The Instigator
Jifpop09
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
ConservativePolitico
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

The Cuban Embargo Should be Lifted

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 848 times Debate No: 45652
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

Jifpop09

Pro

I will be arguing that the cuban embargo should be lifted. First round is acceptance.
ConservativePolitico

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
ConservativePolitico

Con

Rebuttals

1. It Has Not Worked

My opponent in this case is referring to the fact that communism has not been swept from Cuba, which is true. First I want to point out two things, 1) economic embargoes have never led to the destruction of a regime from within and 2) getting rid of the Castros is not the point of the embargo.

If we wanted to get rid of the Castro brothers we would have done so militarily. The embargo was not supposed to turn Cuba into a capitalist paradise but rather it was to show the world that we had/have no necessity or intentions to deal with a totalitarian regime.

Furthermore my opponent is wrong about two things. First, Cuba has been subject to change. They have relaxed some of their more draconian controls over the economy [1] as well as travel restrictions for their citizens [2]. So change has come about within the country.

2. It Will Create Jobs

The figure my opponent throws out is 6,000 jobs. While this sounds great in theory, is the creation of 6,000 jobs worth politically supporting a totalitarian regime? I'd say it isn't. While jobs sound great by opening trade with Cuba we would be condoning their behavior as a totalitarian, communist regime, right in our backyard. That cannot be allowed. Secondly, while this might "create" 6,000 American jobs, how many Cubans, who are used to operating in a closed communist system, would lose their jobs when foreign investors and foreign money change the economic landscape? The article my opponent provides doesn't say but free trade always disrupts the local economy of new markets.

So we would not only create jobs for ourselves which would be in support of a totalitarian regime but we would damage the livelihood of countless Cubans who exist in a fragile communist economy. Is it worth it? No.

3. We Are Losing Money

First, my opponent misconstrues the data to try and bolster his position. It says, in his source, that Cuba COULD become a billion dollar export market. This is potential money that can be gained not money lost. There is a difference. We are technically not losing any money.

Second, a billion dollars to the US, who has a GDP of roughly 16 trillion dollars [3] is hardly anything while 700 million dollars to a nation whose GDP is only 68 billion dollars is much much more damaging. In relative terms, Cuba loses a lot more than the United States potentially would.

4. Sanctions

My opponent claims that we can inspire change through sanctions which is a contradictory argument. First he claims that the embargo hasn't worked but then claims that sanctions would. Sanctions are a lighter punishment than an embargo. If a full embargo hasn't worked, according to my opponent, why would sanctions? It doesn't follow.

My Arguments

A1. Political Statement

We embargo Cuba to make a political statement. It tells the world that we do not condone or deal with totalitarian and repressive nations. It is the same reason we do not do business with North Korea. By undoing the embargo before the communist regime collapses it shows the world that any type of regime unfavorable to the United States can simply wait us out and, over time, we'll cave. This will embolden countries to refuse change and hope for a United States reversal on foreign policy.

A2. The Western Hemisphere

In a region of the world where communist sympathies and dictators have arisen time and time again (Central and South America) it is good for the United States to hold a firm anti-totalitarian policy for a country in it's own backyard. If we relaxed on Cuba other countries in the region could become sympathetic to Cuba or other dictator-types in the area hoping to get both a dictatorship and US economic approval. It is good for the US to keep a this policy in place as it is longstanding and makes a bold political statement for our neighbors.

Conclusion

1. Changes are happening slowly in Cuba due to economic problems caused by lack of trade.
2. A handful of jobs isn't worth supporting a totalitarian state.
3. We're not really losing any money on the embargo, and if we are losing economic capital it is insignificant.
4. If an embargo didn't work, why would sanctions?
5. We need to stay consistent in our policy against totalitarian regimes.

Therefore, the Cuban embargo should not be lifted.


[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
[2] http://www.theguardian.com...
[3] http://data.worldbank.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Jifpop09

Pro

My opponent in this case is referring to the fact that communism has not been swept from Cuba, which is true. First I want to point out two things, 1) economic embargoes have never led to the destruction of a regime from within and 2) getting rid of the Castros is not the point of the embargo.


Never said it was. It was to force Cuba to reform. Which very little reforming has happened. It is the same old miserable place, where the government detains and tortures its citizens, and where propaganda is spewed out the loud speakers all day long. A more viable solution would be to allow reform and democratic fundamentals to pass through the country through trade. Also, we did want to get rid of Castro. Pretty much why there was over 600 assassination attempts on Fidel's life. War with Cuba would of been costly and unpopular also.

http://www.theguardian.com...

Furthermore my opponent is wrong about two things. First, Cuba has been subject to change. They have relaxed some of their more draconian controls over the economy [1] as well as travel restrictions for their citizens [2]. So change has come about within the country.

These are quite meager compared to the real concerns. When the debate for the embargo happened, human rights were talked about more then economic socialism. Even though Cuba lets "some" citizens travel, they are strictly monitored and the government can "withhold" travel.

http://www.hrw.org...

The figure my opponent throws out is 6,000 jobs. While this sounds great in theory, is the creation of 6,000 jobs worth politically supporting a totalitarian regime?

Trading with them is not supporting them. Countries all around the world trade with China , and are they supporting the CCP? All this embargo is doing is depriving Cuban and American Citizens of money. The worst the Cuban economy gets, the worst the government will get. And yes, I believe that 6000 more working citizens is worth sucking up our pride.

but we would damage the livelihood of countless Cubans who exist in a fragile communist economy

As I said, we are actually depriving Cubans.

First, my opponent misconstrues the data to try and bolster his position. It says, in his source, that Cuba COULD become a billion dollar export market. This is potential money that can be gained not money lost. There is a difference. We are technically not losing any money.

We did lose money. When we shut down trade, we in turn shut down businesses. This is considered a loss of revenue, is it not?

http://www.dollarsandsense.org...

Second, a billion dollars to the US, who has a GDP of roughly 16 trillion dollars [3] is hardly anything while 700 million dollars to a nation whose GDP is only 68 billion dollars is much much more damaging. In relative terms, Cuba loses a lot more than the United States potentially would.

This is not about hurting Cuba. All were doing is hurting the citizens and causing the government to work the populace harder to recoup.

My opponent claims that we can inspire change through sanctions which is a contradictory argument. First he claims that the embargo hasn't worked but then claims that sanctions would. Sanctions are a lighter punishment than an embargo. If a full embargo hasn't worked, according to my opponent, why would sanctions? It doesn't follow.

When Cubans start making money through trade, they will start to realize that they could make even more through lifted sanctions. Now it is not a lot, but it is a small step in the right direction and a way to retain some pride.

We embargo Cuba to make a political statement. It tells the world that we do not condone or deal with totalitarian and repressive nations. It is the same reason we do not do business with North Korea. By undoing the embargo before the communist regime collapses it shows the world that any type of regime unfavorable to the United States can simply wait us out and, over time, we'll cave. This will embolden countries to refuse change and hope for a United States reversal on foreign policy.

We still do trade with totalitarian nations though. Why the exception for Cuba. I am sure few country's are truly intimidated by our embargo. Look at China, through decades of trade and free market, they have began reformation.


Conclusion

1. If we keep waiting on Cuba to change, it could take centuries.
2. We would not be supporting a totalitarian state. Trade and support are different entities.

3. No amount of wealth of money is insignificant. First rule of capitalism.
4. Because it is a start in the right direction.
5. Yet this only applies to Cuba. I would say consistency is broken.

Therefore, the Cuban embargo should be lifted.
ConservativePolitico

Con

1. Trade Is Support

By my opponent's own admission lifting the embargo would cause the Cuban government to gain hundreds of millions of dollars in trade. The government would directly benefit from this money because all trade would be done with the socialized state and not the people themselves. So by trading with Cuba, we would be basically handing them a billion dollars a year. If that's not support I don't know what is. The state would gain more money and would have more money to support itself and its draconian political measures. Despite what my opponent may want to believe, trade is support for a regime and the United States does not and cannot support totalitarian regimes, especially in its own backyard.

My opponent falsely believes that lifting the embargo would somehow let in democrats, merchants and free thinkers when in reality trade would go solely through the government and there would be little opportunity for any type of ideology to leak through. Reform would not come through trade with the Castros. Lifting an embargo does not bring about free trade but just trade in general.

2. Economic Matters

My opponent says "And yes, I believe that 6000 more working citizens is worth sucking up our pride." I disagree. In the grand scheme of things six thousand jobs is not worth back pedaling on policy that has been in place for decade. It would erode our image and influence abroad if we were shown to throw away our beliefs and standards for 6000 jobs. Could we become a cheaper whore? Would we open up trade with North Korea, Somalia or the Taliban for the sake of 6000 jobs? I doubt it.

My opponent then says that shutting down trade shut down businesses but this embargo is so long standing that there are no more businesses in the United States waiting around for the embargo to be lifted and are thus being damaged. As of now Cuba stands as a potential market. Nothing more. Just as The moon is a potential market the United States is not losing money for not mining out the moon. Perhaps in the immediate wake of the embargo when it was first put in place the US could have lost a little bit of money but it quickly became a reality that Cuba was no longer an open market and thus the US stopped losing money and started forgoing potential wealth. There is a big economic difference in that.

"When Cubans start making money through trade, they will start to realize that they could make even more through lifted sanctions. Now it is not a lot, but it is a small step in the right direction and a way to retain some pride."

Again my opponent brings in pride. It is not about pride but POLICY. It's not a pride thing that the United States refuses to negotiate with totalitarians and terrorists, its a matter of morals and policies. Also, again, the Cuban people would not be trading with the United States, the Cuban government would. There is a big difference here. And just because the people "realize that they could make even more [money]" doesn't mean it would make any gains in any direction. The Cuban people do not want the communist regime in power that's why they sail over to the United States in droves. Opening trade wouldn't suddenly start a populace revolution, it would only serve to give the government more money.

"We still do trade with totalitarian nations though."

My opponent makes this absurd claim and gives not evidence. What totalitarian nations do we trade with? First, China isn't a totalitarian regime it's a one party, state controlled economic government ruled by the communist party. I don't know if my opponent knows what totalitarian really means. Perhaps if he did, he wouldn't be arguing so heavily for lifting the embargo. There are few totalitarian regimes left in the world, Cuba is one, North Korea is another and we don't do business with either.

Then my opponent makes economic claims in his conclusion about capitalism when Cuba is a totalitarian communist regime. The rules of capitalism clearly don't apply...

In Conclusion

1. Trade is support. When trade is conducted with the government of a nation and the profits would go directly into the government banks then by trading you are supplying the government money which is different from support only in name.
2. Cuba's communist government and system would prevent money, ideas, people and goods from flowing freely into the country. My opponent has a false view of how trade with the Cuban government would work.
3. Cuba is not a loss of capital but rather an unexploited source of capital. There is a difference.
4. The United States cannot whore its values off for a few thousand jobs.
5. We don't trade with totalitarian regimes.

My opponent clearly has a warped and idealistic view of how business with Cuba would be conducted and how the government allows goods, ideas, services and people to flow through the country. Trade would not help the people even a fraction as much as it would help ingrain the government. The United States does not do business with totalitarian regimes. Period. End of story. My opponent's arguments were shallow, unrealistic and minimal in the grand scheme of United States policy and action.

The Cuban embargo should not be lifted.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 2 years ago
xXCryptoXx
I reported the vote bomb by the way.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by YewRose19298 2 years ago
YewRose19298
Jifpop09ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pros arguments were a little easier to follow.
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 2 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Jifpop09ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. I honestly found it pretty difficult to decide who I agreed with. I think I was leaning towards PRO until a little into CON's round 3 argument where he redresses PRO's points. CON argued that it wasn't a matter of pride but of policy and morals, yet didn't back up the statement with any philosophical evidence/arguments. By default, it would seem that it is a matter of pride and the idea that America is a beacon of freedom and captilism. So the question came up, was a matter of pride more important than the well being of citizens? CON properly addressed this when he argued that it would help the Cuban government far more than the people, which would ultimately make the people worse off. This was the main point that took me onto CON's side. I would have been better if CON clarified exactly why the U.S. shouldn't/doesn't trade with totalitarian governments, but it went unattested by PRO and seeing that the U.S. supports democracy I gave it to CON by default. Good debat
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
Seeginomikata
Jifpop09ConservativePoliticoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD Con pointed out that the benefits asserted by Pro had little substance outside of theory. Con made good use of the political argument, as well as the economic comparison between the two sides involved. Con gets conduct because Pro did not write inside the provided text area and instead posted on an outside source.
Vote Placed by Buckethead31594 2 years ago
Buckethead31594
Jifpop09ConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Great debate! I will give conduct points to Con, because Pro used a means to type beyond the character limit in round 2. S/G is equal. Arguments were tricky; Con did an excellent job refuting Pro's arguments. Nonetheless, I felt that Pro adequately explained the importance of pride over policy. So I will give arguments to Pro. Yet, I may return to change my vote later.