The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Cuba deserves our friendshipend the embargo

For nearly 50 years the United States of America has been deliberately harming innocent people for no reason other than our ideals. In 1960, America ended all diplomatic relations with Cuba and we continue an embargo on the island country off the coast of Florida. Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1959, turning it into a communist nation. America officially instituted an embargo in 1962. An embargo during this era was understandable due to the Cold War, and, more specifically, the Cuban Missile Crisis. It would be expected that the United States would lift restrictions as the communist scare lessened and communism around the world ultimately disintegrated with the fall of the Soviet Union. Instead, in 1992 and 1996, the United States Congress passed laws that made the embargo stricter. The biggest problem with the embargo is the rhetorical hypocrisy that America’s presidents have used in defending the unfair trade policy. Our leaders have said that the reason for the embargo is to promote a peaceful transition to democracy, yet we still economically support countries with much worse human rights violations than Cuba, such as Chile and Indonesia. If anti-communistic beliefs are still our top priority, then lifting the embargo would be the best thing America could do. Castro can currently use the embargo as a reason for all the woes of his country. Lifting the embargo would expose Castro as the instigator of many of Cuba’s hardships. Clinton argued during his presidency that “the best path for advancing freedom in China is for the United States to intensify and broaden its engagement with that nation.” It should be questioned why this is not the same for Cuba. Lifting the embargo would help them economically and their communistic dictatorship would not be able to survive. In a time when international respect for America is very low, the embargo acts as yet another reason that other countries can look lowly upon America. The embargo is cutting off needed medical and food supplies. This causes America to look like a bully to the rest of the world. Lastly, lifting the embargo would benefit culture. The Cuban and American cultures would mix. Cheap American products would flow around Cuba, helping their people, and Cuban delicacies such as cigars and coffee would flow into America. Lifting the trade embargo on Cuba would help the economies and broaden the cultures of both nations. Both peoples would enjoy a higher quality of life, especially the Cuban people. Castro would lose leverage and America would gain international respect. It is time to help the Cuban people; it is time to put an end to a worthless American trade policy.

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