This past Tuesday, November 13, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted 188-3 to condemn the United States “commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba for the 21st year in a row.” (Fox News). The embargo was initially enacted in 1960 and became a near total embargo in 1962. Speaking before the General Assembly on Tuesday, “Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez rallied against the embargo calling the U.S policy inhumane, failed and anachronistic.” (Fox News). Rodriguez said that this policy is against the national interest of the United States and harms the interests of its citizens and companies during a period of economic crisis and high unemployment. (Fox News). He further stated, that despite President Obama’s offer of a new start with Cuba following the 2008 election, “the reality of the last four years has been characterized by a persistent tightening of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade.” (Fox News). A United States Senior adviser for western hemisphere affairs, Ronald D. Godard, defended the embargo as “one of the tools in our overall efforts to encourage respect for the human rights and basic freedom to which the United Nations itself is committed.” (Fox News). The Obama administration has said that restrictions on “travel and remittances” have eased, but the United States “is not prepared to lift the sanctions entirely until the communist-run nation enacts more far-reaching political and economic reforms.” (Fox News).
Personally, I believe that the embargo should be lifted because free trade helps everyone. Although we do not line up politically with how their government is run, we have the opportunity to open free trade and take full advantage of some of their natural resources and top exports. An agreement would allow both nations to create jobs and create competitive advantages for producers in each respective nation. Although some people may view this change negatively, if as a nation we could see the economic benefit behind lifting the embargo this should be able to happen.
Please consider the following questions: (1) What is your position on the embargo? (2) Do you feel the embargo should be lifted or do you feel that the embargo should still be kept in place until the Cuban government makes changes?