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Should the US maintain the embargo against Cuba?
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Lifting the embargo would economically strengthen a dictatorial regime

The economic sanctions against Cuba have crippled the government. By enforcing an embargo the US has prevented Cuba from undertaking military action worldwide. Lifting the sanctions would give power back to Cuban elites.

The Argument

Enforcing a trade embargo has weakened the regime by forcing it to isolate. Trade with Cuba would ultimately enrich only the elites who hold absolute power and will keep the benefits for themselves.[1] Any additional profits made in Cuba will not be given back to the people but will line the pockets of the regime in a state-controlled economy. The Cuban government has lost $4.5 billion a year in subsidies because of the embargo, which has made the government unpopular and destabilized Fidel Castro and his successors. Regular rioting and popular descent in Cuba have proved that sanctions have made the government unpopular. [2] In the 1960s Castro was forced to shrink the size of his military because of the sanctions, which proves they did have an effect. Prior to the embargo, Castro sent troops around the world to further various revolutionary causes. Repealing the embargo would only signal that Cuba was free to continue as it is.[3] If the embargo were lifted, the dictatorial and oppressive government would be more powerful and have tighter grip on its people.

Counter arguments

Claims that the regime has been weakened are false. Cuba is still a one-party state which still persecutes political enemies and seriously restricts freedoms. If anything, the communist regime has become more popular than it would have been due to American sanctions. Due to the embargo, all the problems Cuba has are blamed on US. If the embargo was lifted the government would be held accountable.[4] Economic sanctions have not harmed the government, they have mostly harmed ordinary people. Cuba has suffered from a lack of food and medical equipment. If the embargo were lifted essential supplies would find their way back to the people even if the government skims some of the profits made in any trade deals. [5] The embargo does more harm to ordinary people than it does to the regime. It has not destabilized the government enough to end one-party rule or reduce persecution. The government would be more unpopular if the embargo were lifted.



[P1] Cuba’s dictatorial government has been crippled by economic sanctions [P2] If the embargo were lifted the profits would principally go back to the government [C] The Cuban embargo should be maintained

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The government has not been crippled enough to create a regime change or change the government's behavior. [Rejecting P2] Life-saving medical equipment and food would be the main benefits of ending the embargo. Both of these things would help ordinary people, not the government.


This page was last edited on Saturday, 17 Oct 2020 at 22:57 UTC

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