Should the United States maintain its embargo with Cuba
Debate Rounds (3)
first round: state claim
second round: facts
third round: rebuttal
My first claim is:
The United States should end the Cuba embargo because its 50-year policy has failed to achieve its goals. Feb 7, 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of this embargo and the goal of forcing Cuba to adopt a representative democracy still has not been achieved.If 50 years of sanctions have not toppled the Castro regime, there is no reason to think the embargo will ever work.
My second claim is:
The embargo harms the US economy. The US Chamber of Commerce opposes the embargo, saying that it costs the United States $1.2 billion annually in lost sales of exports. A study by the Cuba Policy Foundation, a nonprofit founded by former US diplomats, estimated that the annual cost to the US economy could be as high as $4.84 billion in agricultural exports and related economic output. The statistics speak for themselves.
My Third Claim is:
The embargo harms the people of Cuba, not the government as intended. Cubans are denied access to technology, medicine, affordable food, and other goods that could be available to them if the United States lifted the embargo
My fourth and Final Claim for this round is:
The Bulk of most of the country in the UN as well as most United States Citizens believe that the government should lift this embargo. A 2012 opinion poll of more than 1,000 US adults found that 62% of respondents thought the United States should re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, while only one in four was against it. The United Nations has denounced the US embargo against Cuba for 22 straight years. The vote against the embargo was 188-2 in 2013, with only Israel supporting the United States.
First, keeping the embargo will lead to democratic reforms. The trade embargo is necessary to starve Havana's communist government of cash. A steady flow of cash will allow Castro's government to crush pro-democracy efforts. Castro has allowed some reforms since he took over, actually, including easing travel bans. It is necessary to commit to this course of action, because even if it's slow, it's working. Furthermore, the embargo is the only measure that takes a legitimate aim at a Cuban regime that is characterized by 'intolerance and oppression.' Recent changes actually suggest that the embargo is close to accomplishing its goals, says Richard Sadowski, a managing editor of the Journal of International Business and Law.
Lastly, its pretty clear that lifting the embargo will prevent any reforms that could have occurred, since given a viable economy that improves the standard of living in Cuba, the government will be less pressured to change.
[Sadowski, Richard. "Cuban Offshore Drilling: Preparation and Prevention within the Framework of the United States" Embargo." Sustainable Development Law & Policy 12.1 (2012): 10.]
The second claim is (The embargo harms the US economy):
The lifting of the embargo would undermine US influence and show the US directly supporting the Castro regime. It would be a huge concession, and the money that is made would flow into the government controlled businesses. It would send the message to the enemies of the US that a foreign leader can just seize US property and allow the use of the territory to introduce nuclear missiles aimed at the US. The money would be of almost no benefit to the Cuban poor, while the state will benefit most. In doing so, the US is going against the very ideas it tried to impress upon Cuba for the last 50 years.
The con's third and fourth claim: As I already said, yes, the embargo is working, albeit slowly. Give it more time rather than giving up now under pressure. Perseverance is necessary to achieve any goal.
Now, here are some reasons why we SHOULD maintain the embargo:
Removing the embargo when human rights violations in Cuba only continue to grow makes the US seem irresponsible and uncommitted to its human rights goals, and makes it seem like we are supporting the Castro regime.
Travel restrictions and an import/export ban between the US and Cuba are distinct from the embargo and prevent any trade normalization. This means that even if the embargo is removed, nothing the con wants will be achieved.
The Helms Burton Act makes removal illegal. The law states that the embargo can only be removed when the Castros are out of power, political activity's legalized, and political prisoners are released. It's impossible to lift the embargo at the moment.
Cuba doesn't want it and the government questions whether the US will offer anything that matters or honor any commitments.
Republicans are currently blocking any relaxation of Cuba policy. It would cause partisan battles if we were to try to lift the embargo.
[Peter Hakim, The United States and Latin America: The Neighbourhood has Changed, The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs, Volume 46, Issue 4, 2011]
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