By Joe Suszczynski
Since 1960 the United States has held some form of embargo towards the country of Cuba. The main reason why the embargo was put in place was due to the Cold War and Cuba aligning itself with the Soviet Union who were our (United States) sworn enemy. Today there are still restrictions on who can go there.
This needs to change. The Cold War has been over 20 years and Cuba has not been a threat to the United States since then. Plus Raul Castro, brother of Fidel Castro and current leader of Cuba, said that he would step down in 2018.
It looks bad on our country when the United Nations has been condemning the embargo since 1991. In 2012, 188 countries in the General Assembly had voted on a resolution in favor of condemning the embargo. Beside the United States only Israel and Palau had sided in support of the embargo. This result is overwhelming and when most of the world, including most of your allies, is condemning your actions there is a problem.
And ironically enough our allies like France, Canada, Britain, Italy and Mexico can travel to Cuba; why is it that our nation cannot go?
America could use the trade and it could potentially be successful. According to the United States Chamber of Commerce it costs the United States $1.2 billion annually in lost sales of exports. However a nonprofit founded by former US diplomats, called Cuba Policy Foundation, estimated that the annual cost to the US economy could be as high as $4.84 billion in agricultural exports and related economic output. That could help greatly as we would be getting revenue. And the Cuban economy could improve because it would be flooded with American tourists.
A reason to keep the embargo going is due to the human rights problem in Cuba. I am not going to dispute that fact that Cuba does have problems regarding human rights; I am saying that it is hypocritical of the United States to condemn Cuba for its human rights issues and not trade with them, but trade with China with astounding human rights issues.
In China there is limited free speech and press. China still continues to use child labor. The United States complains about China having problems regarding with human rights, but nonetheless still continues to travel and trade there.
America cannot pick and choose on who to trade with by using human rights as an issue. If they do then they must be consistent. If we do not allow the trade with Cuba because of their human rights issues, then it is only fair to not trade with China for the same reason.
This embargo has gone on long enough. It did make sense then to cut trade with Cuba because of the threat they possessed when they aligned themselves with the Soviet Union.
It is 2013 now and we live in a completely different world from what we were living in the 1960s. The examples provided show that this legislation is not only outdated, but hypocritical. It is time to change that and move on by repealing the embargo.
And if we want to live in a free country, the government should not tell us where we can and cannot travel. For a country that wants to spread democracy everywhere it sure is democratic of them to forbid someone to travel somewhere when their allies can go to the place that you are not allowed in.