It’s time for the U.S. to end its economic assault on Cuba. What are everyday Americans gaining from imposing hardships on a nation of 11 million people?
Since the 1960s, the U.S. has maintained an economic embargo on the island-nation Cuba. The embargo, implemented on Oct. 19, 1960 during the Eisenhower administration, prevented exports to Cuba except for food and medicine.
To this day, ships that have traded with Cuba are barred from docking at U.S. ports for 180 days thanks to the Clinton administration’s Cuban Democracy Act of 1992. It’s time for the U.S. to end its economic assault on Cuba. What are everyday Americans gaining from imposing hardships on a nation of 11 million people?
The relationship of the U.S. and Cuba can be described as colonial; the economic embargo was implemented after the U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista was ousted from power by Fidel Castro and the July 26th movement. The estimated total cost to Cuba has been $1.1 trillion over 55 years, according to a 2015 Al Jazeera report. That is roughly 11 times greater than Cuba’s GDP in 2018.
The embargo has been denounced at the U.N. General Assembly repeatedly, with it being referred to as a blockade. It has had disastrous effects on the food, clean water and medical supplies of the Cuban people. This is precisely the intent of the U.S. According to a 1964 U.S. document reviewing the program of covert action against Cuba, the U.S. intended to “aggravate existing economic difficulties” to “increase the level of disaffection” in the “popular masses.”
In fact, former President Dwight Eisenhower laid the U.S. position bare when he said, “If they [the Cuban people] are hungry, they will throw Castro out.”
Fidel Castro has been dead since 2016, but the economic warfare on Cuba continues.
Despite all the difficulties the embargo has placed on Cuba, the island-nation has still managed to raise life expectancy to greater levels than that of the U.S. It’s time to let Cuba live.