%20Paper%2011.15.12.pdf) The AWG recognizes that the bio-threat remains
undiminished: Al Qaeda s efforts to develop an anthrax weapon were unsuccessful,
but neither is there evidence that the organizations bio - weapon s ambitions have
diminished. Ayman al Zawahiri, who led the biological program, is currently head of
al Qaeda. The threat of bioterrorism is not limited to any particular nation or
terrorist organization. Thus, the elimination of any regime or terrorist or ganization
will not eliminate the threat. The risk of bioterrorism is a function of intent,
capability, and vulnerability. The procedures and equipment required to develop

bioweapons are dual-use and readily available . The availability of pathogens for
use as bioweapons is ubiquitous, as effectively demonstrated in a recent study. 3
The US government has limited ability to reduce intent of hostile actors and virtually
no ability to reduce the capability of our enemies to produce such weapons. Th
erefore, our primary defense is the ability to respond. In its final report, the WMD
Commission concluded that the best strategy for biodefense was improving the
ability to respond. Rapid detection and diagnosis, adequate supplies of medical
countermeasur es and the means to rapidly dispense the m, and surge medical
capacity are among the critical elements required for effective response. While
bioattacks cannot be entirely prevented, proper response can prevent an attack
from becoming a catastrophe. The long - range strategy is to develop protective and
response capabilities that would minimize the effect of a bioattack and thus remove
bioweapons from the category of WMD.

Collapse Disease
Cuban collapse ensures mass outbreaks and spread
Sergio Dickerson, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2010 (UNITED STATES
Lets begin by asking this question: can we afford to escort commerce through
Caribbean waters from Cuban pirates? This sounds as farfetched as an attack from
an Afghan-based Al-Qaida using commercial airliners to destroy the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon. This scenario while unexpected is completely contrary to
our policy objectives in Cuba. The greater possibility that something unfavorable
happens in Cuba that threatens U.S. national interests is certainly more relevant.
Although Cuba poses no traditional threats to the U.S., geographically, their 90-mile
proximity should concern us. Our proximity to Cuba assures U.S. involvement,
be it voluntary or involuntary, in a major crisis. Consider a disease outbreak
that begins in Cuba over a break down in hygiene , government pollution
or other misfortune attributable to economic strife. The disease has no
boundaries and quickly reaches the Florida shores via travelling Cuban
American citizens. This scenario could be mitigated or even preventable
under the auspices of better relations. Aside from the obvious medical
benefits a partnership provides, established communications with Cuba
would likely prevent an uncontrolled spread in the U.S . There are definite
advantages to having healthy regional partnerships to deal with regional problems.

Disease Impact
Disease spread causes extinction
Keating 9 (Joshua Foreign Policy Web Editor, The End of the World, 11-13, the_end_of_the_world?page=full)
The End of The World How it could happen: Throughout history, plagues have
brought civilizations to their knees. The Black Death killed more off more than half
of Europe's population in the Middle Ages. In 1918, a flu pandemic killed an
estimated 50 million people, nearly 3 percent of the world's population, a far
greater impact than the just-concluded World War I. Because of globalization,
diseases today spread even faster - witness the rapid worldwide spread of H1N1
currently unfolding. A global outbreak of a disease such as ebola virus -- which has
had a 90 percent fatality rate during its flare-ups in rural Africa -- or a mutated drugresistant form of the flu virus on a global scale could have a devastating, even
civilization-ending impact.How likely is it? Treatment of deadly diseases has
improved since 1918, but so have the diseases. Modern industrial farming
techniques have been blamed for the outbreak of diseases, such as swine flu, and
as the worlds population grows and humans move into previously unoccupied
areas, the risk of exposure to previously unknown pathogens increases. More than
40 new viruses have emerged since the 1970s, including ebola and HIV. Biological
weapons experimentation has added a new and just as troubling complication.

Collapse US Intervention
The US will militarily intervene in a Cuban crisis
Bernard Aronson, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs,
2001 (U.S.-Cuban Relations in the 21st Century: A Follow-On Chairmans Report,
There are many possible future scenarios that could lead to pressures for the United
States to intervene militarily. Thousands of Cubans might seek to flee the island and
a successor regime might use force to try to stop them. Also, civil unrest could
break out for a variety of reasons, and one branch of the armed forces might be
reluctant to use violence against its citizens. If, under any of the above scenarios,
thousands of Cubans set out in rafts and makeshift vessels for the United States,
their relatives and friends in Florida would likely head to sea to rescue them, as
occurred in the Mariel Harbor boatlift of 1980. Fighting on the island could also
break out and involve U.S.-based Cuban citizens or Cuban Americans who would
find it difficult to stand by while their relatives were under attack or they perceived
their homeland might be liberated. We hope none of these scenarios unfolds, but
policymakers must be prepared for the worst case and not merely hope that such
developments will not occur on their watch.

Collapse Refugees
Cuban collapse causes a wave of refugees
Sergio Dickerson, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2010 (UNITED STATES
While dismissing Cubas immediate security threat to the U.S., we cannot ignore
their 90-mile proximity to the U.S. shore. As we struggle to contain the illegal
Mexican exodus into the U.S. and all the security concerns it poses, we neglect to
see the historical similarities in past encounters with the Cuban government that
led to similar incursions. So if we critically reexamine the current U.S. Cuba
embargo, why does the U.S. believe it will only lead to Cuban democratization?
What about government collapse? A Cuban government collapse akin to
Somalia could create a significant refugee situation not to mention an
implied U.S. responsibility to provide humanitarian and even stability
operations in Cuba. If catastrophe does occur, a search for causes would
certainly lead back to our punitive approaches to U.S. diplomacy towards

Economic collapse causes a Cuban failed state and refugee

Sergio Dickerson, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2010 (UNITED STATES


While economic pressure has failed to bring about government change, it
could trigger a government collapse . If Cuba becomes a failing or
failed state we could see a huge refugee flood into the U.S., increased
crime and drug trafficking across U.S. borders, and renewed security and
stability issue in the region. In 1980, 120,000 Cuban refugees fled Mariel and
20,000 more in 1994 after Cuba declared an open immigration policy. From 2004
2007, 131,000 Cubans have made residence in the U.S. Almost 38,000 settled in
Florida alone in 2006. Although its mere speculation to presume Cuba will fail, if it
did, there is no question where Cubans would seek refuge. A failed state could
eventually draw U.S. involvement into nation building in Cuba taking a
greater toll on our national resources. This scenario, while unexpected, is
completely contrary to our policy objectives in Cuba. Current U.S. policy is no
longer a sustainable option to achieving our national interests in Cuba.
Until realignment can bring national policy back in line with national
interests, conditions will not exist for real change in U.S. Cuba relations.

Influence Advantage

Engagement Credibility

Embargo key to Credibility

Removing the embargo key to Obama leadership and
multilateral credibility
Sergio Dickerson, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2010 (UNITED STATES


At the international political level, President Obama sees resuming relations
with Cuba as a real step towards multilateralism and leadership. U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the following statement about then Presidentelect Barrack Obamas national election. He spoke about a new era of global
partnershipI am confident that we can look forward to an era of renewed
partnership and a new multilateralism To highlight this point further, U.N. nations
have voted overwhelmingly since 1992 to overturn the Cuban Embargo. In
2007, 184 nations voted against the embargo - a powerful statement
about U.S. unilateralism with regards to Cuba. The argument can also be
made that the U.S. has foreign relations with China, Saudi Arabia and other nondemocratic governments while applying a different standard towards Cuba. With
growing perception that Cuba no longer poses a credible threat to the
U.S., it appears that U.S. policy has changed from coercive to punitive
following the end of the Cold War. With a renewed focus on
multilateralism, President Obama could go a long way to break this image
by spreading the seeds of a new beginning in U.S.-Cuba relations.

The embargo undermines soft power

Lance Koenig, Colonel in the US Army, 11/3/10

(Time for a new Cuba Policy,

Internationally, the world is nearly unanimous in its opposition to the
United States policy towards Cuba. In fact, on 28 October 2009, the United
Nations General Assembly voted on a non-binding resolution to lift the
embargo with 187 votes in favor of the resolution, three votes against (the
United States, Israel, and Palau) and two abstentions (Federated States of
Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands). The nearly universal unpopularity of this
policy takes away from the soft power of the United States and is an
obstacle to the bilateral relations between the United States and
numerous other nations.

The embargo undermines relations with all our allies

Simon Tisdall, Assistant editor and foreign affairs columnist of the Guardian,
4/18/13 (Time for U.S. and Cuba to kiss and make up,
The stand-off over Cuba is an obstacle to advancing U.S. interests and
business in Latin American countries, and vice versa. The continuation of the
embargo has left the U.S. almost totally isolated at the United Nations,
and at sharp odds with its major allies, including Britain and the EU.

Cuban Embargo destroys U.S. international image Cuban

diplomats shame their rich neighbor
Schittecatte, 09 (Catherine, professor in Political Science and
Global Studies at Vancouver Island University, CUBA: THE


Within such an ideational context, stubborn American attempts at isolating
Cuba and the U.S. renewed vigor at undermining the Castro regime through
the economic embargo after the fall of the Soviet Union have backfired. In the
international community as in interpersonal relations, the wealthy and
powerful who tries to further undermine a challenged, weak and already
downtrodden people is not well looked-upon. The suffering imposed on
Cubans in spite of their heroic efforts to maintain social justice and basic
needs during the special period of the 1990s has isolated the U.S. Here
Cuban diplomats have judiciously used the United Nations to shame their
rich neighbour. Starting in 1992 Cuba has repeatedly presented a
resolution condemning the U.S. economic embargo of the island. Support
for this resolution has grown from 117 in 1995, to 185 with three opposed,
and two abstentions in October 2008. There is no doubt that such
condemnation of U.S. actions does not help its image in the Western

Cuba is the focal point of international perception symbolic

and historical ties
Naim 09 (Moises, Senior Associate in the International Economics Program at the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace, The Havana Obsession, Why all eyes are on a bankrupt island,

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush recently had a face-to-face debatein Canada to
discuss current affairs. The only Latin American nation mentioned in their
conversation? Cuba. In April the heads of state of the Americas met in Trinidad.
The central theme? Cubathe only country not invited to the summit. Last
week the Organization of American States (OAS) had a summit in Honduras.
What thorny problem dominated the discussions of the foreign-affairs ministers,
including Hillary Clinton, who had to divert her attention from the North
Korean nuclear test and the crises in the Middle East, Afghanistan and
Pakistan to travel to the summit of the OAS? Cuba, of course. A few months ago, the
Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, convened a meeting to discuss the situation in Cuba. The room was
overflowing. A few days later it held a far-less-attended meeting. The subject? Brazil.

Cuba is not exclusively American. It is as intense in Europe .

The obsession with

It would be natural to conclude,

therefore, that no other Latin American country matters more to the rest of the hemisphere, or indeed to the rest of
the world, than Cuba. Unless, of course, one looks at a mapor at some statistics. Brazil occupies almost half of
South America's land mass and is the fifth largest country in the world. Its territory is nearly 80 times larger than
that of Cuba. More people live in just one Brazilian city, So Paolo, than in all of Cuba. Brazil's economy is the ninth
largest in the world and one of the most dynamicit is also 31 times larger than that of Cuba. Trade between Brazil
and the rest of the world is 25 times that of Cuba. There are 10 times as many Brazilians in the military as there are
Cubans in the island's armed forces. In global negotiations on the environment, trade, nuclear proliferation,

Why the Cuba obsession,

then? Why is more attention given to this bankrupt Caribbean island than to a
continental giant and global player like Brazil? The usual explanation is that
Cuba has a unique symbolic allure . It is the small country that confronted the U.S.
empire and has survived despite the attempts by all U.S. presidents since to
subdue its communist government. It is the island with iconic leaders like Fidel
Castro and Che Guevara, and the Latin American country that in the
language of revolutionaries everywhere embodies the struggle of socialist
humanism against the materialism of capitalist societies. Cuba is also the
small nation that in the past sent its troops to die in faraway lands in Latin
America and even Africa fighting for the poor (and to further the interests of
the Kremlin, but that's another story). And it is also the country whose
progress in health care and education for the majority became the stuff of legend. It
is the small country that the United States has unsuccessfully tried to isolate for
decades through a variety of means including an absurd and useless
embargo that hurts the United States more than Cuba. The embargo is the
perfect example used by anti-Americans everywhere to expose the hypocrisy of a
superpower that punishes a small island while cozying to dictators elsewhere. But
Cuba is not just the David that stands against Goliath . Unfortunately, it is also a country
financial regulation, energy and poverty alleviation, Brazil is a major player.

where people are willing to risk their lives and take to the sea in rickety rafts to escape from material
deprivation, brutal repression and political suffocation. It is a country whose economy cannot survive
without the handouts from its allies and where food shortages and hunger are common. It is also the country where,
for more than half a century, power has been in the hands of the same family.

Lifting the embargo would substantially improve relations

throughout the world and spur the economy
Trani 6/23 (Eugene, permanent member Council on Foreign Relations, President and University
Distinguished Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Graduate of the University of Notre
Dame, 6/23/13, Trani: End the embargo on Cuba,

The Soviet support of Cuba lasted right up to the disintegration of the Soviet Union
in 1991. That event shattered the economy of Cuba and many hoped would lead to
normal diplomatic and economic relations between the United States and Cuba. But
22 years later, normal relations are still not in the cards. In fact, with the passage of
the Cuban Democracy Act (the Torricelli Law) in 1992 and the Cuban Liberty and
Democracy Solidarity Act (the Helms-Burton Act) of 1996, relations have become
even more difficult. The result is a patchwork of policies that appear to contradict one another and do not
seem to be a sensible and rational policy for the United States to follow. On the one hand, more than 200,000
Americans are now visiting Cuba on American Treasury Department-approved licenses annually. The sight of
American Airlines planes dropping off and picking up American citizens at the Jos Mart International Airport in
Havana seems at best surprising. My trip, conducted by Insight Cuba, was one such officially approved trip. Further,
there are now more than $2 billion of remittances sent by Americans to their Cuban relatives annually. So there are

At the same time, there are many

significant problems that tend to hurt the Cuban people most at risk in economic
terms. The visit of a cruise ship to a Cuban port results in that ship being unable, no matter which flag registry
the ship has, to dock in the United States for six months. This policy really hurts the Cuban tourist
economy, which could greatly improve employment and job creation across Cuba . If
some points of progress in overall Cuban-American relations.

Cuban materials are used in the construction of cars (more than 4% nickel for example), these cars cannot be sold
in the United States, a policy which works against the rise of an automobile-based manufacturing segment of the
Cuban economy. The American embargo has had, therefore, very significant impact on different parts of the
economy in Cuba. In fact, such varied political leaders as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; George P. Shultz, former
Republican secretary of state; and the late former Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern, have

Even polls
of Americans show a majority in favor of an end to the embargo and re-establishing
of normal relations between the countries. My own trip to Cuba reinforced the call for such actions.
called for the embargo to be lifted and relations to be renewed between Cuba and the United States.

We spent four days visiting with many different kinds of groups in Havana, community projects, senior citizens, a
health clinic, youth programs, artist and recording facilities, musical ensembles, historic sites such as Revolution
Square and the Ernest Hemingway house and an environmental training facility, and not once did we hear anger
toward the United States or the American people. What we heard was puzzlement about the embargo and strong
feelings that it was hurting the people of Cuba. In fact, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the absolute poverty
rate has increased significantly in Cuba. It was also evident that there is visible decline in major infrastructure areas

Today, there seem to be both humanitarian and economic factors,

particularly with the significant growth of the non-governmental section of the
economy that could factor in a change in American policy. There is also a major
diplomatic factor in that no other major country , including our allies, follows our
policy. What a positive statement for American foreign policy in Latin America and
throughout the world it would be for the United States to end its embargo and
establish normal diplomatic relations with Cuba. We would be taking both a humanitarian course
of action and making a smart diplomatic gesture. The time is right and all our policy makers need
is courage to bring about this change.
such as housing.

Iran Impact
Iranian proliferation escalates to global nuclear conflict
Kroenig and McNally 13 Matthew, assistant professor and international
relations field chair in the department of government at Georgetown University,
Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Robert,
served as Senior Director for International Energy at the U.S. National Security
Council and Special Assistant to the President at the U.S. National Economic Council,
March 2013 (Matthew and Robert, Iranian Nukes and Global Oil, The American
Interest, Vol. 8, No. 4.)
But the impact of sanctions on future Iranian production pales in comparison to the other geo-economic
implications of nuclear weapons in Iran.

A nuclear Iran will likely increase the frequency

and scope of geopolitical conflict

in the Persian Gulf and the broader Middle East. While policy

analysts continue to debate how to deal with Irans nuclear program, most agree a nuclear-armed Iran would have
grave repercussions for the region. In March 2012 President Obama stated that U.S. policy was to preventnot
containa nuclear-armed Iran, and he explained why: The risks of an Iranian nuclear weapon falling into the

other players in the region

would feel it necessary to get their own nuclear weapons. So now you have
the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the
hands of terrorist organizations are profound. It is almost certain that

world , one that is rife with unstable governments and sectarian tensions. And it would also provide Iran the
additional capability to sponsor and protect its proxies in carrying out terrorist attacks, because they are less fearful

Iran harbors ambitious geopolitical

goals. After national survival, Irans primary objective is to become the most
dominant state in the Middle East. In terms of international relations theory, Iran is a revisionist
of retaliation.10 President Obamas fears are well-founded.

power. Its master national-historical narrative holds that Iran is a glorious nation with a storied past, and that it has

Like pre-World War I Germany and China

today, it is determined to reclaim its place in the sun. Currently, Iran
restrains its hegemonic ambitions because it is wary of U.S. or Israeli military
responsesparticularly the former. But if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, its adversaries would be forced to
been cheated out of its rightful place as a leading nation:

treat it with deference if not kid gloves, even in the face of provocative acts. Iran would achieve a degree of
inverted deterrence against stronger states by inherently raising the stakes of any military conflict against it to
the nuclear level.11 As such, nuclear weapons would provide Iran with a cover under which to implement its
regional ambitions with diminished fear of a U.S. military reprisal. A nuclear-armed Iran would likely step up its
support for terrorist and proxy groups attacking Israeli, Saudi and U.S. interests in the greater Middle East and
around the world; increase the harassment of and attacks against naval and commercial vessels in and near the

brandishing nuclear
weapons in an attempt to intimidate adversaries and harmless, weaker neighbors alike.
In short, a nuclear-armed Iran would exacerbate current conflicts in the
Middle East, and this likely bears jarring consequences for global oil prices. Because of the heightened threat
Persian Gulf; and be more aggressive in its coercive diplomacy, possibly

to global oil supply that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose, market participants would certainly add a large risk
premium to oil prices. Oil prices reflect perceived risk in addition to information on actual events or conditions in
the market. Recent history shows that even without nuclear weapons, Iran-related events in the Middle East have
affected oil prices on fears they could spark a regional war. Traders bid up oil prices in January 2006 when the IAEA
referred Iran to the UN Security Council. In subsequent months, news reports about heated Iranian rhetoric and
military exercises helped to drive crude prices up further. The surprise outbreak of the Israel-Hizballah war in 2006,
not entirely unrelated to concerns about Iran, triggered a $4 per barrel spike on contagion fears. The Iran risk
premium subsided after 2007, but a roughly $10$15 per barrel (10 percent) risk premium returned in early 2012
after the United States and the European Union put in place unusually tough sanctions and hawkish rhetoric on both
sides heated up. A survey of nearly two dozen traders and analysts conducted by the Rapidan Group found that a
protracted conventional conflict between the United States and Iran that resulted in a three-week closure of
shipping through the Strait of Hormuz would lead to a $25 per barrel rise in oil prices, despite the use of strategic
petroleum reserves.12 Were Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons, the risk premium would greatly exceed the $4$15
per barrel (roughly 415 percent at current prices) already caused by a non-nuclear Iran.13 We expect a belligerent,
nuclear-armed Iran would likely embed a risk premium of at least $20$30 per barrel and spikes of $30$100 per
barrel in the event of actual conflict. Such price increases would be extremely harmful to economic growth and

employment. The challenges a nuclear-armed Iran would pose for the oil market are exacerbated by a prospective
diminished U.S. ability to act as guarantor of stability in the Gulf. U.S. military presence and intervention has been
critical to resolving past threats or geopolitical crises in the region. It has also calmed oil markets in the past.
Examples include escorting oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq War, the destruction of much of Irans surface fleet in
response to Irans mining the Gulf in 1988 and leading a coalition to repel Saddam Husseins short-lived invasion of
Kuwait in August 1990. Currently, the United States can use and threaten to use force against Iran without fear that
Iran will retaliate with nuclear weapons. When Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in the past, for
example, the United States has announced that it would reopen the Strait if Iran went through with it, confident that
the U.S. military could quickly prevail in any conventional conflict with Iran while running very little risk of

If Iran had nuclear weapons, however, U.S. military options would be constrained by
Iranian threats
to use devastatingly deadly force against U.S. allies, bases or forces in the
region. Such threats might not be entirely credible since the U.S. military would control any imaginable
escalation ladder up to and including the nuclear threshold, but it wouldnt be entirely incredible,
either, given the risk of accident or inadvertent nuclear use in a high-stakes
crisis. If, further, Iran develops ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United Statesand the annual report of
the U.S. Department of Defense estimates this could happen as soon as 2015 Iran could also threaten

inverted deterrence. U.S. threats to use force to reopen the Strait could be countered by

nuclear strikes against the U.S. homeland in retaliation for the use of
conventional forces in the region. Any U.S. President would have to think long and hard about
using force against Iran if it entailed a risk of nuclear war, even a nuclear war that the United States would win.

Most worrisome, an unstable, poly-nuclear Middle East will mean that nuclear weapons will
be ever-present factors in most, if not all, future regional conflicts. As President Obama noted in the remarks
excerpted above, if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and other states might follow suit.
Nuclear weapons in these states would further complicate the nuclear balance in the region and potentially

extend the boundaries of any nuclear exchange . Even if Irans leaders are
less reckless and suicidal than their rhetoric would suggest, international
politics, crises and miscalculation do not end when countries acquire
nuclear weapons. Nuclear powers still challenge nuclear-armed adversaries. As the early decades of the
Cold War remind us, nuclear-armed states do sometimes resort to nuclear brinkmanship that can lead to high-

We were lucky to survive the Cold War without suffering

a massive nuclear exchange; President Kennedy estimated that the probability of nuclear war in the
stakes nuclear standoffs.

Cuban Missile Crisis alone was as high as 50 percent.14 The reference to the early days of the Cold War is not

Nearly all of the conditions that helped us avoid nuclear

war during the latter half of the Cold War are absent from the Iran-IsraelU.S. nuclear balance. Then, there were only two players, both with secure,
second-strike capabilities and strategic depth; relatively long flight times for
ballistic missiles between states, enabling all sides to eschew launch-onwarning postures; clear lines of communication between capitals ; and more. In
a high-stakes nuclear crisis with Iran and its adversaries, there is a real risk that
things could spiral out of control and result in nuclear war .
merely decorative here.

Soft Power Impact

Reversing hypocritical economic policies bolsters soft power
Its essential to prevent global conflicts, terrorism, cyber
attacks & prolif.
Sydney Outzen, Feb. 20, 13, Hard Decisions for the Future of Soft Power,,
If the current administration is going to lean heavily on soft power, then it
must align United States rhetoric with its actions to increase its ability to
leverage and stabilize conflicts. The consequent increase in soft power is
one method to tighten national security without risking precious blood
and treasure. Engagement through the last decade has been characterized by a trend in forgoing traditional justice in
favor of techniques some call torture as well as assassinations carried out by robotic technology. Although useful at times, leaders
must limit the use of this technology and other methods in consideration of the often underestimated casualty of regional public
opinion or moral high ground. Preserving goodwill is crucial to achieving our diplomatic aims and preventing the establishment of
terror groups. Additionally, increased use of powerful technology sparks competition, a primary concern in current non-proliferation
negotiations. One need look no further than the announcements of nuclear weapons testing from North Korea and Iran for evidence
of challenges to US power and attempts to model its might. As the United States limits its supporting role in conflicts within its
interests, the world will increasingly identify the US with the few actions it does carry out, namely those that literally strike closest to
home. Policymakers need to ensure that actions abroad model both the United States democratic principles and those they hope to
establish instead of brandishing a double standard.
Soft power is not limited to rhetoric and official state visits;

the United States should consider its use of

economic and cultural influence.

Although the United States still leads in the economic arena, steep debt and
recession closes the economic gap between the rising economies on which we have become dependent. Increased energy
independence offers a perfect opportunity to step up our economic game and minimize our stakes in volatile areas. Private sector

By remaining
a global player, we protect our economic interests and alleviate the global
income disparity that often catalyzes paralyzing conflicts. Stabilization in
both regional conflicts and emerging markets works to increase our
economic strength and win the solidarity of domestic constituents and
international partners. Nonengagement risks the loss of crucial markets to
competitors who are willing to capitalize on new opportunities.
actors should primarily lead the way in less threatening situations to lessen the burden on the public sector.

Solely using the bully pulpit to denounce atrocious crimes underscores a lack of deliberate action in accordance with our rhetoric
and values. Especially in a post-9/11 world where internal conflicts impact the regional balance of power, the United States cannot
continue to walk away or ignore issues when diplomatic efforts fail. The Arab Spring exemplifies the domino nature of drastic regime

America cannot afford to entangle

itself in another Middle Eastern conflict, but chemical weapons
proliferation, the spread of terrorism, and changes in the regional balance
of power offer numerous reasons that the United States should address this
conflict with more than lip service and aid donations.
changes altering the political and economic landscape. Realistically,

Our options are not limited to either speeches denouncing violence at one extreme or full-scale war at the other. Rather, we can
innovatively apply tools of last-resort, such as leading a coalition or providing crucial air cover while ensuring that the regional

if the administration
does not act, then the gap in global leadership combined with a loss of
regional trust allow rising US opponents to exploit such an opening to vie
for the role of international hegemon. In the wake of national security
threats that demonstrate the pushback from rising powers, including
cyber attacks and announcements of nuclear capabilities, the U nited States must
increase its leverage to demonstrate that it will not cede any territory. Failure to do so would allow the United
partners we have culled in our diplomatic efforts are the primary line of defense. However,

States to be acted upon as other nations dictate the outcomes of conflict.

Only strong U.S. soft power can garner the necessary

cooperation to solve global problems, such as economic
competitiveness, terrorism, war, disease, human trafficking,
and drugs
Joshua Kurlantzick, 5, visiting scholar in the Carnegie Endowments China
Program and a fellow at the USC School of Public Diplomacy and the Pacific Council
on International Policy, The Decline of American Soft Power, Dec. 2005, Current
History, Vol. 104, Issue 686; pg. 419.
A broad decline in soft power has many practical implications. These
include the drain in foreign talent coming to the United States, the potential
backlash against American companies, the growing attractiveness of
China and Europe, and the possibility that anti-US sentiment will make it
easier for terrorist groups to recruit. In addition, with a decline in soft power,
Washington is simply less able to persuade others. In the run-up to the Iraq War, the Bush
administration could not convince Turkey, a longtime US ally, to play a major staging role, in part because America's image in Turkey
was so poor. During the war itself, the United States has failed to obtain significant participation from all but a handful of major
nations, again in part because of America's negative image in countries ranging from India to Germany. In attempts to persuade
North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons, Washington has had to allow China to play a central role, partly because few Asian
states view the United States as a neutral, legitimate broker in the talks. Instead, Washington must increasingly resort to the other
option. Nye discusses-force, or the threat of force. With foreign governments and publics suspicious of American policy, the White
House has been unable to lead a multinational effort to halt Iran's nuclear program, and instead has had to resort to threatening
sanctions at the United Nations or even the possibility of strikes against Iran.

With America's image

declining in nations like Thailand and Pakistan, it is harder for leaders in these
countries to openly embrace counterterrorism cooperation with the United
States, so Washington resorts to quiet arm-twisting and blandishments to obtain
counterterror concessions. Force is not a long-term solution. Newer,
nontraditional security threats such as disease, human trafficking, and
drug trafficking can only be managed through forms of multilateral
cooperation that depend on America's ability to persuade other nations.
Terrorism itself cannot be defeated by force alone, a fact that even the White
House recognizes. The 2002 National security Strategy emphasizes that winning the
war on terror requires the United States to lead a battle of ideas against the
ideological roots of terrorism, in addition to rooting out and destroying individual
militant cells.

Hard Power isnt enough - Soft power is essential to stop

AP, 11/26/7, Defense chief: Fight terrorism with soft power, MSNBC,
Defeating terrorism will require the use of more soft power, with civilians
contributing more in communication, economic assistance, political development
and other non-military areas, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday. Gates
called for the creation of new government organizations, including a permanent
group of civilian experts with a wide range of expertise who could be sent abroad on
short notice as a supplement to U.S. military efforts. And he urged more
involvement by university and other private experts. We must focus our
energies beyond the guns and steel of the military, beyond just our brave
soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, he said in a speech at Kansas State
University in Manhattan, Kan. We must also focus our energies on the other
elements of national power that will be so crucial in the coming years. He

said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as U.S. military involvement in the
1990s in the Balkans and in Somalia, have shown that long-term success
requires more than U.S. military power.

Latin American Relations

Embargo Key to LA Relations

The embargo destroys US/Latin American relations
Mike Honda, House Rep, 5/4/2010
(Honda: Embargo on Cuba No Longer Makes Sense,
Politically, now that Latin America stands beside Cuba as evidenced by
diplomatic reinstatements with holdouts El Salvador and Costa Rica, and the
reintegration of Cuba into the Organization for American States and the
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States the U.S. risks
ruinous relations with countries that see the blockade as backward. The
U.S. is already marginalized: CLACS explicitly bars U.S. participation. The
impact of this Latin tack toward insularity is not insignificant . Consider
grandstanding by Brazilian President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, who rebuffed
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clintons efforts to bring Brazil on Iran
sanctions while courting Cubas leadership. Lula, capitalizing on Cubas
appetite for growth, proposed investments in industrial, agriculture and
infrastructure projects, including ports and hotels, and an agreement with Brazils
oil company. We will see more of this. The Cubans are seeking suitors. Like
the Bank of the South, Latin Americas attempt to wean countries off U.S.
institutions like the World Bank, the longer we keep Cuba at arms length, the more
likely Brazil and others will take our place. The longer we keep Cuba listed as a state
sponsor of terrorism, an allegation roundly criticized by diplomats, the more we
risk the credibility of our national security regime and reputation in the
region .

The embargo isolates US from Latin America

Robert Creamer, Political organizer and strategist, 1/18/11

(Changes in U.S. Cuba Policy Good First Step -- But It's Time to Normalize Relations,
Our failure to normalize relations with Cuba undermines American
interests throughout the world -- and particular in Latin America. U.S. policy
towards Cuba has been a major sore point with other countries in Latin
America, who view it as a vestige of Yankee paternalism toward the entire
region . And it is used by those who want to harm America as another piece of antiAmerican propaganda. Far from isolating Cuba, we have isolated ourselves .
Virtually all of America's major allies have normal economic and political
relationships with Cuba. Last year, the United Nations General Assembly voted for
the seventeenth time -- in seventeen years -- to condemn our economic embargo of
Cuba -- this time by a vote of 185 to 3. In December the thirty-three Caribbean
and Latin American nations that are members of the Rio Group voted to give
Cuba full membership and called on the U.S. to end the embargo.

Removing the embargo key to reengagement with Latin

Jennifer Gerz-Escandon, Ph.D., International Relations and former professor of political science
at Lynn University, October 9, 8, End the US-Cuba embargo: It's a win-win, Christian Science

by ending the embargo, the US simultaneously gains security

through stability in
Cuba. More important, by investing in the future prototype for emerging markets a 42,803-square-mile green energy and
For its part,

technology lab called Cuba America gains a dedicated partner in the search for energy independence. Finally, a key component of
renewing relations is ending illicit emigration. At issue is the 1966 Cuban Adj ustment Act, amended in 1995. It encourages
disaffected Cubans to risk their lives for the reward of an expedited path to US citizenship upon reaching American soil. They also
receive immediate access to a work permit and the ability to acquire residency in one year. A 2002 article from The Miami Herald
reported that 1 in 20 Cubans being smuggled to the shores of the United States dies in the attempt. Meanwhile, smugglers collect
up to $10,000 a person.
Retiring the "wet-foot, dry -foot" policy and normalizing immigration laws could stop the Cuban brain drain, end charges of a US
immigration double standard, and save hundreds of millions of dollars for the US taxpayers who must fund four different agencies to
implement this policy. Supporters of the embargo say it serves as an important symbolic protest of Cuba's deplorable human rights

constructive engagement with the

reform-ready regime of Mr. Castro utilizing a framework based on mutual
economic interests similar to US-China relations could give observers
more cause for optimism. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's willingness to speak openly with Newsweek/CNN
journalist Fareed Zakaria last month about democratization is evidence of progress. While phasing out the
Cuban embargo won't render a quick solution to fractured US-Cuba
relations or end the evaporation of esteem the US is suffering throughout Latin America, it would mark
a significant achievement of hemispheric leadership on a divisive issue. By
ending the embargo, the US may learn that under the right circumstances,
the soft power of diplomacy proves more effective in reshaping America's
perception in Latin Ame rica than the hard power of economic isolation
ever did.
record and its lack of political, civil, and economic freedoms. Yet

Most important allies in Latin America oppose the embargo

Sweig 9 (Julia Sweig is the Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow and
Director) 2.5.09,2322,2194,00.
In the Western Hemisphere, U.S. policy toward Cuba is universally derided as
ineffectual and an obstacle to the emergence of a more open, pluralistic
society on the island. An opening toward Cuba will be quietly encouraged
and loudly applauded by major U.S. allies in the region, such as Argentina,
Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia and Mexico,each of which possesses extensive
ties to the island and is paying close attention to developments in Cuba during this
50th anniversary year of the revolution. Havana's brashly ideological allies in
the regionBolivia, Nicaragua and, notably, Venezuelawill find a big
argument in their brief against the United States (i.e. Goliath's penchant for
picking on David) substantially undercut. The dozen or so small island countries
of the Caribbean, meanwhile, most of which vote with Venezuela and Cuba at the
Organization of American States and the United Nations will have cause for
reconsidering this practice. Beyond Latin America, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara
remain cult heroes for many. Despite its human rights violations, Cuba's leadership
has earned grudging respect among multiple generations of intellectuals and
political leaders for its social gains and for its continued defiance of Washington. In
Europe in particular, U.S. sanctions have earned the ire of many for casting

their punitive reach on potential business and investment with Cuba. After
a five-year freeze, and under the leadership of Spain's prime minister, Jos Luis
Zapatero, the European Union has recently lifted economic sanctions and
commenced a broad ranging dialogue on civil and political as well as social and
cultural rights. A fresh approach to Cuba will send a signal that the era of American
hubris in foreign affairs, at least in its own neck of the woods, may well be coming
to an end. A significant dimension of the collapse of America's standing globally
during the Bush years was that the United States was willing to use its power willynilly without a healthy degree of respect for the views of others, as the Constitution
commends. For more than 15 years, the U.N. General Assembly has voted nearly
unanimously in support of a Cuban resolution condemning the American embargo
against it. Owning up to the failures of this policy and sending a clear signal
of a new approach will gain ready plaudits from our allies, whose help we
will need in confronting real, rather than manufactured and domestically driven,
national security challenges.

The embargo has failed and is the biggest divide in US-Latin

American relations
Michael Shifter, 12, Pres. of the Inter-American Dialogue, Remaking the
Relationship: The United States and Latin America, An IAD Policy Report,,
Cuba, too, poses a significant challenge for relations between the United States and
Latin America. The 50-year-old US embargo against Cuba is rightly criticized
throughout the hemisphere as a failed and punitive instrument. It has long been a
strain on US-Latin American relations. Although the United States has recently
moved in the right direction and taken steps to relax restrictions on travel to Cuba,
Washington needs to do far more to dismantle its severe, outdated constraints on
normalized relations with Cuba. Cuba is one of the residual issues that most
obstructs more effective US-Latin American engagement.

Removing economic sanctions against Cuba would increase

relations across Latin American countries.

INTEREST FEBRUARY 23, 2009 //sb ,

Cuba is important for the United States because of proximity, intertwined history,
and culture. Cuba is important in Latin America because it is a romanticized symbol
of a small country that stood up to the most powerful country in the world. The
Cuban Revolution legitimizes some of the passions that fuel the outrage that many
Latin Americans feel regarding the inequality of their own societies, and for 50
years, rightly or wrongly, Cuba has ably portrayed itself as having fought this fight
for them, as well as for the downtrodden around the world. During the visit, a Cuban
official stated to staff that U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America goes through
Cuba. With the end of the Cold War, however, the GOC does not represent the
security threat to the U.S. that it once did. The USG still has significant grievances
with the GOCmostly, its human rights practices and the stifling of political
pluralism and property rights as well as the lack of adequate compensation for
expropriated assets of U.S. firms and individuals. The remaining security issues, on
the other hand, are limited to the potential for a migration crisis provoked by

political or economic instability on the island. While Cubas alliance with Venezuela
has intentions of influencing regional affairs, the GOC has not been positioned to
ably export its Revolution since the collapse of the Soviet Union forced an end to
Cubas financial support for Latin American guerrilla movements. The GOCs
program of medical diplomacy, which exports doctors to developing countries,
bolsters the islands soft power, but does not represent a significant threat to U.S.
national security. Given current economic challenges, any revenue gained from
economic engagement with the United States would likely be used for internal
economic priorities, not international activism. [] Reform of U.S.-Cuban relations
would also benefit our regional relations. Certain Latin American leaders, whose
political appeal depends on the propagation of an array of anti-Washington
grievances, would lose momentum as a centerpiece of these grievances is removed.
More significantly, Latin Americans would view U.S. engagement with Cuba as a
demonstration that the United States understands their perspectives on the history
of U.S. policy in the region and no longer insists that all of Latin America must share
U.S. hostility to a 50-year-old regime. The resulting improvement to the United
States image in the region would facilitate the advancement of U.S. interests.

China LA Influence US/China War

Pervasive Chinese influence in Latin America leads to
accidental war with the US
Alan Dowd, Senior Fellow with the American Security Council Foundation, 12
(Crisis in the America's,

Focused on military operations in the Middle East, nuclear threats in Iran and North Korea, and the global threat of

U.S. policymakers have neglected a growing challenge right here in the

Western Hemisphere: the expanding influence and reach of China . Eyeing
energy resources to keep its economy humming, China is engaged in a flurry of investing
and spending in Latin America. In Costa Rica, China is funding a $1.24-billion upgrade of the countrys oil refinery;

bankrolling an $83-million soccer stadium; backing infrastructure and telecommunications improvements; and pouring millions into a new police academy.
In Colombia, China is planning a massive dry canal to link the countrys Pacific and Atlantic coasts by rail. At either terminus, there will be Chinese ports;
in between, there will be Chinese assembly facilities, logistics operations and distribution plants; and on the Pacific side, there will be dedicated berths to
ship Colombian coal outbound to China. In mid-January, a Chinese-built oil rig arrived in Cuba to begin drilling in Cubas swath of the Gulf of Mexico.
Reuters reports that Spanish, Russian, Malaysian and Norwegian firms will use the rig to extract Cuban oil. For now, China is focusing on onshore oil
extraction in Cuba. New offshore discoveries will soon catapult Brazil into a top-five global oil producer. With some 38 billion barrels of recoverable oil off
its coast, Brazil expects to pump 4.9 million barrels per day by 2020, as the Washington Times reports, and China has used generous loans to position
itself as the prime beneficiary of Brazilian oil. Chinas state-run oil and banking giants have inked technology-transfer, chemical, energy and real-estate
deals with Brazil. Plus, as the Times details, China came to the rescue of Brazils main oil company when it sought financing for its massive drilling plans,
pouring $10 billion into the project. A study in Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ) adds that Beijing plunked down $3.1 billion for a slice of Brazils vast offshore oil
fields. The JFQ study reveals just how deep and wide Beijing is spreading its financial influence in Latin America: $28 billion in loans to Venezuela; a $16.3billion commitment to develop Venezuelan oil reserves; $1 billion for Ecuadoran oil; $4.4 billion to develop Peruvian mines; $10 billion to help Argentina
modernize its rail system; $3.1 billion to purchase Argentinas petroleum company outright. The New York Times adds that Beijing has lent Ecuador $1
billion to build a hydroelectric plant. There is good and bad to Beijings increased interest and investment in the Western Hemisphere. Investment fuels
development, and much of Latin America is happily accelerating development in the economic, trade, technology and infrastructure spheres. But Chinas
riches come with strings. For instance, in exchange for Chinese development funds and loans, Venezuela agreed to increase oil shipments to China from
380,000 barrels per day to one million barrels per day. Its worth noting that the Congressional Research Service has reported concerns in Washington that
Hugo Chavez might try to supplant his U.S. market with China. Given that Venezuela pumps an average of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day for the U.S.or
about 11 percent of net oil importsthe results would be devastating for the U.S. That brings us to the security dimension of Chinas checkbook diplomacy
in the Western Hemisphere. Officials with the U.S. Southern Command conceded as early as 2006 that Beijing had approached every country in our area
of responsibility and provided military exchanges, aid or training to Ecuador, Jamaica, Bolivia, Cuba, Chile and Venezuela. The JFQ study adds that China
has an important and growing presence in the regions military institutions. Most Latin American nations, including Mexico, send officers to professional
military education courses in the PRC. In Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia, Beijing has begun to sell sophisticated hardwaresuch as radars and K-8 and
MA-60 aircraft. The JFQ report concludes, ominously, that Chinese defense firms are likely to leverage their experience and a growing track record for
their goods to expand their market share in the region, with the secondary consequence being that those purchasers will become more reliant on the

the southern
flank of the United States is exposed to a range of new security
challenges. To be sure, much of this is a function of Chinas desire to secure oil markets. But theres more at
work here than Chinas thirst for oil. Like a global chess match, China is probing Latin
America and sending a message that just as Washington has trade and military ties in Chinas
neighborhood, China is developing trade and military ties in Americas neighborhood. This is a direct
challenge to U.S. primacy in the regiona challenge that must be answered. First, Washington needs to relearn
associated Chinese logistics, maintenance, and training infrastructures that support those products. Put it all together, and

an obvious truththat Chinas rulers do not share Americas valuesand needs to shape and conduct its China policy in that context. Beijing has no
respect for human rights. Recall that in China, an estimated 3-5 million people are rotting away in laogai slave-labor camps, many of them guilty of
political dissent or religious activity; democracy activists are rounded up and imprisoned; freedom of speech and religion and assembly do not exist; and
internal security forces are given shoot-to-kill orders in dealing with unarmed citizens. Indeed, Beijing viewed the Arab Spring uprisings not as an impetus
for political reform, but as reason to launch its harshest crackdown on dissent in at least a decade, according to Director of National Intelligence James
Clapper. In short, the ends always justify the means in Beijing. And that makes all the difference when it comes to foreign and defense policy. As Reagan

the U.S. must stop

taking the Western Hemisphere for granted, and instead must reengage in
counseled during the Cold War, There is no true international security without respect for human rights. Second ,

its own neighborhood economically, politically and militarily. That means no more allowing trade dealsand the
partners counting on themto languish. Plans for a hemispheric free trade zone have faltered and foundered. The trade-expansion agreements
with Panama and Colombia were left in limbo for years, before President Obama finally signed them into law in 2011. Reengagement means reviving U.S.
diplomacy. The Wall Street Journal reports that due to political wrangling in Washington, the State Department position focused on the Western
Hemisphere has been staffed by an interim for nearly a year, while six Western Hemisphere ambassadorial posts (Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, El
Salvador, Nicaragua and Barbados) remain empty. Reengagement means reversing plans to slash defense spending. The Joint Forces Command noted in
2008 that China has a deep respect for U.S. military power. We cannot overstate how important this has been to keeping the peace. But with the United
States in the midst of massive military retrenchment, one wonders how long that reservoir of respect will last. Reengagement also means revitalizing
security ties. A good model to follow might be whats happening in Chinas backyard.

To deter China and prevent an

accidental war , the U.S. is reviving its security partnerships all across the
Asia-Pacific region. Perhaps its time to do the same in Latin America. We
should remember that many Latin American countriesfrom Mexico and Panama to
Colombia and Chileborder the Pacific. Given Beijings actions, it makes sense

to bring these Latin American partners on the Pacific Rim into the alliance of
alliances that is already stabilizing the Asia-Pacific region.

Close ties between China and Latin America risks conflict with
the US replicates Taiwan
Robbie Fergusson 12, Researcher at Royal Society for the Arts, Featured
Contributor at International Business Times, Former Conference & Research
Assistant at Security Watch, Former Researcher at University College London,
Master of Science, China in the International Arena, The University of Glasgow, The
Chinese Challenge to the Monroe Doctrine,,
The United States has imposed a longstanding embargo against Cuba, so any
efforts to economically strangle the island are naturally offset by aid from
Beijing (and Caracas). There is a fear that a growing China might be more
and more willing to protect its Latin American and Caribbean interests by
force as its power projection grows. Erikson notes that as Chinas political
and economic clout continues to grow, Cuba is poised to become Beijings
most valued beachhead in the Caribbean. [114] While not a direct threat in its
own right, Cuba has existed as a troubling client state for America to deal with.
Hopes that following the end of Fidel Castros reign Cuba may be coaxed
or forced back into the global communiqu of nations (and therefore the
U.Ss sphere of influence) seem futile while China is in effect helping to
sustain the economic system of the island through aid, and generous
trade terms. Erikson laments that U.S. policymakers who dream of remaking Cuba should be aware that China and Venezuela are poised to
loom ever larger in Washingtons rear-view mirror. [115] This situation in
many ways could end up mirroring the Taiwan Strait, where one great power
postures in such a malignant way that the status quo is maintained as an
alternative to the prospect of outright conflict.

China LA Influence Cyberattacks

US influence in Latin America is key to prevent Chinese crowd
in the impact is cyber war
Perez JD Yale Law School 2010 David America's Cuba Policy: The Way Forward: A
Policy Recommendation for the U.S. State Department Harvard Latino Law Review
The absence of a strong American presence over the last eight years has
also given China the opportunity to step in as a major player, both economically
and politically, in regions all around the world, but particularly in Latin America. The Chinese
government has invested a tremendous amount of soft power in Latin
America, where it is now the continent's third largest trading partner, with an annual trade growth of 30% since
2001. n115 American disinterest in Latin America has convinced many
countries to adopt a "Pacific view," whereby China steps in to fill the gap
left by America's absence. n116 After signing a free trade agreement with Chile, China quickly
displaced the United States as that country's largest export market. China also [*224] recently displaced the U.S. as
Brazil's biggest trading partner. n117 In 2000, trade between China and Latin America hovered around $ 13 billion,
but in 2007, that number had increased to $ 102 billion, and by 2008 total trade was valued at $ 140 billion. n118
Even despite the current financial crisis, trade between China and Latin America is likely to grow during the next
five years. China's

interest in Latin America is also based on its increasingly

assertive global political agenda. In 2007, Costa Rica dropped its diplomatic recognition of
Taiwan, a move heavily courted by Chinese officials. In 2008, President Hu rewarded Costa Rica's new policy by
visiting San Jose and signing a free trade agreement in 2010. n119 China also timed the release of

a new

policy paper on Sino-Latin American relations to coincide with President Hu's most recent
trip to the region. It charts China's growing relationship with Latin America and
promises increased cooperation in scientific and technological research,
cross-cultural educational exchanges, as well as political and economic
exchanges. n120 As China's role in Latin America increases, American clout
correspondingly decreases in terms of relative power. To be sure, the U.S. will remain
the major powerbroker in the Americas for decades to come, but will increasingly have to make room for a new

Given this diminishing economic position, Washington will have to

rely more heavily on diplomatic initiatives that shore up credibility rather
than simply economic incentives and disincentives, such as bilateral trade
agreements. (7B) China's Strategic Interest in Cuba China's presence in Cuba is rather

significant: after Venezuela, China is Cuba's second-largest trading partner with $ 2.3 billion worth of goods
exchanged. n121 In fact, China purchases over 400,000 tons of Cuban sugar, as well as half its annual output of
nickel, which is Cuba's top export. n122 In 2008, on a visit to Cuba, Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed to not only
defer for ten years some of Cuba's debt payments, but also to invest $ 80 million in the island's health industry.
n123 Moreover, as long as Taiwan is a [*225] thorny issue for U.S.-Sino relations, China will have a stake in Cuba.
China is neurotic about the functional American presence in Taiwan and has made its intentions for the island

increased Chinese presence in Cuba might be a strategic move by Beijing
to later leverage their presence on the island for a change in America's
Taiwan policy. In the unlikely event of hostile engagement with the United States, China has an
incentive to develop technological capabilities in Cuba , which can be used
in tandem with cyber and communications warfare against Washington.
Development of such capabilities may already be happening. China has a huge
known to everyone; the only thing standing between Beijing's re-appropriation of Taipei is Washington.

presence at Lourdes, a former Soviet espionage base just outside of Havana, where in 2004 Hu Jintao visited and
confirmed that most of the technology housed there, including almost all of the computers, came from China. n124
Another former Soviet base in Bejucal may now also house both Cuban and Chinese intelligence analysts. n125 But
China's leadership is pragmatic, not ideological, which begs the question: what is China getting in return for all this

If China is cooperating with Cuban intelligence to spy on the

United States, a 1greater American presence on the island would be

needed to fully understand the scope of this rather disturbing operation.

Relations are key to prevent cyber attack

Westerman 6 (Toby, Publisher for International News Analysis Today, "Cyber Attack Aimed at
US?" International Affairs,

Fidel Castro could launch a devastating cyber-terror attack

as a last and final blow against his decades-old enemy -the U.S. - according to a Cuban-born
computer engineer in an exclusive interview with International News Analysis. Cuba and its terror
allies are intent on destroying the United States, and Castro's precarious
physical state may be a key factor in timing a terror attack against the United
A dying Cuban dictator

States, according to Manuel Cereijo, a Cuban-born expert in computer engineering, and head of a consulting group
Castro - ailing, bitter and unpredictable The very technology that
has insured U.S. world leadership in commercial and military endeavors
could also make American society vulnerable to a sophisticated cyber
attack, Cereijo stated. An initial bio-terror attack would be used to set the
stage for social chaos in the U.S., Cereijo warned. As deadly pathogens
begin to take their toll in human lives, a follow-up cyber attack could
paralyze America's capacity to respond. Phone and other forms of communications would

to industry and government.

begin to break down. The effect of the biological attack would be multiplied many times by the fear imposed upon
the population by the inability to communicate with others. Police, emergency personnel, and hospitals would all be

Panic could ensue among

the targeted population as the sense of isolation increased. America's
response to such an attack "would be tremendous," Cereijo said, but worth the
price to Castro and his terrorist allies, if it meant serious damage to America.
operating without coordination or knowledge of the actions of one another.

Castro will be 80-years-old this August, and has been in power since 1959. He is rumored to have Parkinson's
disease, and may be suffering from the beginning effects of Alzheimer's. Castro's implacable hatred against the

U.S. political and economic system has not changed over his nearly 50year reign, and he has even advocated Nuremberg-type war crimes trials
for capitalists. During the 1962 missile crisis, Castro urged the Soviet
Union to launch an atomic strike against the U.S., despite the destruction
it would mean for Cuba. Today, Castro remains a potentially reckless figure capable of risking
catastrophic consequences for his island nation, Cereijo told International News Analysis. The Communist
Cuban regime is committed to terror. Havana has close ties with virtually every important terror
group and terror-supporting nation in the world, including the missile-ready regime of North Korea and the nuclear

The Iranian and Cuban governments have already vowed

to bring the United States "to its knees." The Castro regime has
cultivated cyber warfare techniques for years, and it has made the island
an electronic spy station first for Russia and then China . China is known to be
Islamic Republic of Iran.

developing cyber warfare techniques to facilitate an invasion of the island of Taiwan. Beijing claims sovereignty over
the democratically controlled island, and has stated that it has the right to take the island by force, if necessary.
Cyber warfare techniques would be used in the early hours of an invasion to paralyze Taiwan's computer and
telecommunications systems before the major attack from the mainland. China's "Integrated Network Electronic
Warfare" program is designed to disable enemy computers and communications equipment at the beginning of
offensive military operations. Information warfare units are already training with regular Peoples Liberation Army
forces, indicating a firm commitment to cyber warfare, and causing concern among some U.S. government

China's president Ju Jintao and Fidel meet to sign accords

and affirm the alliance Chinese and Cuban technical-military ties have
grown increasingly close in the past several years. China has assisted
Cuba in computer telecommunications techniques, and the Cuban
government operates university-level training courses in cyber warfare .
computer professionals.

Cereijo does not believe that China would directly assist a Cuban-launched cyber attack on the U.S., but

Beijing's technical and material aid to Havana provides the Cuban regime
with the necessary know-how to carry out this kind of strike . Cuba's
carefully acquired skill in cyber warfare, its close ties with terrorist groups
and terror supporting nations, and first rate spy services which are
operating within the United States, all combine to make Cuba a serious candidate for coordinating a

cyber-terror attack. Cuba has already interfered with U.S. pro-democracy satellite transmissions to Iran. For six
weeks Cuba prevented U.S. broadcasts from reaching Iran, Cereijo said. Although Al Qaeda and other terror groups
have attempted to hack into U.S. computers, only the Cuban regime has the knowledge and resources to combine
with terror groups to initiate an effective cyber-terror campaign, Cereijo told International News Analysis.


if a dying Castro does not attempt to attack the U.S. as a last strike,
Cuban skill in cyber warfare remains a threat to the U.S., especially when combined
with existing terror networks dedicated to the destruction of the United States. American vigilance and
countermeasures have thus far prevented any harmful attack, but the U.S. must remain alert and be prepared for a
possibly desperate assault from a dying dictator and his terrorist friends, Cereijo urged.

China Influence Solvency

The plan shores up US-Cuban relations---that boosts US
influence in Latin America and crowds out Chinese expansion
Jonathan Benjamin-Alvadaro 6, Report for the Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University,

PhD, Professor of Political Science at University of Nebraska at Omaha, Director of the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic
Excellence Program at UNO, Treasurer of the American Political Science Association, The Current Status and Future Prospects for Oil
Exploration in Cuba: A Special,, Given that there are no
formal diplomatic of economic relations between the governments of the United States and Cuba, the level of interest has grown
significantly in the 3 years due primarily to three reasons in the following interest areas: energy security interests; broader regional
strategic; and purely economic interests. First, the energy security interests in the potential of Cuban oil although it really would
not minimize the immediacy of an American energy crisis is seen as possible if only partial remedy to energy supply concerns.
Second, as Cuba, in part because of the increasing number of oil partnerships furthers its diplomatic and economic ties to with
countries like Venezuela, China, Brazil and members of the European Union it may prove to provide Cuba for a sufficient buffer

there is a
de facto trend in the Americas that clearly disavows and attempts to minimize the
influence of the United States in the region , and with the growing demands on the world economy
against U.S. opposition as it solidifies it economic and diplomatic role in the region. This is important inasmuch as

by China, it stands to reason that Cuba may assume an increasing stature that almost potentially lessens the presence of American
influence in Cuban and hence regional affairs. Finally, and as demonstrated by the presence of American oil interests in the February
2006 U.S.- Cuban Energy Summit in Mexico City, there may be interest in cooperating in joint venture projects, and by extension
assisting in the long-term development in Cubas oil industry. To accomplish this task the report seeks to lay out some national
security policy considerations applying strategic thought to what I will term Post-Oil Cuba a Cuba that has a small but vibrant
and growing oil and gas production capacity with extensive relations with a number of partners, and an increasingly positive outlook
toward addressing energy and economic development questions that have plagued the Castro regime since the Cuban Revolution.3
The primary consideration is to determine the present state of Cuban energy and what possibilities exist that would be available to
American foreign policy decision makers and business interests as the relations with Cuba evolve over the coming years.4 This is
important because any realistic appraisal of how Cuba is to take advantage of its oil bonanza involves the United States. Previous
research in this area has clearly laid out the scope and objectives of Cuban energy development schemes in the period since the
demise of Cubas favorable trade arrangements with the former Soviet Union. Recently, and as a result of the oil discovery and
Cubas energy arrangement with the government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela there is renewed interest in Havanas energy
policies. Most of that analysis has been focused on concrete possibilities where there can be cooperation in the energy field between
these two neighbors. Specifically, the work has looked at areas for the convergence of energy interests as they apply to the nearand long-term energy development scenarios facing both countries. Myers Jaffe and Soligo have addressed this possibility by looking
at the potential to increase diversification and dispersion of energy resources. This is an important consideration when one takes
into consideration that well over one-third of all oil refining capacity resides on or near the Houston shipping channel. The potential
negative impact on Americas refining capacity following Hurricane Rita5 made a significant impression on oil industry analysts for
the necessity of diversifying the location of these vital national resources. The potential of viewing Cuba as a staging area for
American oil storage and refining is plausible because of the proximity of the island. The also becomes more attractive because of
the growing climatic concerns over the uncertain security of oil resources in the Gulf region as clearly demonstrated by Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita in 2005. While it is true that Venezuela has initiated an investment of $1 billion dollars to bring the Cienfuegos
refinery online, there are still many other possibilities open and available to American companies, as well as a growing number of
foreign firms.6 Additionally, Venezuela remains the fourth largest importer of oil to the United States and one can surmise that the
existing trade arrangements between the U.S. and Venezuela will remain intact, the evolution of the Bolivarian revolution under
Chavez and a growing Chinese presence in the region notwithstanding. Additionally, pursuing such a path would allow United States
policymakers to take advantage of what Cuba has to offer in the following areas: domestic technical capabilities; continuing human
capital development; strategic positioning in the Caribbean, and an improved diplomatic stature. Cuba, by any measure, possesses
a largely untapped technical capacity owing to advanced training and education in the core mathematic and scientific areas. This
was clearly demonstrated by its attempt to develop a nuclear energy capability in the 1980s and 1990s whereby thousands of
Cubans pursued highly technical career paths leaving Cuba with among the highest ratios of scientists and engineers to the general
population in all of the Americas. Moreover, the foundation of Cubas vaunted public education system remains intact and increased
investment under various scenarios suggests that Cuba will continue to produce a welleducated workforce that will be critical to its
future economic vitality. This raises an important consideration that being the role that Cuba will play in the region in the 21st

Cuba remains the strategically important state by virtue

of its geographical location alone, in efforts against drug and human
trafficking and related national and regional security matters . The extent to which a
century. It suffices to say that

stable Cuban government has cooperated with the U.S. in drug interdiction efforts in the past suggests that the results from
improved diplomatic relations between neighbors would have the effect of improving national security concerns related to terrorist

Ultimately, a successful normalization of

relations between the U.S. and Cuba in these areas may well enhance and
stabilize regional relations that could possibly lessen (or at a minimum, balancing) fears of
a Chinese incursion in hemispheric affairs. To lessen those fears it may be useful to review the
activity, illicit weapons transfers and the like.

present structure of joint-venture projects in the energy sector in Cuba to ascertain the feasibility and possible success of such an
undertaking become available to American firms. Moreover, it is interesting to note that U.S. firms in the agriculture sector have
successfully negotiated and consummated sales to Cuba totaling more than $1 billion dollars over the past four years under
conditions that are less than optimal circumstances but have well-served the commercial interests of all parties involved.

LA Key to Taiwan
Chinese-Latin American economic engagement causes Taiwan
to lose sovereign status
Forman et al 9 Johanna, senior associate with the Center for Strategic International Studies,
and Susana Moreira STC at World Bank, March Taiwan-China Balancing Act in Latin America, March
10 2009,

Latin America is the main battleground over state-to-state representation

between Taiwan and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). For Taiwan, Paraguay and 11
states of Central America and the Caribbean1 make up the most
significant group of states supporting its status as an independent state.
Were Taiwan to lose their support, it would have ties with only the Holy
See and 10 small, impoverished nations in Africa and the South Pacific, dramatically
weakening Taipeis claim to sovereignty.2 The struggle between China and Taiwan in Latin
America intensified in 2004, when the island of Dominica severed its ties with Taipei after a pledge from Beijing of
$112 million3 in aid over six years. A year later, Grenada shifted its recognition in favor of Beijing. Fighting
against the tide, the Taiwanese government was able to woo the newly elected government of St. Lucia in early
2007. In May of that year, Taiwan was dealt a heavy blow when several of its allies behaved rather ambiguously at
the World Health Organizations vote on Taiwans membership: Nicaragua and Panama were absent, Haiti abstained,

Taiwan endured yet another defeat when

it lost the allegiance of Costa Rica, the first Central American country to
recognize China.5 Faced with growing competition from the PRC, Taiwan
has redoubled its efforts to secure the support of its allies in Latin America. The
and Costa Rica voted nay.4 Shortly after, in June,

most visible instruments utilized by Taipei are frequent and highly publicized exchanges of high-level official visits:
the first overseas trip of President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan after his inauguration was to Latin America. The main
purpose of Mas eight-day trip was to attend the inaugurations of Paraguays president, Fernando Lugo, on August
15, 2008, and the Dominican Republics president, Leonel Fernandez, on August 16, 2008. Ma also held talks with
the president of Panama, Martin Torrijos; the president of El Salvador, Antonio Saca; the president of Honduras,
Manuel Zelaya; and the president of Haiti, Rene Prval.

US/China War Impact

Global nuclear war
Lee J., Hunkovic 9 American Military University, The Chinese-Taiwanese
Conflict: Possible Futures of a Confrontation between China, Taiwan and the United
States of America,,
A war between China, Taiwan and the United States has the potential to
escalate into a nuclear conflict and a third world war, therefore, many
countries other than the primary actors could be affected by such a
conflict, including Japan, both Koreas, Russia, Australia, India and Great
Britain, if they were drawn into the war, as well as all other countries in the world
that participate in the global economy, in which the United States and China are the
two most dominant members.

Taiwan Impact
Multiple factors converge to make Taiwan the most likely
flashpoint for nuclear war. Even a conventional war would
escalate from misclac
Colby & Denmark et al., March 13, Nuclear Weapons and U.S.-China
Relations: A way forward, A report of the Poni Working Group on U.S.-China Nuclear
Dynamics, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Elbridge Colby- consultant
to the Global Security Directorate and the U.S. Strategic Command and the National
Intelligence Council, principal analyst for Global Strategic Affairs in Center for Naval
Analyses, J.D. from Yale Law School; Abraham M. Denmark- fellow with the Center
for a New American Security and directed the Asia-Pacific Security Program, former
Country Director for China Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, History
and Political Science at the University of Northern Colorado,,
Considerations of U.S.-China nuclear relations would be a largely academic exercise without the serious risk of conflict and tension

the significant sources of tension and disagreement

between the United States and China could, in the worst case, lead to conflict because a
number of these disputes center on highly valued interests for Washington and Beijing and could be
exacerbated by third parties, by miscommunication and miscalculation, by domestic
political pressures, and by the perceived need to save face.10 Moreover, few of
those relations entail. Unfortunately,

these disputes appear likely to be resolved definitively in the near term. Beyond disputes, there is also the simple geopolitical reality
of the rise of a new great power in the arena of a well-established status quo power. From time immemorial, this reality has proved
to be a source of tension and competition among nationsand has often led to war.

A large-scale conventional war between the United States and China would be
incredibly dangerous and destructive, and nuclear war between the two countries would
be devastating for all involved. Even though the likelihood of conventional war between the two nations is
currently lowand the probability of nuclear war is even lowerthe appallingly high costs, dangers,
and risks of a war demand that this risk be taken seriously and that steps
be taken to render armed conflict more unlikely and less dangerous. The fact
that China and the United States could come to blows does not mean that any conflict would result in the use of nuclear weapons,
but it also does not mean that the use of nuclear weapons can be confidently ruled out, especially because even conflicts over
apparently marginal issues canin ways that are not entirely predictable in advanceescalate into conflicts over core interests. For
these reasons, perhaps the single most important task of American statecraft in the coming century will be managing Chinas rise in
a way that preserves peace while also defending important U.S. interests.11

The following factors could threaten those objectives. Disputes

Taiwan. Taiwan remains the single most plausible and dangerous source of
tension and conflict between the United States and China. Beijing continues to be set on a policy to
prevent Taiwans independence, and the United States maintains the capability to come to Taiwans defense.12 Although tensions
across the Taiwan Strait have subsided since both Taipei and Beijing embraced a policy of engagement in 2008, the situation
remains combustible, complicated by rapidly diverging cross-strait military capabilities and persistent political disagreements.13

Taiwan is the contingency in which nuclear weapons

would most likely become a major factor, because the fate of the island is
intertwined both with the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party and the
reliability of U.S. defense commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.
Moreover, for the foreseeable future

AT: No US/China war

US-China conflict has the capacity to quickly escalate into
nuclear war
Swaine 6/20
[Michael, Expert in China and East Asian security studies and Senior Associate in the
Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Air Sea Battle
Could Start Nuclear War with China, 6/20/13,]
As military plans become increasingly dependent on speed and escalation,
and diplomacy fails to keep up, a dangerous 'use it or lose it' mentality is
likely to take hold in the minds of military commanders. This risks building
an automatic escalator to war into each crisis before diplomatic efforts at
defusing the situation can get underway. In addition, early, conventional deep
strikes against Chinese C4ISR assets in a conflict could easily be misconstrued in Beijing
as an attempt at preemptively destroying China's retaliatory nuclear
options. Under intense pressure, it would be hard to limit a dramatic
escalation of such a conflict, including, in the worst case, up to and beyond the
nuclear threshold." (The analyst quoted is Raoul Heinrichs.)

Miscommunication and misunderstanding increase risk of USChina war

Kulacki 12
[Gregory, Senior Analyst & China Project Manager for the Global Security Program at
the Union of Concerned Scientists, The Risk of Nuclear War with China, 9/21/12,]
The risk of a nuclear war with China lies in the potential for
misunderstanding or miscommunication during a conventional conflict .
China's current strategy for employing its conventional and nuclear
missile forces during a future conflict with the United States is self-consciously designed to create
uncertainty, with the expectation that uncertainty will restrain U.S. military action. Unfortunately, China's
strategy could also precipitate a large-scale U.S. attack on China's missile forces.

There are several Chinese military policies that might confuse U.S. decision-makers in a time of war. Some Chinese
conventional missiles are located on the same missile bases as Chinese nuclear missiles. Some Chinese missiles,
particularly the DF-21, can be armed with either a conventional or a nuclear warhead. Chinese conventional war
plans call for long-range "strategic" conventional missile strikes at key enemy targets, including U.S. military bases
on allied soil and the continental United States. If this were not confusing enough already, The Science of Second
Artillery Operations contains a section on "lowering the nuclear threshold" that details procedures for alerting
China's nuclear forces in a crisis for the express purpose of forcing a halt to an enemy's conventional attacks on a
select group of targets, such as Chinese nuclear power plants, large dams and civilian population centers. Although
the Science of Second Artillery Operations unambiguously states that if alerting China's nuclear missile forces fails
to halt conventional enemy attacks China will hold firm to its "no first use" commitment, U.S. decision-makers might
not believe it. Indeed,

U.S. interlocutors have repeatedly told their Chinese

counterparts that they do not find China's "no first use" pledge credible .
The combination of these factors makes a nuclear exchange between the
United States and China not only plausible, but also probable if the two
countries were to become embroiled in a military conflict . As Lewis and Xue

explain, "If, in a time of high tension, the Chinese command authorized a conventional missile attack as an act of

preemptive self-defense, the enemy and its allies could not know if the incoming missiles were conventional or

In a worst-case scenario, a Chinese first-strike conventional attack

could spark retaliation that destroys Chinese nuclear assets, creating a
situation in which escalation to full-scale nuclear war would not just be
possible, but even likely." The Obama administration is "rebalancing" U.S. military forces in response

to perceived relative increases in Chinese military capabilities. China sees this so-called "pivot" to Asia, especially
when pared with new U.S. military strategies such as "Air-Sea Battle," as a policy of containment. Both sides
downplay the risks of conflict, but they also see each other as potential adversaries, and are hedging their
diplomatic bets with expensive investments in new military hardware, including new technologies that will expand

Territorial disputes between China and U.S.

allies, rising nationalist sentiment in the region, and the potential for
domestic political instability within China could produce any number of
casussen belli that could trigger the conventional conflict that carries the
risk of ending in a nuclear war. It is disturbing, therefore, that both the United States
and China have failed to find a productive way to discuss the risks of
nuclear war, much less begin to take steps to mitigate those risks. The Chinese government appears trapped
the conflict into cyberspace and outer space.

in a psychology of political and military insecurity that fosters a strategic dependency on secrecy and deception as

The U.S. government, as Jeffrey Lewis points out

is held captive by "the illusion of the winning move "
that "holds out the prospect of fighting and winning a nuclear war against China." U.S. unwillingness to
admit it is vulnerable to a Chinese nuclear attack is driving a slow motion
arms race, reminiscent of the Cold War, where each new U.S. effort to find the winning move is checked by the
latest Chinese advance in military technology. On the edges of the official competition , misanthropes in
both nations spread sensational and frightening disinformation that
poisons public discussion, making steps towards dialog and cooperation
more difficult for political leaders to take. In the face of growing strategic distrust, neither
government seems willing to accept the risks for peace that are necessary to minimize the risks of war,
which, while still small, continue to grow.
its "trump card" in a potential conflict with the United States.
in a recent essay in Foreign Policy,


AT: Disads

A2: Cuban Economy DA

The Cuban economy is in decline only the aff can solve
Cuba Study Group 13

(The Cuba Study Group is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization

made up of business and professional individuals seeking to help facilitate a peaceful transition in
Cuba leading to a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law, Restoring
Executive Authority Over U.S. Policy Toward Cuba, February,

we regret the slow and tortuous pace of Cubas economic reforms,

and believe that their impact on improving Cubas economy will be
severely curtailed by their slow pace and timid nature . While history has largely
discredited shock-therapy economic reforms, it has likewise proven the ineffectiveness of
trickle-down timid and inadequate reforms. Increasing the pace, breadth

and depth of economic reforms is necessary to avert the worsening of an

already-ailing economy . Thus, we believe that in order to truly implement the
warranted changes in Cubas economy, more forceful, decisive and
substantive changes need to be made by Cubas government. However, we
also believe that needed macroeconomic changes require external conditions, such
as access to international monetary institutions, which are not currently
permitted by U.S. sanctions, even though they impose stringent
requirements and reforms on borrowers. Ironically, such sanctions,
originally intended to cause Cuba to change, are now becoming its major
impediment to change.
We solve three internal links to Cuban growth
Cuba Study Group 13 (The Cuba Study Group is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization

made up of business and professional individuals seeking to help facilitate a peaceful transition in
Cuba leading to a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law, Restoring
Executive Authority Over U.S. Policy Toward Cuba, February,

U.S. policy towards Cuba is

counterproductive and warrants change. Policies of isolation and
sanctions have rarely brought about transitional changes, and
disproportionately hurt the Cuban people over the government it intends to
compel to change. U.S. policy is widely seen around the world as violating Cubas
sovereignty, thus providing the Cuban government with a n unwarranted source









of legitimacy, preventing a more multilateral approach to dealing with

Cubas challenges and providing an easy scapegoat for Cubas failed
economic system. Economic sanctions by the U.S. could actually have the
unintended effect of delaying changes in a Cuba undergoing important
reforms by denying access to the worlds financial institutions, and their
advice and resources necessary to support major macroeconomic reforms.

A2: Quick Reforms DA

Economic shock therapy is electrifying empirically
diminishing problems and preventing their prolonging
Pettinger 13

(Tejvan, graduate of Oxford and teaches economics, 6/7/13, Shock

Shock therapy is the belief that the best way to fix a broken economy is to
implement radical changes and introduce new market oriented policies, in
one fell swoop whatever the short term cost. Shock therapy is associated with the
economist Jeffrey Sachs who advocated free market reforms for Eastern European countries
like Poland and Russia in the early 1990s. (Sachs actually disliked term shock therapy arguing it was

Shock therapy is different to

a more gradual approach which seeks to make incremental changes and
transition. Shock therapy generally refers to policies used for making a
transition from a Command (state controlled) economy to a mixed economy.
coined by media and makes it sound more painful that it needed to be)

However, shock therapy might also refer to Policies to reduce inflation quickly. Policies to reduce budget deficit.
Policies to restore competitiveness and reduce current account deficits. Shock Therapy policies involves Price
liberalisation ending price controls Ending government subsidies Privatisation. Selling state owned industries to

It is hoped that under private control, firms will have more

incentives to be efficient and cut costs. Tightening of fiscal policy higher tax rates, lower
government spending to reduce budget deficit and control inflation. Benefits of Shock Therapy It is
considered a quicker method to overcome economic inefficiency and deal
with wasted resources. With firm leadership, people know what to expect
the private sector.

and make efforts to deal with the new situation. For example, if you want to control inflation, it is
important to change expectations. Sticking to strict anti-inflationary policies, will help bring down
inflation expectations and make it easier to achieve.

Stretching out economic reform,

can prolong the old difficulties.

Jeffrey Sachs, a key supporter of shock therapy, argued it was

harder to make the leap to a market economy in two stages. Privatisation, price liberalisation and control of
inflation are complementary policies. Successes of shock therapy

of shock therapy approaches, such as: Bolivia

Some point to successes

in 1985. In particular, Bolivia were

successful in bringing a period of hyperinflation under control. Germany in 1948, when price
controls were eliminated; this helped to end hyperinflation and improved confidence in the currency.


in 1990s. Polands free market reforms enabled inflation to be brought under control. After
initial difficulties, economic growth was impressive during the 1990s, but unemployment rose sharply as state
owned industries closed.

Dont even question the wisdom of Sachs the gods of

economics will punish you
IMF 12 (THE International Monetary Fund, December 2012, People in Economics,

IT IS HARD to imagine a more accomplished and more variedcareer than

that of Jeff Sachs. Harvard University granted him tenure in 1982 when he
was only 28. In his early thirties, he helped Bolivia end its hyperinflation
and restructure its debt. Only a few years later, he was drafting the Polish
governments blueprint for transition from communism to capitalism.
Stints as advisor to the governments of Russia, Estonia, Burkina Faso, and

Indiaamong many othersfollowed. Sachs campaigned for debt relief for

poor countries and, as an advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan,
developed a plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Since
2002, as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Sachs has
set his sights even higher. The Institute, an interdisciplinary group of 850 people, addresses some of
the worlds most difficult problems, from eradication of disease to global warming. All this has given
Sachs a superstar status few economists enjoy . In 2005, MTV aired a documentary of
Sachs traveling in Africa with the actress Angelina Jolie. Earlier, he had toured with Bono, the lead singer of the
band U2, as part of a campaign for debt relief. One of Sachss Harvard colleagues at the time, noted economist
Robert Barro, recalls that Sachs once invited him to lunch with Bono to discuss the campaign. Barro says his
instinct was to decline, but he was overruled by his teenage daughter, who said: Dad, this is the coolest thing
imaginable . . . Of course you have to go. Sachss work also provokes criticism that the policies he champions often
have painful side effects. Its a charge he vigorously denies: In Bolivia, Poland, and Russia, my work was like an

The patient was already in shock: hyperinflation, mass

shortages, political instability, a collapsing currency, and pervasive fear.
Armchair critics have little concept of the nature of such tumult, and of
the challenges of devising policies in such confusion. Dont blame the
doctor for the condition of the patient coming into the emergency room.
emergency room doctors.

Shock therapy is most effective quickly operate before the

patient dies Bolivian President proves
De Lozada 08

(Onzalo Sanchez, the freaking President of Bolivia, in an interview with PBS, Commanding

At that time, there were two big arguments. First of all, people felt you
couldn't stop hyperinflation in a democracy ; that you had to have a
military government, an authoritarian government to take all these tough
steps that had to be taken. Bolivia was the first country to stop
hyperinflation in a democracy without depriving people of their civil rights
and without violating human rights. And two, there was a big discussion
whether you could stop hyperinflation or inflation, period, by taking
gradual steps. Many people said you had to take it slowly. You have to
cure the patient. Shock treatment means you have a very sick patient
[and] you have to operate before the patient dies. You have to get the
cancer out, or you have to stop the infection. That's why we coined the
phrase that inflation is like a tiger and you have only one shot; if you don't
get it with that one shot, it'll get you. You have a credibility that you have
to achieve. If you keep to gradualism, people don't believe you, and the
hyperinflation just keeps roaring stronger . So shock therapy is get it over,
get it done, stop hyperinflation, and then start rebuilding your economy so
you achieve growth. INTERVIEWER: Whose idea was shock therapy? GONZALO SANCHEZ DE LOZADA: I
would say it was very much a discussed idea. This famous decree, 21060, that stopped hyperinflation in Bolivia took
three weeks [to formulate]. Victor Paz was sworn as president on the sixth of August; on the 29th of August we
came out with the decree. We spent one week saying, "Do we really need to do something? Do we really need
radical change?" and then another week debating shock treatment versus gradualism. Finally, we took one week to
write it all up. And it was a very big decree-220 articles. It covered all aspects of the Bolivian economy. [The]
argument about shock therapy was taking place inside our party, inside of our society, inside of the community of
economists. There were people who said, "You can do it; you can bring up interest rates, and you can tighten it."
Well, when it gets to the point of hyperinflation, when you study what had happened in history, and we studied the
German inflation, you find that they're only stopped when you have political credibility-in other words, when a new

And if the new government acts very rapidly in the first 100
days and takes steps, initiates a shock treatment that stops it once and
for all, then you start working on getting the patient to recover and
achieve economic growth. GONZALO SANCHEZ DE LOZADA: The president, Victor Paz, would direct us
government comes in.

with a great deal of wisdom, saying, "Look, boys, you've got one chance, and remember, as Machiavelli said, 'It's all
the bad news at once, and the good news little by little.'" So he said get it all done, and we did it. In this Jeff Sachs

"Look, all this gradualist stuff, it just

doesn't work. When it really gets out of control you've got to stop it, like a
medicine. You've got to take some radical steps; otherwise your patient is
going to die."
was indirectly influential, because in his visits he said,

A2: Cuban Stability Impact

The embargo only causes instability emboldening hardliners
and preventing a peaceful democratic transition
Cuba Study Group 13

(The Cuba Study Group is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization

made up of business and professional individuals seeking to help facilitate a peaceful transition in
Cuba leading to a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law, Restoring
Executive Authority Over U.S. Policy Toward Cuba, February,

the U.S. embargo against Cuba has failed to accomplish its

objectives, as stated in Helms-Burton, of causing regime change and
restoring democracy in Cuba. Continuing to ignore this obvious truth is
not only counterproductive to the interests of the United States, but also
increasingly damaging to Cuban civil society, including the more than 400,000
The codification of

Cubans now working as licensed private entrepreneurs, because it places the burden of sanctions
squarely on their shoulders to bear. At a time when Cuba seems headed toward a path of change and

reforms, albeit slower than desired, and a real debate seems to be emerging
within Cubas elite regarding its future, the inflexibility of U.S. policy has
the ironic effect of hurting and delaying the very changes it seeks to
produce by severely limiting Cubas ability to implement major economic
reforms and strengthening the hand of the reactionaries, rather than the
reformers, within the Cuban government. Moreover, Helms-Burton and related
statutory provisions in Torricelli and TSRA deny the United States the
flexibility to address dynamic conditions in Cuba in a strategic and
proactive way. They effectively tie the Presidents hands in responding to
developments on the Island, placing the impetus for taking advantage of
the processes of change in Cuba in hands of hard-liners among Cubas
ruling elites, whose interests are best served by the perpetuation of the

No risk the aff causes Cuban instability

McGinley and Morley 8 (Morris and Chris, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Cuba Too Big a Prize
for Meddling US to Resist, 2/20,

the Cuban leadership have maintained their

historic socialist commitments but with a pragmatic adaptation to the new
global realities forced upon them by the collapse of the Soviet Union . This
has meant a selective opening of the Cuban economy to market forces and the rejection of
revolutionary adventurism in favour of a foreign policy based on
appropriate state-to-state relations. While the authoritarian structures have not been
dismantled - for which Castro bears a share of responsibility - the absence of political reform
must be viewed in the context of a hostile and destabilising United States
intent on reigning the island back into its sphere of influence. Left to its
own devices, post-Castro Cuba would probably evolve into a social democracy - one
of the few genuine social democracies in Latin America - intent on
preserving its national independence and little more. It would, in other words,
probably become for the first time in 50 years a non-issue in regional and global
Since the end of the Cold War Castro and

affairs . But the question is whether Cuba will be left to its own devices .
Every US president since Eisenhower has sought to "win back" Cuba. George
Bush is no exception. In his first comprehensive policy statement on Cuba, in May 2001, Bush set down

the general administration line, declaring: "The policy of our government

is not merely to isolate Castro, but to actively support those working to bring about
democratic change in Cuba." In statements and policy guidelines since, the US has made
clear that "democratic change" means nothing less than the total
dismantling of the revolutionary state and what remains of its command (or
economy. It is this, despite the rhetoric about electoral democracy,
that is the fundamental objective of US policy.

A2: Medical Brain Drain DA

Non-unique massive medical emigration now and US policy
towards doctors is already open border
Ojito 9

(Mirta, writer for the New York Times, Doctors in Cuba Start Over in the U.S., 8/4,

Miami is awash with

Cuban doctors who have defected in recent years. By some estimates, 6,000
medical professionals, many of them physicians, have left Cuba in the last
six years. Cuban doctors have been fleeing to South Florida since Fidel Castro
seized power in 1959, but the pace intensified after 2006, when the
Department of Homeland Security began a program that allowed Cuban
medical personnel who study or work in a third country under the
direction of the Cuban government to travel to the United States legally.
The program has effectively turned a crowning achievement of Cubas
foreign policy on its head.
While the rest of the country is suffering from a shortage of primary care physicians,

Turn root cause of medical brain drain is the Cuban economy

only reforms can solve
Carroll 10

(Rory, writer for the Guardian, Cuba suffers exodus of the best and the brightest as economy
remains in the doldrums, 5/8,

across Havana report the same phenomenon. Young people, especially

well-educated professionals, are fleeing the island . Tens of thousands have
emigrated in the past two years. The exodus has alarmed the communist government but
remains largely unreported, a taboo topic for state media. " It's a sign that the revolution has
failed, so they don't want to talk about it. We are losing our future," said Ricardo Martinelli, a university

professor who has seen many of his students and his only child, a 23-year-old technician, emigrate in recent

Analysts blame growing frustration over President Ral Castro's

stalled reforms. After formally succeeding his brother Fidel last year, he promised economic
liberalisation, but the average monthly wage remains $20 (14). "What I notice

more and more is the disaffection of youth: more people not seeing a future," said one European diplomat. A
government-organised free concert on the Malecn seafront attracted a small fraction of the expected audience.
When performers attempted rabble-rousing speeches, the crowd drifted away. Unlike the mass exodus of the Mariel
boatlift in 1980, when a chaotic scramble across the Florida straits seized world attention, this new wave of
emigration has involved an orderly and discreet transit through Havana's Jos Mart airport. "At least 80% of my
peers have left," said Jos-Miguel Marn, a 38-year-old scientist. "I keep track through Facebook. They are all over:

Cuba has
loosened restrictions on leaving, opening the door to those who have the
will and means to wrangle a visa for another country. Often that means
the best and brightest. "I saw people weeping when they were turned down for a US visa," said Carmen
Ecuador, Mexico, the United States, Spain." Bureaucratic and financial hurdles remain, but

Gonce, 65, after visiting the office that represents US interests in Havana. Ecuador has become a magnet, because
it requires only a letter of invitation rather than a visa.

Last year Cuban arrivals soared by


to 27,114, according to the national immigration agency. The number of Cubans marrying Ecuadoreans
jumped from 88 in 2007 to 1,542 in the first nine months of 2009. Not all stay: some buy clothes and other goods
and return home to resell at a hefty mark-up. Others swiftly hopscotch on to other countries, especially the US. All

population stopped growing in 2006 and is now shrinking at a rate unseen
since the cholera epidemic and wars of the 19th century. A population of 11,237,154 in 2007 is
the same, Quito's La Florida district has become a "little Miami", with Cuban bars and restaurants.

expected to dwindle by 77,000 in the next two decades. Partly that represents a success for 51 years of communist
rule: good education and healthcare help the Cubans to live as long as Americans, and lower fertility rates resemble
the demographic curve of many western countries. Emigration is the other major factor, but in this Cuba is hardly
unique. Poland and Ireland, for instance, haemorrhage young professionals during times of economic distress. The
difference is that Cuba was supposed to be enjoying a new dawn.

On taking office Ral Castro

promised to open up a moribund economy 95% controlled by the state,

raising hopes that a Caribbean North Korea would become a growth tiger
like China or Vietnam. There have been modest steps: greater autonomy for farmers; the ban on owning computers,
mobile phones and DVD players has been lifted; de facto privatisation of barber shops and beauty salons;
bureaucracy clipped in provincial towns. But Ral has ignored deeper reforms , suggesting his
more doctrinaire brother remains influential. "As long as Fidel is alive, Ral will not cross him," said Ann Louise
Bardach, author of Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana, and Washington. "And for Fidel everything is

The result is
continued iron political control amid a rusting, ruined economy. Parque Trillo
about the fall of the Russians. He fears that if we open this, we lose everything."

betrayed some of the symptoms: crumbling apartments, withered vegetables in a food market, staff in a nearby
state utility mope at their desks, indifferent to waiting customers. A group of boys in their late teens playing
baseball with a ball made of twine laughed when asked why they weren't studying or working. "To earn $20 a
month? Would you?", said one. The only motivated workers seemed to be the jineteros and jineteras (prostitutes)

professionals must wait five years and forfeit benefits before being
allowed to leave. That did not deter David Aguirre, a 32-year-old doctor,
from leaving for Europe. His final email to friends in Havana was euphoric:
"Big hugs, one more passenger, one more Cuban for the diaspora!!!"
trying to pick up foreigners at the Palacio de la Rumba. A successful night can net more than $50.

Current US policies causing medical brain drain from Cuba

CDA 4/13/12 [Center for Demonracy in the Americas]

(Flashback/Fast Forward: Obama, Cuban Docs, and the Summit of the

In 2006, the Bush administration started the Cuban Medical Professional Parole
Program to encourage Cuban medical personnel saving lives internationally, most often
located in rural areas or slums of the worlds poorest countries, to leave their posts. The Program
promised special U.S. immigration rights for these Cuban doctors and
health personnel, today numbering nearly 39,000 . Although Cubans who reach
the United States seeking asylum already enjoy preferential immigration
status when they arrive, this program makes Cuban medical personnel
eligible for parole abroad. As Fox News Latino reported, the program was the
brainchild of Cuba-born diplomat Emilio Gonzlez, director of the U.S. Citizen &
Immigration Services from 2006 to 2008a staunchly anti-Castro exile. He has characterized
Cubas policy of sending doctors and other health workers abroad as state-sponsored human trafficking.

more than 1,500 Cuban doctors and health care

personnel received visas under the program issued by U.S. consulates in
65 countries by the end of 2010. The promise to enter our country at the
head of our long immigration line to practice medicine in the United States is a
powerful inducement, as Cubans devoted to working in the medical
system freely admit. Youd go, too, if you could triple your pay, said Juan
According to the Wall Street Journal,

Bautista Palay, chief of physical therapy at Havanas 10 de Octubre Hospital.

Medical brain drain solves Cubas economy

Russell 13 (Jim, writer for the Pacific Standard, Cubas Talent Export Strategy, 5/8,

Brain drain is economic development. Exporting talent is a smart

strategy . The return on investment for Cuba: So what might Cubas latest foray into
medical diplomacy entail? In return for physicians and other health workers, Brazil
is expected to fund infrastructure projects in Cuba and direct a $176
million loan toward Cuban airports. Cuban medical personnel, meanwhile, will fan out to rural

Brazil gets doctors. Cuba

gets airports. Talent is the new oil. Really, talent is the new gasoline or diesel fuel. People
are the raw material, refined through education. Better to export a value
added product than be a banana republic . One big difference: the migrant, the talent
export, also benefits. Migration is economic development.
areas of Brazil that are typically underserved by doctors. Reciprocity. Rural

Cuban laws regarding medical professionals solve

Boggs 12

(Clay, writer for the Washington Office on Latin America, Cubans Allowed to Travel Abroad Without
Exit Visas, 10/16,

there are lots of unanswered questions, both on the Cuban side

and about the implications for the United States . For example, it is still not
clear which categories of professionals will continue to need exit visas, or
how many individuals will still face restrictions. The law suggests that
some highly qualified professionals, such as doctors, will continue to

need some kind of official permission to leave Cuba . (The Cuban Medical
Professional Parole Program in the United States , initiated in 2006 by the George W.
Bush administration, encourages Cuban doctors working abroad to leave Cuban
government service by offering them favorable immigration treatment ).

Economic deterioration will cause Cuban dismantlement of

their health care system
Steven Ullmann, Professor of Economics at Miami, 05

With the end of the Fidel Castro regime, negligible changes in the politics within Cuba and in foreign relations and
trade between Cuba and the United States are indeed a possibility. Recent moves to strengthen the military
infrastructure within the country seem to indicate this. If little political change occurs after a regime change, U.S.
frustration will cause, if anything, increased U.S. restraints on trade with Cuba. If this scenario occurs, then it is

continued deterioration of the

economic situation within Cuba with carryover to the health care sector. One
can assume that the medical infrastructure, operating under compromised
conditions within hospitals and clinics, would continue to deteriorate, with
even more constraints on technology and equipment and fewer basic
sanitary supplies. Housing and food shortages and current nutritional concerns would not be alleviated;
vulnerable populations would continue to be at risk, and their health care
problems would become worse. This would put increased strains on the
already stressed medical care system. It is reasonable to expect that aggregate mental health
quite possible that there will be more of the same, namely,

would also continue to decline with resultant increases in murder and suicide rates. The government of Cuba would
attempt to counter this situation by generating revenues with increased tourism, a factor already discussed as one
of the major causes of an increased incidence of STDs and AIDS and a variable affecting the high rate of abortion in

More efforts to trade doctors and medications for oil will result
from continued political processes, as Cuba will seek markets that are not foreclosed to
trade. With this situation, however, will come continued frustration on the
part of medical professionals. A combination of an oversupply of medical
personnel, poor working conditions, and very poor remuneration will only
reduce the morale of the medical care workforce even further . Ultimately, all
the country.

these stresses will have consequences in terms of stress on the political system. The period of transition post-Castro
will be an extremely critical period in the lives of Cubans.

Reforms key to Cuban health care

Elaine Scheye, Editorial Board Member at Journal of Health Care Finance, 20 09


Three hurricanes in a row that caused major devastation will require Cuba years to rebuild and recover. On top of

mounting trade deficits, lack of lines of credit due to defaults,

and illiquidity remain serious issues affecting incentives to continue
investing in Cuba and a decline in exports are taking their toll. Given that global
recovery appears not immediately in sight, the magnitude of damage to Cubas ability to
maintain, upgrade and achieve long-term sustainability is a central issue .
the hurricanes,

To overcome the crisis, Cuba and its leaders must step up to the plate to implement actions that incentivize its
youth and other idle workers who must be made to realize they can benefit from the fruits of their labor through
rewards from their productivity. In the men tioned four-hour speech delivered on November 17, 2005 Fidel Castro

If Cuba fails to adapt by adopting some marketbased schemes, its vaunted healthcare system will be most unlikely to be
sustained over the long-term either through neither medical diplomacy nor medical tourism. Cuba
expressed his concern about the future.

will need to implement more market-based reforms than Ral Castro appears to be attempting. The next challenge
is how to motivate its citizens to become productive. But wages will have to become livable and allow for
discretionary income as well. This will occur with the next generation of workers most likely and amongst those
presently entering the work force for the first time. Productivity and reward for ones work may also necessitate
structural and political change in Cuba if it is to become less vulnerable economically. Even if the embargo, long
blamed by the leadership of Cuba for its economic ills were to be lifted totally or even partially, a stable and viable
economy will not happen over night.

A2: Politics Link

Support for removing the embargo is increasing prefer recent
Boggs 13

(Clay, writer for the Washington Office on Latin America, Three Harbingers of Change in U.S. Cuba
Policy, 3/28,

The U.S. embargo has been in place for more than 50 years , so sometimes it is
difficult to believe that it will ever end. But there are signs that change is coming. Here
are three recent developments that are indicative of where U.S. Cuba
policy is headed: Rep. Kathy Castor announced on March 27 that she is opposed
to the embargo, saying to the Tampa Bay Business Journal that It is time for the U.S. to
modernize its relationship with Cuba, lift the embargo and end restrictions
on Americans' rights to travel to Cuba. Rep. Cas tor is not the first member of Congress to
oppose the embargo, but she is the first member of Congress from Florida
to do so. Together with the election of Rep. Joe Garca (the first proengagement Cuban-American member of Congress) and President
Obamas stellar performance among Cuban Americans in November 2012,
Rep. Castors announcement is an indication of where Florida politics are

Cuban oil creates support for the aff

Miller 11 (Edward, researcher and writer for the Centre for Research on Globalization, Cubas Offshore Oil and

the U.S. Imposed Blockade,

This oil wont be easy to extract, since it sits under the seabed, not too far from where the
disastrous BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe blew out in April last year. The
memory of that spill still hasnt faded, and indeed it could be that memory
that gives the most realistic chance of ending the abhorrent economic
blockade that has been imposed on Cuba.

The Blockade Since 1962 the United States

has enacted a near-total blockade on all trade with Cuba, as well as banning US citizens from
travelling to Cuba. This was further reinforced by the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act, which penalizes
foreign companies that do business in Cuba by preventing them from operating in the US. Every year
since 1992 the United Nations General Assembly has condemned the embargo as a violation of
international law (notably the Geneva Convention requirement that medical supplies intended for
civilians receive free passage), most recently on 25 October 2011, with only the United States and
Israel voting against the resolution. Despite the liberal face of the Obama administration and a
softening of travel restrictions (students and religious groups can now visit), the blockade remains a
testament to vehement US repudiation of the right to self-determination of its former colonies.

Cuban oil gives rise to two factors which could

compel a change of policy. First, and perhaps most obvious, is the simple fact that the US
Nonetheless the availability of

Empire relies on a cheap flow of oil to maintain its economic supremacy, especially in the face of
increased competition from developing economies. One might expect a policy similar to that exercised
towards the Chavez administration, balancing revulsion towards their politics with relish towards their
oil. Whether the Cuban government would allow such a farcical double standard remains to be seen,
and it could be equally likely that the headstrong Castros would rather sell their oil directly to other

there is
another factor which, if it registers on the American political landscape,
could undermine the embargo the possibility of an oil spill and the
potential impact to the US coastline. Unlike most environmental issues, the
Deepwater Horizon blowout is a rare event in that it captured peoples attention for
a sustained period of time. Despite BPs culture of denial, it has become clear that the spill
stemmed from corporate malfeasance, and could have been prevented. Were another event of
a similar magnitude to occur due to the US ideological refusal to engage
developing countries in an attempt to countervail existing impoverishment. However

with Cuba due to an antiquated Cold War policy, the political fallout could
be even more disastrous . Drilling is currently banned off the Florida
coast, and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources Jeff Bingaman has expressed concern that the continuing USCuba imbroglio might prevent the countries from responding properly in
the event of a spill. It would take only a few days for an oil slick to reach
the Florida Keys, an area characterized by coral reef (almost half of which
has already died) and mangroves these shallow areas are particularly vulnerable to oil spills.
The embargo currently prevents the two containment services companies operating in the Gulf from

while exemptions to the embargo are available,

the urgency required to deal with such a spill renders this procedure
impracticable. The US Department of Justice is currently investigating whether Repsol could be
dealing with such an event and,

held legally responsible for a spill, and Repsol have agreed to letting US inspectors examine Scarabeo
9 once it arrives in December. The US and Mexican governments have a written contingency plan
outlining procedures to deal with such an event, and many experts, including marine biologist David
Guggenheim, are pushing for a government to government meeting to put together a similar plan for

Florida is the most populous presidential swing state, and

this issue may be relevant as presidential elections push closer.
Businessmen have also expressed a desire for the government to
reconsider the embargo, as the discovery of oil tends to provide
confidence to traders and speculators across all commodity markets. Latin
American studies expert Mark Jones from Rice University has stated that, [ t]he greater the
drilling and production, the greater the pressure will be to engage in a
complete overhaul of the trade embargo, either getting rid of it
altogether, or watering it down substantially. I think its fairly realistic,
since the embargo is an anachronism of the Cold War sustained only by a
misguided fear of a backlash from anti-Castro Cuban Americans.
US-Cuba relations.

The Cuba lobby is weakening now on balance theres more

support for removing the embargo
Thale 12

(Geoff, Director of the Washington Office on Latin America, The Writing is on the Wall: The CubanAmerican Vote and the Future of U.S. Policy toward Cuba, 11/8,

In Floridas Cuban-American community, change is in the air. There have been

signs of this change for several years. As we have pointed out in the past, recent polling shows
shifting Cuban-American views on U.S. Cuba policy, especially among recent arrivals
and young Cuban Americans. Tuesday night, the changing opinions and changing demographics of the
Cuban-American community made themselves heard at the polls. Advocates of change in U.S.
policy toward Cuba have long argued that the community is shifting: newer immigrants and younger
Cuban-American voters are less committed to continuing the U.S. embargo
of Cuba, and U.S. policy toward Cuba is less of a priority issue for them
than it was for the previous generation . Defenders of hardline policies
toward Cuba have always responded that Cuban-American voting gives the
lie to this argument (see the post-election commentary by Capitol Hill Cubans, here). They point
to the continuing support for hardline positions in Congress and in the
Florida legislature, and they emphasize the modest support for presidential candidates who have more
pro-engagement positions. Wheres the beef? has been their essential response. In Tuesdays election results in
Florida, we can see exactly where it is. As Anya Landau French pointed out yesterday in The Havana Note, and Phil

Cuban Americans voted for Obama in record numbers .

Obama secured 48 percent of the Cuban-American vote ,
edged out only slightly by Romney . Obama, who liberalized people-toPeters in the Cuban Triangle,
Recent reports suggest that

people travel, dropped the Bush administrations hostile rhetoric toward

Cuba, and allowed Cuban-American families to visit Cuba as much as they
want and send as much money to Cuba as they want, increased his
percentage of the Cuban-American vote by ten points. The size of the shift
is especially significant: until this year, Bill Clintons 1996 campaign had
held the position as most successful Democratic campaign ever in
garnering Cuban-American votes. On Tuesday, Obama surpassed Clintons numbers. Also, on
Tuesday night, the hardline blocs historical dominance of Cuban-American
politics was finally broken : Rep. David Rivera was defeated by moderate
Cuban-American Joe Garcia. Rivera introduced several pieces of harsh antiCuba legislation, including an amendment to turn back travel regulations to the George W. Bush era. After
a bizarre election scandal, in which Rivera allegedly funneled thousands of dollars in cash to support a previously
unknown primary challenger, Garcia defeated Rivera by ten points. And, as William Vidal noted in On Two Shores,

Democratic candidate for Florida State Legislature Jose Javier Rodriguez, a

Cuban American who supports Obamas liberalization of travel to Cuba,
defeated the hardline incumbent Alex Diaz de Portilla in the district that
includes little Havana.

Affs not a salient political issue

Thale 12 (Geoff, Director of the Washington Office on Latin America, Cuba in the Presidential Debate,

silence on Cuba also suggests some changing political dynamics . First,

Obamas modest easing of U.S.-Cuban tensions, and particularly his
relaxation of travel restrictions for Cuban Americans, are not particularly
controversial, even in South Florida. The Romney campaign does not see much to be gained by
highlighting differences on this issue. Second, the demographics of the Cuban-American
community, which have been changing for years, are finally having an
impact in the electoral arena (for example, the race between hardline Cuban-American Rep. David
Garcia and more moderate Cuban-American challenger Joe Garcia is essentially tied). The older hardline
Cuban exiles have been losing ground to younger and newer voters, who
are more concerned about domestic politics and want to be able to visit
relatives in Cuba. These newer voters are not necessarily friends of the Cuban regime, but CastroBut the


bashing is not high on their agenda and does not win their vote. The
decline in Cubas salience as a domestic political issue is an encouraging
sign. It suggests that, over time, we might be able to have a more rational discussion about U.S. interests, the
changes that are occurring in Cuba itself, and how the United States might play a constructive role in improving the
climate for human rights and democracy in Cuba.

Proponents of the plan will be more mobilized then opposition

Sergio Dickerson, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, 2010 (UNITED STATES
Achieving Congressional approval will be difficult although not impossible in the
present economic recession. The economic benefits associated with new
business opportunities in Cuba can encourage skeptics in Congress to

mobilize . As a counterargument to a continued embargo, the President

can point to the dangers associated with failed states like Somalia

inadvertently caused by the very environment sanctions create. A strong

communication strategy to gain American support coupled with a
softening Cuban American stance, shrouded in economic opportunity,
could encourage Congressional dialogue and resolution. President Obama
can succeed if he sets realistic goals and expresses these to the American public
before the media or his opposition defines these.

A2: China SOI DA

Non-unique Cuba isnt following China now
Hearn, 12 (Adrian H., author and research fellow at the School of Social and
Political Sciences, the University of Sydney, China, Global Governance and the
Future of Cuba, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41, 1, 155-179, page 168-168,
January 2012, Online,, accessed 7/16/13) PE
Cuban leaders have rejected the notion that they intend to follow a China
model of development. A historically accrued wariness of excessive foreign influence
has long coloured the character of the islands international engagement, and
relations with China appear to be no exception. Spanish colonialism in the nineteenth
century, along with US domination in the first half of the twentieth century and Soviet micromanagement in the

second half each provoked strong nationalistic responses. Cuba learned from the Cold War that it
was poorly served by Soviet-style centralised bureaucratic structures, an admission made by Fidel Castro himself
(1988). In the wake of the Soviet collapse, the Cuban government began to experiment with decentralisation,
manifested in the constitutional reforms of 1992, which facilitated the division of Havana into 93 (subsequently 105)
Popular Councils, and the passage of Decree Law 143, which allowed local management of Havanas historic centre,
the countrys most dynamic economic zone. While the revitalisation of Old Havana under the Office of the
Historian of the City was a considerable success, the broader push for decentralisation exhibited more ambivalent
results. The liberalisation of resources and the devolution of executive capacities did not keep pace with local plans,
and overly China, Global Governance and the Future of Cuba 169 rigid structures of monitoring and compliance
diminished local creativity (Fernndez Soriano 1999).

Theres no link ending the embargo doesnt mean increased

trade with the U.S.
Suchlicki, 13 (Jaime, Distinguished Professor and Director, Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American
Studies, University of Miami, author of multiple books on Cuba and Mexico, What If...the U.S. Ended the Cuba
Travel Ban and the Embargo?, An Information Service of the Cuba Transition Project, Issue 185, February 26, 2013,
Online,, accessed 7/18/13) PE

If the embargo is lifted, limited trade with ,

and investments in Cuba would develop.

Yet there are significant implications. Trade - All trade with Cuba is done with state owned businesses. Since Cuba
has very little credit and is a major debtor nation, the U.S. and its businesses would have to provide credits to
Cuban enterprises. There is a long history of Cuba defaulting on loans. -

substantial amount of products in the U.S.

Cuba is not likely to buy a

In the past few years, Cuba purchased several

Cuba can buy

in any other country and it is not likely to abandon its relationship with
China, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran to become a major trading partner of the U.S. - Cuba
has very little to sell in the U.S. Nickel, one of Cuba's major exports, is controlled by
the Canadians and exported primarily to Canada. Cuba has decimated its sugar industry and there is no
appetite in the U.S. for more sugar. Cigars and rum are important Cuban exports. Yet, cigar production is
mostly committed to the European market . Cuban rum could become an important export,
hundred million dollars of food in the U.S. That amount is now down to $170 million per year.

competing with Puerto Rican and other Caribbean rums.

China supports the plan

UN 11

United Nations General Assembly Department of Public Information

News and Media Division New York Sixty-sixth General Assembly Plenary 41st &

LIMERES (Argentina), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and

China, noted that last years announcement by the United States on the
relaxation of travel restrictions and transfer of remittances had given
hope that steps were being taken in the right direction . But a year later, it was clear

that those measures had had only limited effect and that the embargo was still in place. Largely unchanged, it
continued to impose severe economic and financial restrictions on Cuba that negatively impacted the well-being of
its people. Further, it frustrated efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The embargo against
Cuba contravened the fundamental norms of international law, international humanitarian law, the United Nations
Charter and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States, violating the principles of the
sovereign equality of States and of non-intervention and non-interference in each others domestic affairs, as the
Group of 77 and China had pointed out many times before. At the second South-South Summit in Doha in 2005, the
Group had rejected the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and all other forms of

Recalling that
last year a large majority - 187 Member States - had voted in favour of the draft
resolution presented by Cuba, he said that the Group of 77 and China fully
coercive economic measures, including unilateral sanctions against developing countries.

supported the current text calling for an end to the embargo and urged
all Member States to do so.

AT: Counterplan

A2: Phase-in CP
Perm do the counterplan plan doesnt commit to a timeframe
for removing sanctions on Cuba puts them in a double bind
unless they lift the whole embargo the counterplan will never
lead to the aff their politics links prove
Links to politics Zimmerman says that the aff would be
unpopular, not that the counterplans popular ANY change in
Cuban policy causes fierce political fights
Cave 12 (Damien, reporter for the New York Times, Easing of Restraints in Cuba Renews Debate on U.S.


Cuba has a long history of tossing ice on warming relations. The latest
the jailing of Alan Gross, a State Department contractor who has spent
nearly three years behind bars for distributing satellite telephone equipment to Jewish groups in Havana. In
Washington, Mr. Gross is seen as the main impediment to an easing of the
embargo, but there are also limits to what the president could do without
Congressional action. The 1992 Cuban Democracy Act conditioned the
waiving of sanctions on the introduction of democratic changes inside
Cuba. The 1996 Helms-Burton Act also requires that the embargo remain until Cuba has a transitional or
democratically elected government. Obama administration officials say they have not given
up, and could move if the president decides to act on his own . Officials say that
under the Treasury Departments licensing and regulation-writing
authority, there is room for significant modification. Following the legal logic of Mr. Obamas changes in 2009,
further expansions in travel are possible along with new allowances for
investment or imports and exports, especially if narrowly applied to Cuban businesses. Even
these adjustments which could also include travel for all Americans and
looser rules for ships engaged in trade with Cuba, according to a legal analysis
commissioned by the Cuba Study Group would probably mean a fierce political fight.
The handful of Cuban-Americans in Congress for whom the embargo is
sacred oppose looser rules. When asked about Cuban entrepreneurs who are seeking more American
support, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Florida Republican who is chairwoman of
the House Foreign Relations Committee, proposed an even tighter
embargo. The sanctions on the regime must remain in place and, in fact,
should be strengthened, and not be altered , she wrote in an e-mail. Responsible
nations must not buy into the facade the dictatorship is trying to create by
announcing reforms while, in reality, its tightening its grip on its

example is

Delay counterplans are a voter steal the whole case, destroy

topic education and aff predictability they can delay the aff
until any point in the future make them explain why an
incremental approach to phasing out sanctions against Cuba
doesnt include the aff
Action in the next few weeks vital for relations a large
initiative is key
McAuliff 7/17

(John, Founder and Executive Director, Fund for Reconciliation and Development, Are We
Verging on a Big Change with Cuba? Huffington Post,

U.S.-Cuba talks about establishing normal postal links were held last
month and migration talks are to resume this week. Behind the scenes,
are larger topics under discussion? Paul Haven of the Associated Press raised the possibility:
Cuba and the U.S.. have taken some baby steps toward rapprochement in
recent weeks that have people on this island and in Washington
wondering if a breakthrough in relations could be just over the horizon.
Long-time reporter Tim Padgett echoed it on WLRN in Miami: could this finally be the summer of
love on the Florida Straits?... Diplomats on both sides report a more
cooperative groove. There will never be a good moment to cut the
Gordian knot that obstructs a rational relationship with Cuba, but the
next couple of months look about the best we can get.

Perm do both
Any change to the embargo triggers the link even if it doesnt
go through Congress
Cave 12 (Damien, reporter for the New York Times, Easing of Restraints in Cuba Renews Debate on U.S.


Cuba has a long history of tossing ice on warming relations. The latest
the jailing of Alan Gross, a State Department contractor who has spent
nearly three years behind bars for distributing satellite telephone equipment to Jewish groups in Havana. In
Washington, Mr. Gross is seen as the main impediment to an easing of the
embargo, but there are also limits to what the president could do without
Congressional action. The 1992 Cuban Democracy Act conditioned the
waiving of sanctions on the introduction of democratic changes inside
Cuba. The 1996 Helms-Burton Act also requires that the embargo remain until Cuba has a transitional or
democratically elected government. Obama administration officials say they have not given
up, and could move if the president decides to act on his own . Officials say that
under the Treasury Departments licensing and regulation-writing
authority, there is room for significant modification. Following the legal logic of Mr. Obamas changes in 2009,

example is

further expansions in travel are possible along with new allowances for investment or imports and exports,

Even these adjustments which could

also include travel for all Americans and looser rules for ships engaged in
trade with Cuba, according to a legal analysis commissioned by the Cuba Study Group would
probably mean a fierce political fight. The handful of Cuban-Americans in
Congress for whom the embargo is sacred oppose looser rules. When asked
about Cuban entrepreneurs who are seeking more American support, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the
especially if narrowly applied to Cuban businesses.

Florida Republican who is chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations

Committee, proposed an even tighter embargo. The sanctions on the
regime must remain in place and, in fact, should be strengthened, and not
be altered, she wrote in an e-mail. Responsible nations must not buy into the
facade the dictatorship is trying to create by announcing reforms while,
in reality, its tightening its grip on its people.

Only complete and abrupt removal of embargo fosters

Klaas Hinderdael, Associate Case Manager at Kroll risk management, 6/11/ 11
(Breaking the Logjam: Obama's Cuba Policy and a Guideline for Improved Leadership,

As a result of the administrations hesitancy to drastically shift its Cuba

policy, Abraham Lowenthal, an expert on Cuban-American relations, has
concluded, far from ushering in a new beginning, the Obama administration
seemed to revert to the stance of several previous US administrations: it would wait for
Cuba to change.13 Despite sluggish progress in shifting policies and improving relations, this analysis
seems to disregard President Obamas consistent ideological rejection of an America working only with a league of

engagement, albeit slowly, is continuing to gain

traction within the administration. In particular, this has been visible since mid-2010, when Ral
Democracies. In fact, it appears that

began a second round of economic reforms,14 bringing many experts to claim that a new phase in Cuban history is
unfolding.15 In September 2010, Ral announced that the state was cutting a half-million jobs, simultaneously
giving incentives to citizens to open new private businesses and instituting a new payroll tax on a sliding scale to
increase the hiring of labor.16 It is telling that Rals reforms alter the founding principles of the post-1959 Cuban
society. Ral himself implied an internal shift when he noted, Socialism means equality of rights, not of income...
equality is not egalitarianism.17 At the most fundamental level, these economic reforms indicate a transformation
in the relationship between Cuban society and its government. In addition, Ral has indicated an increased
willingness to make political reforms, releasing nearly all of the islands political prisoners, including 52 in July
2010.18 though they leave much to be desired in the realm of human rights, the scope of Rals newest era of

As Cuba has moved down a path of

internal transformation, beginning to unclench control over its own society, President Obama
has slowly reached out. On January 14, 2011, the administration stepped toward a
more active engagement by restoring higher education exchange
programs, extending travel remittance allowances to all Americans, and
permitting chartered flights to Havana from anyUSairport.19 though this progress
indicates that relations are steadily improving , a potential breakthrough in
reforms is unprecedented in post-Cold War Cuba.


and Americas Cuba policy

is only possible by opening high-level diplomatic

relations and eliminating the US embargo. The strategic, economic, and

political background that has helped shape Americas Cuba policy has
shifted tremendously since the end of the Cold War. For half a century, the United
States has attemptedand failedto force democratization on the island by
combining an economic embargo with either diplomatic isolation or limited
engagement. In recent years, however, Ral has increasingly charted a new course for Cuba. Despite many
of these reforms being in line with American values and interests, there has not been a drastic change in US-Cuba

Given the continued failure of past Cuba policies to achieve the stated goals, American
leaders should understand that there is much to gain from ending the
embargo and opening diplomatic relations with Cubaand surprisingly little to

Exclusively the unilateral and total lifting of the embargo is

effective to solve US credibility and soft power
Koenig 10 (Lance, 10 Colonel, US Army War College, Time for a New Cuba Policy,
Strategy Research Project, Colonel Lance R. Koenig, 2010,

There is a sound reason for unilaterally lifting the trade and travel embargoes
without first seeing positive actions from the Cuban government. From Cuba
expert Carlos A. Saladrigas, Co-Chairman, Cuba Study Group, We can go back in the history
-- in the 50-year history of United States-Cuba relations and clearly see that any time we begin
to see a little bit of relaxation of tensions in the relationship, whenever we begin to see a
little bit of openness on the part of the United States or Cuba, historically the Cuban government
has done something to counteract that trend and significantly revert back to
their playbook. 40 The United States needs to take the initiative away from
the Castro regime, and have them react to actions they have publicly called
for (removal of the embargo), but in reality are unsure of the second and third order effects and
their ability to control the outcome. One of the first problems for the Cuban
government after the removal of the embargo will be the excuse for the
poor performing economy. the embargo and the United States policy of
confrontation and isolation have been incredibly useful to the Cuban
regime as an alibi for the failures of the regime to meet the fundamental needs of the people on
the island, but also is a significant source of legitimacy, both internal and external.41 This situation may
present the United States with the opportunity to step in to assist with
market reforms if the Cuban economy sputters and the government realizes they
dont have a scapegoat. Conclusion The efforts expended by the United States to
keep the embargo effective, the loss of trade, and the loss of soft power in
most of the world are clearly not worth it in comparison to the threat that Cuba
poses today. The gains to be achieved by following any path other than the
unilateral removal of the economic and travel embargoes are small in comparison
to the overall costs of continuing the current failed policy. The United States is losing far
too much soft power in its efforts to punish and isolate the government of Cuba. American firms
could be left out of any economic gains as Cuba continues to grow its economy. As Cuba
emerges from the economic difficulties of the last two decades, the United States has an opportunity to influence
the future direction of our southern neighbor. The current United States policy has many passionate defenders, and
their criticism of the Castro regime is justified. Nevertheless, we must recognize the ineffectiveness of our current
policy and deal with the Cuban regime in a way that enhances United States interests.42 The United States cannot
afford to miss out on the window of opportunity to affect a positive change in the relationship with Cuba. If Cuba is
able to continue on a path of economic progress and emerge once again as a true regional power, with communism
intact, the United States will be the loser in this half century struggle. Cuba is spreading its limited influence to
Venezuela, Honduras, Nicaragua, and will be ready to bring in any other countries in the Americas that want to
move away from the United States orbit. The United States cant stand by and watch Cuba regain strength, intact
as a communist country, but must take this opportunity to create an inflection point for Cuba that guides her onto a
path that will benefit the nations of the Americas.

A2: Conditions CP
Perm do the counterplan the aff doesnt commit to certainty
Turn only removing the embargo without conditions leads to
political reform and Cuban stability, solves their net benefit
Cuba Study Group 13 (The Cuba Study Group is a non-partisan, not-for-profit
organization made up of business and professional individuals seeking to help facilitate a peaceful
transition in Cuba leading to a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law,
Restoring Executive Authority Over U.S. Policy Toward Cuba, February,

Helms-Burton Actwhich further codified the sanctions

embargo against Cuba and conditions its
suspension on the existence of a transition or democratic government in
Cubahas proven to be a counterproductive policy that has failed to
achieve its stated purposes in an increasingly interconnected world. Helms-Burton has
failed to advance the cause of freedom and prosperity for the Cuban people, to encourage free and
democratic elections in Cuba, to secure international sanctions against the
Cuban government, or to advance the national security interests of the
United States.1 It provides a policy framework for U.S. support to the
Cuban people in response to the formation of a transition government in
Cuba; yet, the all-or-nothing nature of its conditions for suspension
Seventeen years after its enactment, the

framework commonly referred to as the U.S.

undermine that very framework by effectively placing control over

changes to embargo sanctions in the hands of the current Cuban
leadership. Simply stated, it is an archaic policy that hinders the ability of the United
States to respond swiftly, intelligently and in a nuanced way to
developments on the island. Worst of all, the failures of Helms-Burton have more recently produced
a tragic paradox: Policies once designed to promote democratization through
isolation are now stifling civil society, including an emerging class of
private entrepreneurs and democracy advocates whose rise represents
the best hope for a free and open society in Cuba in more than 50 years.
The Cuba Study Group believes that the most effective way to break the deadlock of
all-or-nothing conditionality and remedy the ineffectiveness of current
U.S.-Cuba policy is to de-codify the embargo through the repeal of
HelmsBurton and related statutory provisions in Torricelli and TSRA that
limit the Executive Branchs authority over U.S. foreign policy toward the
Island (hereinafter collectively referred to as Helms-Burton and related statutory provisions). Decodifying the embargo would allow the Executive Branch the flexibility to
respond strategically to developments in the Island as they take place;
using the entire range of foreign policy tools at its disposalincluding
diplomatic, economic, legal, political and culturalto advance the cause of
human rights and incentivize changes in Cuba. The primary consequences
of Helms-Burton and related statutory provisions have been to isolate the United
States from Cuba and to serve as a political scapegoat for the Cuban
governments many failures. It has become a Great Crutch to all sides of the Cuba debate. First, for
ordinary Cubans, their struggle has fallen hostage to an international dispute between their government and the

For the Cuban leadership, it has

become easier to blame the embargo than to adopt the difficult reforms
United States, which they see themselves as powerless to affect.

needed to fix their economy.

Lastly, for defenders of the status-quo within the Cuban-American

community, it has become easier to wait for the United States to solve our national problem rather than engage in

indiscriminately impacts all sectors of Cuban society, including democracy
advocates and private entrepreneurs, causing disproportionate economic
damage to the most vulnerable segments of the population. Conditioning
our policy of resource denial on sweeping political reforms has only served to
strengthen the Cuban government. The scarce resources available in an
authoritarian Cuba have been and continue to be allocated primarily based
on political priorities, thereby increasing the states relative power and its
ability to control its citizens. The majority of American voters, Cuban-Americans and Cuban









democracy advocates in the Island have rejected isolation as an element of U.S. policy toward Cuba and have called

As Cuba
undergoes a slow and uncertain process of reforms, the continued
existence of blanket U.S. sanctions only hinders the types of political
reforms that Helms-Burton demands. Instead of maintaining a rigid policy
that ties our hands and obsesses over hurting the Cuban leadership, U.S. policymakers
should adopt a results-oriented policy that focuses primarily on empowering the Cuban people
while simultaneously pressing the Cuban government to cease its repressive
practices and respect fundamental human rights . Repealing Helms-Burton
would also free civil society development and assistance programs to be
implemented outside of a contentious sanctions framework. Furthermore, the Cuba
on the U.S. government to implement a policy of greater contact and exchange with Cuban society.ii

Study Group believes that any forthcoming congressional review of current legislation relating to Cuba, such as a review of the
Cuban Adjustment Act, must require a review of the totality of the legislative framework codified in Helms-Burton and related
statutory provisions so that the United States may finally develop a coherent policy toward the Island.

While we wait

on the U.S. Congress to act, the Executive Branch should continue to take
proactive steps through its limited licensing authority to safeguard and
expand the free flow of contacts and resources to the Island, encourage
independent economic and political activity in Cuba, and increase the
relative power of Cuban private actors. The U.S. should pursue these
courses of action independent of actions taken by the Cuban government
so as not to place the reigns of U.S. policy in the hands of Cuban
proponents of the status quo.

Perm do the aff if Cuba says yes to the counterplan not

severance because the neg introduced multiple worlds into the
Cuba will violate any conditions the current government
hates the aff
Cuba Study Group 13

(The Cuba Study Group is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization

made up of business and professional individuals seeking to help facilitate a peaceful transition in
Cuba leading to a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law, Restoring
Executive Authority Over U.S. Policy Toward Cuba, February,

Defenders of the status quo inside the Cuban government have shown that they
view greater engagement with the United States as a threat to their hold
on power. As Elizardo Sanchez, the head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights, has recognized: The
more American citizens in the streets of Cuban cities, the better for the

cause of a more open society. The Cuban government has become

increasingly adept at manipulating U.S. policy choices. This is why any
sign of a thaw from the United States has repeatedly been followed by
confrontation or repression, which in turn has been followed by U.S. domestic pressure to tighten
economic sanctions. This pattern has become somewhat predictable, as recently
exemplified by Cubas imprisonment of U.S. contractor Alan Gross after
President Obama relaxed family travel and remittance restrictions in 2009
and U.S. policymakers refusal to pursue improved bilateral relations in
response. It can be reasonably concluded that elements of the Cuban
government do not, in fact, seek any substantial liberalization from U.S.
sanctions. Indeed, Helms-Burton provides them with an alibi for their own
failures and may well be essential to their political survival . Senator Jesse Helms
famously said that Helms-Burton tightened the noose around the neck of the last dictator in the Western
Hemisphere, Fidel Castro. In practice, however

, Helms-Burton may have served as an

incredibly convenient life raft, giving a struggling and failing system the
legitimacy that comes from the appearance of being a state under

The CP is the status quo conditions on aid wont lead to

reform in Cuba
Cuba Study Group 13

(The Cuba Study Group is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization

made up of business and professional individuals seeking to help facilitate a peaceful transition in
Cuba leading to a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law, Restoring
Executive Authority Over U.S. Policy Toward Cuba, February,

Helms-Burton has failed to advance the cause of freedom and prosperity

for the Cuban people. This is not surprising, since never in modern history has there
been a democratic transition in a country under a unilateral sanctions

as broad and severe as the one codified in Helms-Burton. Its blanket sanctions lack ethical or

they indiscriminately impact all levels of Cuban society,

from senior Cuban officials to democracy advocates and private
entrepreneurs. While it is no secret that Cuban government policies are primarily to blame for the Islands
moral consideration since

economic crisis, their impact has only been exacerbated and made disproportionately greater among the most
vulnerable segments of the population by the blanket sanctions codified under Helms-Burton. In addition, these

sanctions deny Cuba access to the international financial institutions it

would need to implement the type of macroeconomic reforms that U.S.
policy has sought for more than 50 years. Helms-Burton preconditions the
lifting of its blanket sanctions on sweeping political change in Cuba. In
practice, this waiting game has strengthened the relative power of the
Cuban government vis--vis the Cuban people while simultaneously giving
the former a convenient scapegoat for its oppressive practices and
economic blunders. Cuban blogger and democracy advocate Yoani Sanchez best illustrated the impact of
the waiting game enabled by Helms-Burton when she wrote: The five decade prolongation of
the blockade [as the embargo is referred to in Cuba] has allowed every setback weve
suffered to be explained as stemming from it , justified by its effects...To make matters worse,
the economic fence has helped to fuel the idea of a place besieged, where
dissent comes to be equated with an act of treason. The exterior
blockade has strengthened the interior blockade .ix

Former political prisoner and

economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe agrees, writing that Helms-Burtons blanket

sanctions have only served to give the Cuban government an alibi to
declare Cuba a fortress under siege, to justify repression and to (pass) the
blame for the economic disaster in Cuba.x Conditioning our policy of

resource denial on sweeping political reforms strengthens the Cuban

state because the scarce resources available in an authoritarian Cuba have been and
will continue to be allocated primarily based on political priorities , thereby
increasing the states relative power and its ability to control its citizens.
History has shown that the negative effects of such isolation can be long lasting and counterproductive to change.
During the Cold War, U.S. policy toward Eastern Europe was not based on isolation or resource denial. Indeed, an
analysis of these transitions reveals an extraordinary correlation between the degree of openness toward former
communist countries and the success of their transitions to democracies and market economies.

Reject the counterplan infinite conditions are impossible to predict and

steal the whole case wrecks aff ground and predictability and forces us
to debate against ourselves relations DAs solve any neg offense voter
for fairness and education

A2: XO
Perm do the counterplan aff never committed to Congress
Doesnt solve their Ashby ev concedes that The complete
dismantling of the Cuban economic embargo will undoubtedly
require congressional legislation
The CSG ev also concludes aff only the perm can solve because the affs
a prerequisite to presidential authority over Cuba and the signal of lifting
the whole embargo is key
Cuba Study Group 13 (The Cuba Study Group is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization
made up of business and professional individuals seeking to help facilitate a peaceful transition in
Cuba leading to a free and open society, respect for human rights and the rule of law, Restoring
Executive Authority Over U.S. Policy Toward Cuba, February,

the most effective way to break the deadlock of all-ornothing conditionality and remedy the ineffectiveness of current U.S.
policy is by de-codifying the embargo against Cuba through the repeal of
Helms-Burton and related statutory provisions that limit the Executive
Branchs authority over Cuban policy. Repealing Helm-Burton and related
statutory provisions would shift the primary focus of U.S. Cuba policy away from
the regime and toward empowering Cuban people . It would also enhance
the leverage of the United States to promote a multilateral approach
toward Cuba, as well as embolden reformers, democracy advocates and
private entrepreneurs inside the island to press their government for
greater change. De-codifying the embargo would allow the Executive
Cuba Study Group believes

Branch the flexibility to use the entire range of foreign policy tools at its
disposal diplomatic,
incentivize change in Cuba. The President would be free to adopt more
efficient, targeted policies necessary for pressuring the Cuban leadership
to respect human rights and implement political reforms, while simultaneously
empowering all other sectors of society to pursue their economic
wellbeing and become the authors of their own futures . Repealing Helms-Burton
would also free civil society development and assistance programs to be implemented outside of a contentious

Repealing the extraterritorial provisions of Helms-Burton

would allow the United States greater leverage in persuading the
international community, especially key regional partners, to adopt a
multilateral and targeted approach toward focusing on the advancement of
human rights in Cuba. This would fundamentally transform the
international dynamic that has long helped the Cuban government stifle
dissent, since its efforts to isolate critics at home would increasingly lead
to its own isolation from the international community . While it is difficult to prove a
direct causal connection between economic reforms and an open society, modern history has taught
us that it is increasingly difficult for dictatorial governments to maintain
political control the more prosperity their people enjoy . Repealing HelmsBurton and related statutory provisions would allow the U.S. the ability to
efficiently promote and provide direct support to Cubas private sector.
sanctions framework.

Such support would empower a greater plurality within Cuban society ,

including government reformers, democracy advocates, Cuban entrepreneurs and society as a whole by
increasing their access to the resources and expertise of the worlds most
prosperous private sector (and largest Cuban diaspora) , located a mere 90
miles from Cubas shores. In turn, this would enhance the relative power of
Cuban society to that of the state, while stripping the latter of its
preferred scapegoat for its oppressive practices and economic blunders .
U.S. policy should also seek to incentivize the Cuban government to end
state monopolies on economic activities and allow greater private
participation in the economy.

Perm do both
Links to politics
A) Any change to the embargo triggers the link even if it
doesnt go through Congress

Cave 12 (Damien, reporter for the New York Times, Easing of Restraints in Cuba Renews Debate on U.S.

Cuba has a long history of tossing ice on warming relations. The latest
the jailing of Alan Gross, a State Department contractor who has spent
nearly three years behind bars for distributing satellite telephone equipment to Jewish groups in Havana. In
Washington, Mr. Gross is seen as the main impediment to an easing of the
embargo, but there are also limits to what the president could do without
Congressional action. The 1992 Cuban Democracy Act conditioned the
waiving of sanctions on the introduction of democratic changes inside
Cuba. The 1996 Helms-Burton Act also requires that the embargo remain until Cuba has a transitional or
democratically elected government. Obama administration officials say they have not given
up, and could move if the president decides to act on his own . Officials say that
under the Treasury Departments licensing and regulation-writing
authority, there is room for significant modification. Following the legal logic of Mr. Obamas changes in 2009,

example is

further expansions in travel are possible along with new allowances for investment or imports and exports,

Even these adjustments which could

also include travel for all Americans and looser rules for ships engaged in
trade with Cuba, according to a legal analysis commissioned by the Cuba Study Group would
probably mean a fierce political fight. The handful of Cuban-Americans in
Congress for whom the embargo is sacred oppose looser rules. When asked
about Cuban entrepreneurs who are seeking more American support, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the
Florida Republican who is chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations
Committee, proposed an even tighter embargo. The sanctions on the
regime must remain in place and, in fact, should be strengthened, and not
be altered, she wrote in an e-mail. Responsible nations must not buy into the
facade the dictatorship is trying to create by announcing reforms while,
in reality, its tightening its grip on its people.
especially if narrowly applied to Cuban businesses.

B) Creates new Congressional debates over presidential

Propst 11

(Stephen, partner at Hogan Lovells LLC and writer for the Brookings Institution, Presidential
Authority To Modify Economic Sanctions Against Cuba, 2/15,

Obama announced measures to significantly loosen

the U.S. sanctions against Cuba, including broad new authorizations for
travel and non-family remittances to support private economic activity in
Cuba. These changes were made without prior Congressional approval and
are only the latest in a string of modifications to the Cuba sanctions that
have been implemented solely under the Presidents executive authority.
Along with the political and policy debates over the Presidents actions,
On January 14, 2011, President

there will undoubtedly be some who question whether the President had
sufficient legal authority to make these changes. This paper reviews the sources of the
Presidents authority to modify the Cuba sanctions and concludes that executive authority is broad
enough to support not only the changes announced to date, but also a
range of additional measures to ease restrictions.

Agent counterplans are a voter steal the whole case, shift the
debate away from topic education and create infinite agency
pics that destroy aff predictability

Only a complete elimination of the embargo solves the aff
look like a continuation of the status quo
Mitchell 01
(The Decline of Political Pertinence: U.S. Economic Sanctions Against Cuba
Lieutenant Colonal Stephen D. Mitchell, United States Army, 2001 March 18, Strategy Research Project)

A partial lifting of the

embargo in response to some change for the better in the Castro regime
will not work . First, it is inconceivable to any but the most intractable antiCastro elements in the United States that a settlement could occur on the
basis of the Helms-Burton provisions calling for virtual political suicide on
the part of the Revolution. Second, this quid pro quo approach has failed in
the past and will likely fail in the future. Castro will never willingly allow
himself to be seen as succumbing to Washingtons directives. He may play
with the idea of normalization; but at the moment he perceives his control
and Cuban sovereignty threatened, he will revert to the status quo.
There are two basic ways to lift the embargo, piecemeal or all at once.

Full elimination key to solve the counterplan makes the US

look like a bully
Vivanco 6- LLM from Harvard Law School, Americas director of Humans Rights
(Jose Miguel, Restraint, not force, will bring change to Cuba, humans rights watch,
12/22/06,, google scholar)
This reluctance would be understandable but misguided. Most Cubans do want
change. If they do not call for it after Mr Castro's death, it will be largely for the
same reason they did not during his lifetime: the country's repressive
machinery, which ruined countless lives, remains intact today. If the
international community misreads this silence, it will miss a historic opportunity.
Immediately after Mr Castro's death, the Cuban government will be more
vulnerable to pressure for change than ever before. Ral Castro, who has
already taken over the reigns of power, may wield the same old instruments of
repression. But he will not enjoy his brother's revolutionary stature, which at times
has been as vital as the repression for perpetuating the regime. This window of
opportunity is unlikely to last. Raul Castro may never match his brother's
unique combination of personal charisma and political cunning; yet, he could
easily acquire the other trait that Fidel exploited so effectively: the heroic image
of the Latin American David confronting the US Goliath. Whether Ral
Castro can claim the "David" role will depend largely on Washington. He
will be virtually guaranteed the part if the Bush administration stays the
40year course of unilateral embargo and unconditional ultimatum . It is
hard to think of a policy that has a longer track record of failure. Cuba is no more
open now than when the embargo was first imposed four decades ago. If anything,
the policy consolidated Mr Castro's hold by giving his government an excuse for its
problems and a pretext for its abuses. Moreover, because the policy was imposed
in such heavyhanded fashion, it enabled Mr Castro to garner sympathy
abroad, neutralising international pressure rather than increasing it.

While other governments may have been concerned about political

repression in Cuba, they were unwilling to be seen as siding with a bully.
To its credit, the Bush administration responded to news of Mr Castro's decline in
August with surprising restraint, with President George W. Bush saying Cuba's
citizens should determine their future. But if Washington hopes for
influence in Cuba, it must do much more. First, it will need to lift the
embargo. Nothing short of this will work , not even the "calibrated
response" espoused by the Clinton administration, in which the US would
ease the embargo in response to Cuban reforms. Why would the Cuban
government make concessions when the embargo helps keep it in power?
Yet, it would be nave to think the embargo's end would prompt the Cuban
government to change its ways. Instead, a more measured and multilateral
approach is needed, in which other governments in the region take the lead in
pressing Cuba to respect political freedoms. Finding allies willing to assume this role
will not be easy. But it may be the only hope for real change. By making the effort,
the US could begin to reverse the dynamic that helped keep Mr Castro in power.
Only when the US stops acting like Goliath will Cuba stop looking like

The US receives no credit for partial removal

Betancourt, Professor of Economics at Maryland, 2013

(Should the US Lift the Cuban Embargo? Yes; Maybe It Has; and Not for Free!,
With respect to labor flows, in many significant ways the embargo is already
lifted by the US through the Immigration Accord of 1994 that allows at
least 20,000 legal immigrants every year. Yet the US receives no credit for
this step by ignoring that it is a lifting of embargo restrictions. More
recently, the lifting of travel restrictions on Cuban Americans is a further
softening of the embargo. What is left in this realm is the formal lifting of travel
restrictions on other American citizens. Even on this dimension some lifting has
already taken place trough expansion of people to people programs. For
instance, the Havana Consulting Group reports 41K other American
residents visited Cuba in 2007 and estimates of 103K for 2012. Cuban
American visitors residing in the US went from 204K in 2007 to 475K in 2012. This is
happening despite incidents such as the detention and treatment of Alan Gross
since 2009.

Partial removals have no meaningful effect

Department of Public Information 12
CUBA BLOCKADE, 9/13/12 ]
OCTAVIO ERRZURIZ ( Chile) said on behalf of the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States (CELAC) that the commercial, economic and
financial embargo imposed on Cuba was contrary to the letter, spirit,
principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and international
law. The Community was concerned about the extraterritorial effects of the embargo that affected the

sovereignty of other States, the legitimate interests of entities or persons under their jurisdiction and the freedom
of trade and navigation. The embargo, commenced in 1959 had continued to this day and had transformed into a
strict system of unilateral measures, which had continued over time creating huge injustices for the Cuban people.
In itself, the unilateral measure was a contradiction with the multilateralism, the openness and the dialogue

emphasized the inconsistency that existed between the application of
unilateral measures, which had no backing in international law, and the
letter, spirit, principles and purpose of the Charter, urging the United
States to make necessary adjustments to its international behaviour in that
promoted by the Charter. The Community was in favour of adoption of the resolution before the Assembly.

regard and align its legislation with the Charter of the United Nations. BYRGANYM AITIMOVA (Kazakhstan),
speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), noted that the item had been on the
Assemblys agenda for 20 years with little progress to record. Guided by the principles of international law, the OIC

upheld the right of every nation to follow its own unique path of
development and therefore condemned any unilateral action, which
affected the sovereignty and interests of another State and its people .

Further, it did not agree with any external regulations that infringed, impeded or delayed the development of any
country, including in the economic, commercial and financial spheres.

Even measures meant to

relax restrictions had limited effect while the embargo remained in place
to the detriment of the Cuban people.