The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

Resolved: That the United States Should Normalize Relations With Cuba

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,205 times Debate No: 8731
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)




We stand Resolved: That the United States should normalize relations with Cuba. It is because the U.S. embargo is the main strain on relations between the two countries that Chris and I see the lifting of this strict trade and travel ban as the best way to normalize relations.

Contention 1: Lifting the embargo would bring about substantial economic gains for both the United States. Using the most sophisticated and widely used economic impact assessment tool currently available, the REMI, Florida State University was able to project exactly how much the U.S. stands to gain from normalizing relations with Cuba. "Normalization of trade between the U.S. and Cuba will result in the creation of 846 thousand jobs in the U.S. economy" as well as a "$127 billion increase in the U.S. GDP."

As stated by the Cuban Policy Foundation, these jobs create an "economic multiplier effect" across the entire U.S. economy, because as more people get jobs and thus salaries, they are able to pump money throughout the economy and spur economic growth even further. With the creation of so many new jobs as a result of the increased revenue to U.S. companies, it is evident that normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba is necessary for the well-being of the U.S. economy.

Contention 2: Normalizing relations with Cuba would allow for millions of Cubans to receive much needed assistance in recovering from natural disasters.

According to U.S.-Cuba Policy Initiative, "[In 2008], Cuba sustained damage from four named storms. 444 thousand homes in Cuba are currently damaged, [and] 2.2 million Cubans are living dangerously. Food supplies on the island are nearly exhausted, [and] crops and livestock are devastated. Hospitals and clinics have suffered extensive damage. With at least $5 billion in damage done to a nation where the average monthly salary is $17, the economy will not be able to support the Cuban population. As the majority of Cubans become malnourished, the political situation is likely to become much more volatile."

The Center for International Policy explains, "Should the situation deteriorate further, riots might snowball beyond control. With weapons enough to arm a militia force over 1.5 million strong already distributed among the population, a civil war would be appallingly bloody and destructive." This likely civil war would kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Cubans.

The US has the ability to prevent this purposeless loss of life by lifting the embargo. According to The Guardian, "U.S. trade sanctions [are] the biggest obstacle to Cuba's recovery [from hurricane damage]." The Sun Sentinel explains why, saying, "The trade embargo [is] preventing [Cuba] from buying construction and other supplies directly from America, and preventing purchases of any U.S. goods on credit."

It is neither practical nor possible for Cuba to receive sufficient repair supplies from across the entirety of the Atlantic Ocean, because the distance would skyrocket costs and be even more impractical for the impoverished Cuban people. By normalizing relations, we allow the Cubans to begin repairing their destroyed nation.

Contention 3: Normalizing relations would bring immense medical benefits to the United States.

Yale University's Global Research Center contextualizes Cuba's medical strength; "MENTION Cuba and most people think of cigars, rum and Che Guevara. They probably don't associate it with cutting edge medical research. Yet Cuban biotechnology is now leading the way in the development of a new generation of anti-cancer therapies."

However, as explained by the Common Dreams Institute, "Because of the blockade regulations it has been impossible to begin clinical trials in the U.S. with TheraCIM, a Cuban pharmaceutical for treating brain tumours. This medication is registered for treating cancer and has been clinically proven to reduce tumour mass." At the point where the Oncology Research Center estimates there are over 117,000 NEW brain cancer cases every year, the need for this cancer medication could not be more dire.

Benefits from Cuban medicine extend past cancer treatments, though. The Common Dreams Institute also states that "if not for the embargo, the 20.8 million people in the United States suffering from diabetes could benefit from Citoprot P, a unique product that heals diabetic ulcers, reducing the risk of lower extremity amputations."

It is because my partner and I stand for the increased health American citizens, the advancement of the American economy, and the repair of a battered Cuban society, that we urge a PRO ballot.


First of all, their is no pro ballot on this website. Just a bunch of people that vote on who has better grammar and who wasn't an A**. So, theoretically you can actually lose debates even if you destroyed them in debating. I really don't like that part, but you new; and I'm guessing your fresh back from Nats and need something to do with your life 'cause you didn't changing the wording on your cases. Its cool though, idc. I'm more about debate, especially pf.

* * * * * *

Today I will stand on the Con side of the debate, Resolved: That the United States Should Normalize Relations with Cuba. For one main reason, but first lets define some key terms.
Normalize: to make normal
To clearify, Normal: Regular
For further clearification, Regular: Uniform Procedure

Basically, the resolution calls for the United States to Normalize Relations with Cuba, or the United States should have regular relations with Cuba. The United States relationship with the United States has not changed since 1959 ( and after a month something becomes a habit ( and thus where talking about fifty years of repeative action, and thus normal. Example: It is normal for someone to play video game (1962), have a smoke detectors in their house (1969), listen to digital music (1970), have Cell Phone (1973), and use the Internet. Just as it is Normal for the United States to have an embargo on Cuba.

Basically, the resolution is flawed because the current relation the United States has with Cuba is its normal relations. Let me explain, goverment of Cuba is fundementally the same now as it was fifty years ago. Think of the goverment like a person. The US is a person, Cuba's a person. Say we got off to a bad foot, rubbed each other the wrong way. Got in a big fight, and never really made up. That would mean its one, normal not to like each other (Like its normal to consider the Nazi's the bad guys in WWII), and also their is no reason we have to like each other. We don't want to talk to Cuba, they don't want to talk to use, its a big world we'll get along without them and they without us.

Furthermore, my opponent never states anywhere what 'Normalize' means or is, and thus you have to fall back on the Con definition.

On my opponents first contention, he does not state anywhere why 'normalizing relations' would have to result in lifting the embargo, but as I have informed you relations are normal now (and thus the resolution mute cause pro can't have any impact) and are current normal relation we have an embargo.

My opponents Second Contetion falls on one, that the embargo is lifted, and two that some how Americans would go to Cuba and help a bunch of hurricane victims. One: US economy in shambles, if we need to help anyone we should help ourselves. Two: Galveston is still in ruble from hurricane Ike, why can't those people get help? Where's the Embargo their? Heck, even New Orleans is barly rebuilt. The Rebuilding point falls because these people do not have any money regardless of if they could buy from the US. The truth is they could buy from other countries if they had money. Also, my opponents wants us to give Cubans goods on credit. Ok, if US citizens can't pay back credit; what makes you think Cubans can?

Again, the third contentions resovles on lifting an embark which is normal for Americans.

Basically, my opponent avicates to lift an embargo which is normal for Americans. Which does not reside within the bounds of the resolution. The con explains that relations now are normal, because they have not changed under this regime, and thus the resolution can not be affirmed becuase the 'should' implies an action must be taken. The action to normalize can't be taken because realtions are already normal. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 1


Definition debate


Extend that we have an interpretation of normalize - from the 1ac, "It is because the U.S. embargo is the main strain on relations between the two countries that Chris and I see the lifting of this strict trade and travel ban as the best way to normalize relations."

Our interpretation of normalize is lifting the totality of the embargo. Normalization *means* lifting the embargo.

Line-By-Line Interpretation debate:

Ours is Good -
1. Contextuality - Normal relations are normal in terms of relations with other countries. We trade with other countries and allow people to emigrate and immigrate. That is what we do as the affirmative, which is contextual to our relations with other countries.

2. Legal Area - The Helms-Burton Act and Cuban Democracy Act are the primary obstacle to treating Cuba like we treat other countries - that is, treating them "normally".

3. Analogy - I high-five everyone in the room except "Bob". Then, I decide to high-five Bob. I have treated Bob "normal" in relation to how I treated everyone else; the norm was set by how I act in relation with others. At the point where the international norm is trade and permitting em/immigrants, you accept our definition of normalize.

His is bad -
1. Debateability - If the resolution is moot, the Aff could never win - this is unfair - means that you default to the Affirmative interpretation to allow for fairness.

2. Semantic BS - If we're to string around definitions that are shoddily justified with poor logic and mentioning Nazi's being bad, debates would never amount to anything other than "this definition means vote _____" - this kills actually addressing the issues of a topic and means we debate pseudo-grammar every single debate, never learning about anything. Perpetuating this idiocy is an independant reason to vote affirmative - vote aff to reject the idiocy of definition debate that kills the education that debate is all about.

3. Definition Debate Only For Crazy Affs - Definition debate should only be used to check back crazy affirmatives who use abusive definitions. Nothing about our interpretation of normalize is unfair or abusive, means you reject the definition debate on face.

4. No Research Justification - his only evidence on why the U.S. is "normal" now is because "after three weeks something becomes a habit."
4.1 First, this was intended to apply to humans - federal governments don't have brains to develop habits.
4.2 Just because something is habitual doesn't make it normal.
4.3 No expert in Cuban policy analysis would call what the US has with Cuba "normal". He's clearly playing f/uck-f/uck with the definitions, not taking a fair stance on setting the parameters of the resolution.

5. Can't Use History - Historically, the United States varied too greatly in how we've treated them to look to history as the way to define. We owned them (colonial period), then we hated them (Cuban Missile Crisis), then we *invaded them* (Bay of Pigs), and now we shun them. Which is it? It makes no sense to try to condense all of this (outdated and failed) foreign policy into a modern course of Cuban policy action. Prefer our interpretation which calls "normal" relative to our current foreign policy with other countries.



If I win the definition debate, I win case debate, because he didn't refute any of it. If he introduces new arguments against the case, I'll answer them then, but until then if I win the definition argument I win the round.


Here is my assumption, this is PF style 'cause we have partners. O' and by the way my partners name is Harold. Hi Chris, you sound like a cool guy. And because this is PF style, drops don't count if I out weigh

On my opponents number 5 thing:
We can't look at history. History= the past. First of all, how can we look at any interaction between two political countries with out viewing the past? Thats hard, I mean I can't even talk about Obama becoming president 'cause that's all in the past. Secondly, and if we can't look at the past then we can't define what the 'normal' is. Because, in my opponents example, by the time you got to the last person in the room (ignoring the past) he would not know what you had done to the other people in the room, and further their are good reasons not to high five the guy like maybe you didn't like him, or he had a deadly contages disease like AIDS, or the Chicken Poxs, or my even the Communist Flu.
Also, my opponenet assumes that 'high fiving' (which he used as a metaphor for lifting the embargo) but maybe their Jewish and its offensive. Or something like that. I mean, say you went in the room and flicked everybody off except the one guy, then you decide to not flick him off. That's not actually bad. Or may you give thumbs ups and he's Muslim. You wouldn't want to do that.
Basically without history their is no past, no past be that nothing can be know, if nothing is know then epic fail trying to make something normal, if nothing is normal than relations can't be normalized, if relations can't be normalized then you have to vote con because the United States can't implement the action of normalizing (because normalizing doesn't exsitst) and thus the resolution fails vot con.

"The United States [will] not end the trade embargo until [it shows] Cuba progress toward democracy." States President Obama. As I have already stated, which my opponent did not adress, the reason for the current embargo on Cuba is because the US does not like of get along with the Current goverment of Cuba, just as you might not get along with one of your classmates. Their is nothing wrong with this, it is in fact normal, no said you have to like everybody. And because the US is a democracy, by it passing the laws to instigate the embargo it was following the will of its people and thus if in a democratic society, the will of the people is being followed. If the people wanted the embargo lifted then the goverment would lift it, but they don't so it doesn't.

Analogy: Say you drink a 52 oz. Bucc-ee's Coke Icee with 12 shots of Vanilla everday (Yummmmm....Bucc-ee's). Ok, so everyone doesn't do that (mostly 'cause they'd die), but say this one person did. That would be normal for them. Then they stop doing for a week, unnormal. Then they 'normalize' they're routine by drink the 52 oz. Icee again. Thus, you 'normalized' your routine.
Our routine with Cuba now is normal, if we lift the embargo it becomes unnormal, and thus we would have to reenstate the embargo to 'normalize'. The Pro team is not advacating to normalize relations, but because they are normal, it is advocating to unnormalize them. At that point you have to view the pro argument on lifting the embargo as flawed because it does not support the pro side of the debate, if anything it supports then con side of the debate. Please move Pro's three contentions to the con side of the Flow.
Now the Pro has no offense left, and thus nothing for me to attack.
Debate Round No. 2


FirinMahLazor forfeited this round.


Ok, my guess is my opponent couldn't figure out how to get Chris to post his argument, so after 3 day the time just ran out on him. Word Of Advice: You can't get anyone else to post arguments. Even if we have partners. lol.

Exstend all of my arguments, again prefer my definition because it is based on Normal by treating Cuba like a person. Rember, you can't like everybody: Just deal with it. And we do, and because our current relation (which haven't changed in 59 years) are normal, then relations can't be normalized (implied action). Thus the resolution is mute, vote con.
Debate Round No. 3


No, he just cried at how terrible you are. Sorry. It was ridiculous to even try and continue.


ROFL Coppter.

My opponents conceded. Prefer my Definition, and by prefering it vote Con. The resolution is mute. Thank you for this entertaining debate.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FirinMahLazor 7 years ago
//The resolution is mute.//

Mute - means without sound.

Posted by FirinMahLazor 7 years ago
quite the contrary
Posted by BlackMask 7 years ago
quite the contrary
Posted by FirinMahLazor 7 years ago
Neg failed at debateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee blarhghghghgh
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
Ninja: it's more or less a traditional structure that stems from Parliament/Congress. The concept behind it is that the topic is a piece of policy or something along those lines that will be resolved by a group of legislators or politicians. In other words, the topic, in this case, is a resolution to be passed. It is typically seen in competitive debate, both HS & collegiate.
Posted by FirinMahLazor 7 years ago
One I'm Pro, one I'm Con.
Posted by jack_samra 7 years ago
Nags-- I'm guessing that FirinMahLazor is on a Public Forum team, which is partnered debate, therefore while he is in a round, he would have to refer to both himself and his partner.

VenomousNinja2-- That's how it's read in a real debate round, hence it's just simpler to include it in a case.
Posted by VenomousNinja 7 years ago
I still don't get why people put "Resolved:" in front of their debate titles.
Posted by ccstate4peat 7 years ago
You might want to delete one of these debates, there are two of them.
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
"It is because my partner and I stand for the increased health American citizens, the advancement of the American economy, and the repair of a battered Cuban society, that we urge a PRO ballot."
-Who is your "partner"? Who is "we"?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Corycogley77479 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by FirinMahLazor 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Crazy4Steelers07 7 years ago
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