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Essay/Term paper: Policies on cuba

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History Essays

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Policies on Cuba

In Juan Rulfo's novel, Pedro Paramo, the reader follows a dusty road to
a town of death, where the following is said ÓUp and down the hill we went, but
always descending . We had left the hot wind behind and were sinking into pure,
airless heat. The stillness seem to be waiting for someone. ÔIt's hot here Ô I
said ÔYou might say, but this is nothing'. My companion relied. ÔTry to take
it easy. You'll feel it even more when we get to Comala. That town sits on the
coals of the Earth, at the very mouth of Hell. They say that when people from
there die and go to Hell, they come back for blankets.'Ó
This was the view many Americans had of Cuba in the late fifties and
sixties. Cuba was seen as the entrance to hell ninety miles from our shore.
Our foreign policy towards Cuba was formulated with these beliefs; as a result
the United States assisted in a planned invasion of Cuba, planned the
assassination of its leader and set up a political and economic embargo in an
attempt to destroy her and her people.
Many things have changed since those time, we no longer see Cuba as the
doors to hell, those doors have been rotating among other military strong men,
this time in the Middle East. Fidel Castro is no longer the target of any
American assassination plans, the United States no longer deals in the
assignation of political leaders, now we have allies who are more able and
discrete in doing that type of work. The only ancient legacy that remains in
our foreign policy towards Cuba is a political and economic embargo implemented
at the beginning of the Cold War in an attempt to crush a third world country.
At the time of the embargo its supporters assured the country that Cuba
would not survive a year without political or economic aid from the Western
World. Three decades later Cuba is still led by Castro and our policy has not
changed, maybe it is time to rethink this policy
Once the embargo took effect, Cuba and Fidel Castro had no choice but to
turn to the Soviet Union and Communism for salvation, both economically and
politically. Cuba was dependent on exports for hard currency and imports for
finished goods with the embargo Cuba was left unable to provide for herself. As
Castro turned to the Soviet Union for economic aid he also embraced Communism
and gave up Socialism a factor that would deepen the level of fear in the United
States. Cuba and the Soviet Union started a relationship in which Cuba
benefited the most.
Like many relationships, Cuba's and the Soviet Union's ended after
thirty years of Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the economic
stability of Cuba. In 1991 as the Soviet Union disappeared and the former
Eastern Bloc countries struggled for their own existence the future of Cuba once
again was questioned. Subsidies, favorable trade agreements, economic and
military aid from these countries disappeared.
In the early 90's Cuba lost their only major economic connection to the
outside world. By 1992 the total value of trade turnover (imports plus exports)
with Eastern Bloc countries had been reduced to 7% of what it had been just 3
years previously. The price of its two major exports, sugar and nickel had
dropped 20 and 28 per cent, respectively, on the world market. At this time the
United States instead of offering Castro a dignified way out of Cuba's massive
problems by loosening the 30 year old trade embargo instead insisted on
furthering tightening it with the 1992 Cuba Democracy Act. This act not only
made it more difficult for American companies to deal with Cuba but also set out
to punish foreign companies that had dealings with the island nation.
As Communism fell in Europe and Asian Communist countries started to
become a little more open once again the death of Fidel Castro's Cuba was being
predicted as the United States led another attack on it's economic livelihood.
Now in 1996 a relic of the Cold War, Castro , is once again under attack
by an other relic Jesse Helms. With the urging and political contributions of
Cuban American groups, the fact this being an election year and the the quick
trigger finger of a Cuban pilot, Senator Helms has been able to push the Helms-
Burton Law through Congress and into the law books. This law not only attacks
Cuba but the rights of foreign companies.
Will Castro and Cuba be able to withstand this latest attack? Probably.
The world has already condemned the law and Castro has once again end the year
on a high note with the announcement that Pope John Paul will visit Cuba
sometime next year.
So is it now time for the United States to reestablish diplomatic
relations with Cuba and Castro? The answer is yes. The United States should
look at The former Soviet Union as an example on how to democracy Cuba. The
Soviet Union was not defeated by the United States, the Soviet Union defeated
itself. What the United States must do in Cuba is to stop the embargo on the
Cuban people and Fidel Castro and start exporting what Castro probably fears the
most, American Culture and goods.
The only way America will bring a peaceful resolution to the Cuban
situation is to leave Castro alone. The United States does not understand that
every time it attacks Castro it only strengthens his position in Cuba. For over
thirty years Castro has been using the U.S. as a scapegoat for everything that
goes wrong in Cuba; if there were shortage the U.S. embargo was to blame, if
there were riots the U.S. caused them, if there is a drug problem in Cuba it is
because the U.S. caused it. Every time Cuba goes through an economic crisis the
U.S. is ignorant enough to some how attack Cuba so that Castro is able to blame
it on us.
The U. S. has underestimated Fidel Castro for over thirty years now. He
is one of the most intelligent leaders in the world. He has been able to deal
with several U.S. presidents and hundreds of world leaders. He is the Great
Communicator of the Americas but most important he knows the Cuban People better
than anyone in the world.
Castro is able to pursued the Cuban people into following him anywhere
at anytime not by force but by persuasion. Something Castro has learned and the
U.S. hasn't is that the Cuban people, like most Latin American people, are
reluctant to change completely but are very willing to be persuaded into
changing as long as they are familiar with what they are turning to. When
given a choice between an unknown future without Castro and Communism and a
familiar future with him Cubans have so far chosen to keep Castro and Communism.
The United States must now choose to ignore Cuba and Castro; if we are
truly interested in turning Cuba into a democracy we must stop interfering with
her future. If we wish to overthrow the Castro government we have no greater
weapon than the American Culture and capitalist greed. The sooner we stop
giving Castro propaganda and weapons to use the sooner the Cuban people will
realize these threats to personal freedom are not from outside forces but within.
The embargo and the fight against Castro has cost the U.S. millions of dollars,
opening relations with Castro and lifting the embargo will cost nothing.
For its own good the U.S. must lift the embargo and reestablish
political relations with Cuba, in the nineties the United States has proclaimed
itself peace keeper of the world, we have become involved in conflict resolution
all over the world many times with the cost of millions of dollars and many
American lives. If the embargo remains and the Castro government comes to a
violent end the world will not let us remain on the sidelines and watch. The
world already blames the U.S. for the situation Cuba is in, if Castro falls, the
world would rightly expect the U.S. to go in and clean up the mess, if we have
done it in Africa and Eastern Europe why shouldn't we do it in our own back yard.

The situation in Cuba is just as bad as any other around the world. In
Cuba; poverty and shortages are wide spread, there are many war tested military
generals who have fought on ideology ready to take control at the first sight of
weakness, every Cuban has had military training and many have the weapons given
to them by the government. All these factors could add up to a very messy and
long involvement in a post-Castro Cuba.
The United States and Cuba have shared a very long and torrid history
this century. Half way through it, Fidel Castro and Communism got involved in
the situation. Out of fear and haste the U.S. aggravated the situation with a
political and economic embargo that for a long time seemed to strengthened
Castro more than it weakened Cuba. We are now at a critical point in the
history of this relationship, we must ask ourselves whether we are going to take
a short term view or a long term view on the effects and consequences of
continuing the political and economic embargo on Cuba.
If the U.S. chooses to continue their present course and take a short
view of the Cuban situation then they should continue cutting off every economic
and political avenue Cuba and Castro have to the World but they must be ready to
deal with the situation that will erupt if Fidel Castro's government comes to a
sudden and violent end. The world has so far ignored the obsession the U.S. has
had with Castro and Cuba but it will not ignore the U.S. walking away from a
mess they have created. The better solution would be to take a long term view
of the situation. By opening relations with Cuba several things will slowly but
surly bring to an end the Castro government. Among them would be allowing the
American culture to infest the island, letting the people familiarize themselves
with the outside world, letting capitalist greed take its course and finally
letting the American and Cuban people communicate share ideas and show each
other that they are part of the same world, these simple thing are stronger than
any embargo.
After the revolution many Americans saw Cuba as the entrance to Hell
just ninety miles away from the United States, time has proven this idea to be
wrong. It is now time for the U.S. to grow up and end the political and
economic embargo on Cuba. The Cuban people are some of the best educated in the
world thanks to their socialized education system and if given a choice they
will choose to join the rest of the world community. But at the same time
poverty and hunger breed fear and anger if the embargo continues and Castro is
violently forced out, it will be hard to predict what will happen. If violence
erupts in Cuba the U.S. will be forced to intervene an then may it be that
entrance to Hell will be a post-Castro Cuba.


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