Cuban Trade Embargo / by kevin murray

The United States doesn't like to lose and for the most part doesn't need to lose in virtually any of its actions, whether they are diplomatic, trade related, charitable acts, education, or war.  Cuba was once a country that was in the United States satellites of nations; after Cuba, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam were lost by the Spanish to America in 1898.  Thereby the Cuba-American relations were close until the time of Batista's overthrow in 1959, by Fidel Castro.  The United States subsequently participated and planned the ill-advised and disastrous Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, and then in 1962 discovered ballistic missiles in Cuba, that led to a showdown between Soviet Russia and America, to which an agreement was reached, and the removal of such missiles from Cuba was performed.


In the fifty-odd years since then, the United States has maintained an embargo against Cuba, which quite obviously has hindered Cuba and its economic development.  Consequently, from a strict punishment perspective, one could say, that the embargo itself has been effective, but the people that it has mainly hurt, have not been the government of Cuba, the power brokers of Cuba, but the masses of Cuba, who have suffered from the lack of material wealth, lack of economic opportunity, and poor overall healthcare.  The mark of a great country is never to be seen in the suffering that they impose upon innocent civilians but in their magnanimity and generosity towards those that are less fortunate.  As Cuba is located only about ninety miles from the United States mainland, this is a great shame upon us, and completely unbecoming of the world leader in freedom, economic success, and liberty.


President Obama's recent announcement of full diplomatic relations with Cuba, and the beginning of normalizing relations between these two nations, is certainly something to be celebrated by all true Americans.  Of course in the political world that we live in, to which there are vested interests on both sides of the aisle, a mere announcement of normalizing relations does not necessarily translate into it actually happening, but it should.  Let us do well to remember that there was a time when America, was not afraid to take the big initiative, as it did when Nixon began the process of normalizing relations with China back in 1972, to which by 1978, diplomatic relations had been restored, and thereby has consequently seen the rise of China economically in the world.  The United States conducted this action with China, yet was still able to maintain its special "unofficial" relations with Taiwan.  Based on this great diplomatic success, how is it even possible, to consider nothing less than the same for Cuba, a situation which is far less complex, and with a country that we previously had a successful diplomatic relationship with.


The best way to ensure that war and ill feelings towards one country to another does not occur, is to have both open diplomatic as well as fair trading channels.  It is far easier to demonize a nation when you turn your back on it, and refuse to engage them as one mature nation to another.  The bottom line is a more successful Cuba will be better not only for Cuba and its people, but also for the United States, as well as demonstrating to the world at large that America is a gracious, forgiving, and merciful nation, that leads by example, rather than by empty words.