David W. Dent and Carol O’Brien
Abstract: This article argues that the economic sanctions against Cuba do not serve US interests and thus should be discontinued. Both Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy viewed Castro as a significant communist threat to the US. They imposed strict economic sanctions against his regime, hoping that Cuba’s ties with the USSR would weaken and that the Castro regime would eventually collapse under economic strain. To the vexation of US officials, the opposite occurred as Cuba was pushed directly into the USSR’s political and economic orbit, as the Soviets came to Cuba’s aid to soften the impact of the sanctions. Moreover, the economic sanctions strengthened the resolve of the Cuban people to stand up to America, their imperialist aggressor. While attempts were made in the mid 1970’s to lift the embargo, US officials felt that doing so would be too apparent of a mea culpa and thus would harm the US’s image as an avid champion of democracy and capitalism. Although lifting the embargo would symbolize the end of US hegemony in the Western hemisphere, America has much to gain from doing so.
Keyword: Castro, Cuba, Economic Sanctions, USSR, Embargo, Western Hemisphere