Cuba Embargo Negative – Table of Contents

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Cuba Embargo Negative

Cuba Embargo Negative – Table of Contents

Glossary 3

Cuban Public Health System Strong Now – Focus on Prevention 4

Cuban Public Health System Strong Now – Free Care 5

Answers to: Public Health Wrecked by Embargo 6

Lifting Embargo Hurts Healthcare System 7

Lifting Embargo Hurts Healthcare – Healthcare Workers Leave 8

Lifting Embargo Hurts Public Health – Causes Obesity 9

Lifting Embargo Hurts Public Health – Causes Obesity 10

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression 12

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression – History Proves 13

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression – Funds Regime 14

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression – Funds Regime 15

No Impact – US/Latin American Relations Resilient 17

No Impact – China Fills in for US 19

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Other Unpopular Factors 20

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Regime Resilient 22

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Government Backlash 24

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Cuba Controls Imports 25

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – No US/Cuban Trade 26


Backlash – a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change
Biodiversity – the number, or abundance of different species living within a particular region

Economic engagement – is a foreign policy strategy which seeks to increase ties between countries through economic interaction.

Embargo/Sanctions – are trade restrictions put in place against target countries with the aim of discouraging certain behaviors like human rights violations or military build-up.
Exploitation – the use of someone or something in an unjust or cruel manner for economic, social, and political gain
Government Repression – sometimes used synonymously with the term political discrimination; often carried out through discriminatory policies, such as human rights violations, surveillance abuse, police brutality, imprisonment, involuntary settlement, stripping of citizen's rights, lustration and violent action to people who oppose the government and/or the general public

Human rights – basic, fundamental rights to which every person is entitled because they are human beings.

International influence/Soft Power – the ability of a nation persuade other nations to adopt changes by modeling good behavior, rather than the use of force or coercion.

International relations – the relationships that dictate interactions between countries, their governments, and their people.

Moral obligation – An obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong or a sense of duty or priority imposed by moral standards.

Public health – is the result of an organized effort of a society to improve the health and life-span of its people.

Raul Castro – is a politician and leader of the Communist Party of Cuba.
Regime a government in power; a mode or system of rule or government.

Totalitarianism – is a political system in which the state holds total authority over its society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private affairs.

Cuban Public Health System Strong Now – Focus on Prevention

[ ] The Cuban health care industry guarantees basic health coverage – it provides exceptional preventative medicine for all citizens.

Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, 2010

(Laurie, “Castrocare in Crisis,” Foreign Affairs, 89:4, July/August, EBSCOhost)

The two keys to Cuba's medical and public health achievements are training provided by the state and a community-based approach that requires physicians to live in the neighborhoods they serve and be on call 24 hours a day. In the wake of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, more than one-third of Cuba's doctors fled, mostly to the United States, leaving the country with just 6,300 physicians and a doctor-patient ratio of 9.2 per 10,000, according to the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. In response, Fidel Castro declared public health and doctor training to be paramount tasks for the new socialist state.¶ By the early 1980s, Cuba led the socialist world -- including its patron, the Soviet Union -- in all health indicators. Between 1959 and 1989, Cuba's doctor-patient ratio more than tripled, soaring to 33 per 10,000, and health-care expenditures rose by 162 percent. Cuba today has the highest doctor-patient ratio in the entire world, with 59 physicians per 10,000 people -- more than twice the ratio of the United States. Cuba is the world's only poor country that can rightly say that basic health is no longer an existential problem for its people. Its achievement in this respect is unparalleled.¶ Cuba now boasts more than 73,000 practicing doctors (half of whom work in primary care), 107,761 nurses, and a total health-care work force of 566,365, according to government figures. About 12 percent of Cuba's adult population is employed by the state in the health-care sector. Because of economic exigencies that have limited Cuba's access to advanced technology for diagnosing and curing ailments, the Cuban health system has focused -- successfully -- on prevention. Between 1959 and 2000, Cuba reduced its infant mortality by 90 percent, and the number of mothers who died from pregnancy-related complications dropped from 125 per 100,000 live births to 55 per 100,000.

Cuban Public Health System Strong Now – Free Care

[ ] Cuban health care is exceptional – everyone has access to a doctor and coverage is free.

Campion, M.D. & Morrissey, Ph.D., 2013

(Edward & Stephen, “A Different Model — Medical Care in Cuba” New England Journal of Medicine, Online:

Internet access is virtually nonexistent. And the Cuban health care system also seems unreal. There are too many doctors. Everybody has a family physician. Everything is free, totally free — and not after prior approval or some copay. The whole system seems turned upside down. It is tightly organized, and the first priority is prevention. Although Cuba has limited economic resources, its health care system has solved some problems that ours has not yet managed to address. Family physicians, along with their nurses and other health workers, are responsible for delivering primary care and preventive services to their panel of patients — about 1000 patients per physician in urban areas. All care delivery is organized at the local level, and the patients and their caregivers generally live in the same community. The medical records in cardboard folders are simple and handwritten, not unlike those we used in the United States 50 years ago. But the system is surprisingly information-rich and focused on population health.

Answers to: Public Health Wrecked by Embargo

[ ]

[ ] Even with the costs imposed by the embargo, Cuba’s health system is exceptional now.

Barry, Member of the Social Sciences Research Council for the Cuban Working Group of the American Council of Learned Societies, 2010

(Paul Drain & Michele “Fifty Years of U.S. Embargo: Cuba's Health Outcomes and Lessons” Science Magazine, April, Online:

However, impacts of sanctions on Cuba's financial systems, medical supplies, and aggregate health measures appear to be attenuated by their successes in other aspects of health care. Despite the embargo, Cuba has produced better health outcomes than most Latin American countries, and they are comparable to those of most developed countries. Cuba has the highest average life expectancy (78.6 years) and density of physicians per capita (59 physicians per 10,000 people), and the lowest infant (5.0/1000 live births) and child (7.0/1000 live births) mortality rates among 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries (11, 26).¶ In 2006, the Cuban government spent about $355 per capita on health, 7.1% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (11, 26). The annual cost of health care for an American was $6714, 15.3% of total U.S. GDP. Cuba also spent less on health than most European countries. But low health care costs alone may not fully explain Cuba's successes (27), which may relate more to their emphasis on disease prevention and primary health care, which have been cultivated during the U.S. trade embargo.Cuba has one of the most proactive primary health care systems in the world. By educating their population about disease prevention and health promotion, the Cubans rely less on medical supplies to maintain a healthy population. The converse is the United States, which relies heavily on medical supplies and technologies to maintain a healthy population, but at a very high cost.

Lifting Embargo Hurts Healthcare System

[ ] Lifting the embargo leads to medical tourism which overstretches healthcare system

Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, 2010

(Laurie, “Castrocare in Crisis,” Foreign Affairs, 89:4, July/August, EBSCOhost)

Cuba's economic situation has been dire since 1989, when the country lost its Soviet benefactors and its economy experienced a 35 percent contraction. Today, Cuba's major industries--tourism, nickel mining, tobacco and rum production, and health care--are fragile. Cubans blame the long-standing U.S. trade embargo for some of these strains and are wildly optimistic about the transformations that will come once the embargo is lifted. Overlooked in these dreamy discussions of lifestyle improvements, however, is that Cuba's health-care industry will likely be radically affected by any serious easing in trade and travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba. If policymakers on both sides of the Florida Straits do not take great care, the tiny Caribbean nation could swiftly be robbed of its greatest triumph. First, its public health network could be devastated by an exodus of thousands of well-trained Cuban physicians and nurses. Second, for-profit U.S. companies could transform the remaining health-care system into a prime destination for medical tourism from abroad. The very strategies that the Cuban government has employed to develop its system into a major success story have rendered it ripe for the plucking by the U.S. medical industry and by foreigners eager for affordable, elective surgeries in a sunny climate. In short, although the U.S. embargo strains Cuba's health-care system and its overall economy, it may be the better of two bad options.

Lifting Embargo Hurts Healthcare – Healthcare Workers Leave

[ ] Easing the embargo would cause Cuban healthcare professionals to leave the country – this would collapse the public healthcare system.

Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, 2010

(Laurie, “Castrocare in Crisis,” Foreign Affairs, 89:4, July/August, EBSCOhost)

According to Steven Ullmann of the University of Miami's Cuba Transition Project, if Washington lifts its embargo, Cuba can expect a mass exodus of health-care workers and then the creation of a domestic health system with two tiers, one private and one public. The system's lower, public tier would be at risk of complete collapse. Ullmann therefore suggests "fostering this [public] system through partnerships and enhanced compensation of personnel." He also argues that officials in both governments should "limit out-migration of scientific brainpower from the country." Properly handled, the transition could leave Cuba with a mixed health-care economy -- part public, part locally owned and private, and part outsourced and private -- that could compensate Cuban physicians, nurses, and other health-care workers enough to keep them in the country and working at least part time in the public sector. The only U.S. policy currently in place, however, encourages Cuban physicians to immigrate to the United States. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security created a special parole program under which health-care workers who defect from Cuba are granted legal residence in the United States while they prepare for U.S. medical licensing examinations. An estimated 2,000 physicians have taken advantage of the program. Although few have managed to gain accreditation as U.S. doctors, largely due to their poor English-language skills and the stark differences between Cuban and U.S. medical training, many now work as nurses in Florida hospitals. The Castro government, meanwhile, is in a seemingly untenable position. The two greatest achievements of the Cuban Revolution -- 100 percent literacy and quality universal health care -- depend on huge streams of government spending. If Washington does eventually start to normalize relations, plugging just a few holes in the embargo wall would require vast additional spending by the Cuban government. The government would have to pay higher salaries to teachers, doctors, nurses, and technicians; strengthen the country's deteriorating infrastructure; and improve working conditions for common workers. To bolster its health-care infrastructure and create incentives for Cuban doctors to stay in the system, Cuba will have to find external support from donors, such as the United Nations and the U.S. Agency for International Development. But few sources will support Havana with funding as long as the regime restricts the travel of its citizens.

Lifting Embargo Hurts Public Health – Causes Obesity

[ ] Lifting the embargo will harm public health – increased food availability and shift to car culture will result in an obesity epidemic.

Cassimally, med student and blog manager at, 2013

(Khalil, “The Only Positive Effect Of The Cuban Embargo? Weight Loss,” April 19, Online:

Despite all the atrocity and machiavellianism that trail economic embargoes, science has somehow found a way to profit from the Cuban "special period." Thanks to the impressive Cuban healthcare system which diligently collected health data even during the "special period," Manuel Franco, at the University of Alcalá in Spain and colleagues from US and Cuban institutions, were able to analyse some of the health indicators of the time. What they found underlines the atrocity of the embargo on the Cuban people but does come with a surprising silver lining which they report in a paper published last week by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).¶ The shortage of food caused by the embargo led to a population-wide weight loss of about 5.5 kg. The food shortage was a direct result of Cuba's inability to import anything. Physical activity was another important contributing factor to the weight loss. The Cuban government somehow got its hands on more than one million bicycles for the population. During the "special period," Cubans were forced to walk or cycle, sometimes for kilometres, as public transport was saddled due to the virtual nonexistence of petrol. Interestingly, the weight loss matched with declines in cases of diabetes and heart diseases. Essentially, the embargo spurred a mini health revolution. As the authors state in the paper: "so far, no country or regional population has successfully reduced the distribution of body mass index or reduced the prevalence of obesity through public health campaigns or targeted treatment programmes." Where campaigns and targeted programmes failed, the embargo succeeded. But it gets more interesting. After 1995, the Cuban economy started to pick up again and has risen steadily since—especially post-2000. Coupled to this steady economic rise was a resurgence of obesity, and with it diabetes and heart diseases. The resurgence was predominantly due to an increased energy intake from food and drinks consumed since physical activity only marginally decreased. Energy intake reached pre-crisis levels by 2002 and obesity rates had tripled that of 1995 by 2011.¶ What the embargo tells us is that even meager loss of weight throughout a population, if sustained, can lead to a decline in non-transmissible diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. How to achieve such sustained decline without having an embargo imposed however is another question. The usual strategies put forward include sensitisation through education and policy changes to promote physical activity, taxes on unhealthy food, etcetera.

Lifting Embargo Hurts Public Health – Causes Obesity

[ ] The embargo has led to an overall reduction in obesity – people aren’t starving, they’re thriving.

Willett, Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard, 2013

(Walter, “Weight Changes and Health in Cuba: Learning from Hardship,” BMJ Editorial, April 9th, Online:
Changes in food supplies and reductions in physical activity are fueling increases in overweight and obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease worldwide.1 We have had few opportunities to see a reversal of this process, which is continuing inexorably almost everywhere. One such opportunity was provided by the well developed public health surveillance systems in Cuba, which were maintained during a period of serious economic hardship in the early 1990s. In a linked study (doi:10.1136/bmj.f1515), Franco and colleagues used these systems to look at the effects of reduced energy intake and increased physical activity on body weight and the occurrence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and death.2¶ In Cuba, decreased food availability and increased physical activity, supported by the distribution of more than a million bicycles during 1991 to 1995, led to an average 5.5 kg reduction in weight over five years, shifting the whole population distribution of weight downwards. Predictably, a profound and almost immediate reduction in the incidence of diabetes occurred, and a striking decline in cardiovascular mortality began, with a lag of about five years. These findings are consistent with those of the many epidemiologic and clinical studies that have examined the incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.3 4 5 6¶ The economic crisis was followed by a slow recovery, increased food intake, reduction in activity, and an increase in the prevalence of obesity to three times higher than before the crisis. With weight regain, the trend in incidence of diabetes rapidly reversed, and a decade after the period of weight loss, the decline in cardiovascular disease had greatly slowed. Most troublesome, the continued rapid increase in obesity and diabetes predicts that the decline in cardiovascular disease, and thus total mortality, will be reversed because the full impact of diabetes on incidence of cardiovascular disease is not seen until several decades after diagnosis.5 The apparent lack of effect of weight loss on death from cancer seen in the current study is not surprising. Only some cancers are associated with obesity and disease latency can be decades.7 More detailed analyses by specific types of cancer would be useful.

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression

[ ] All economic benefits of engagement would flow to the government – giving it more power to repress its people.

Radosh, adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, 2013

(Ron, “Ron Radosh: The Time to Help Cuba’s Brave Dissidents Is Now- Why the Embargo Must Not be Lifted,” March 20th, Online:

What these liberals and leftists leave out is that this demand — lifting the embargois also the number one desire of the Cuban Communists. In making it the key demand, these well-meaning (at least some of them) liberals echo precisely the propaganda of the Cuban government, thereby doing the Castro brothers’ work for them here in the United States. And, as we know, many of those who call for this actually believe that the Cuban government is on the side of the people, and favor the Cuban Revolution which they see as a positive role model for the region. They have always believed, since the 1960s of their youth, that socialism in Cuba has pointed the way forward to development and liberty based on the kind of socialist society they wish could exist in the United States.¶ Another brave group of Cuban opponents of the regime has actually taped a television interview filmed illegally in Havana. “Young Cuban democracy leader Antonio Rodiles,” an American support group called Capitol Hill Cubans has reported, “has just released the latest episode of his civil society project Estado de Sats (filmed within Cuba), where he discusses the importance U.S. sanctions policy with two of Cuba’s most renowned opposition activists and former political prisoners, Guillermo Fariñas and Jose Daniel Ferrer.”¶ The argument they present is aimed directly at those on the left in the United States, some of whom think they are helping democracy in Cuba by calling for an end to the embargo. In strong and clear language, the two dissidents say the following: If at this time, the [economic] need of the Cuban government is satisfied through financial credits and the lifting of the embargo, repression would increase, it would allow for a continuation of the Castro’s society, totalitarianism would strengthen its hold and philosophically, it would just be immoral … If you did an opinion poll among Cuban opposition activists, the majority would be in favor of not lifting the embargo.

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression – History Proves

[ ] Past regimes have grown stronger through trade – the same is true of Cuba.

Jorge, Professor of Political Economy at Florida International University, 2000

(Dr. Antonio, "The U.S. Embargo and the Failure of the Cuban Economy," Institute for Cuban & Cuban-American Studies Occasional Papers, Online:

It follows, from all of the above, that a lifting of the embargo at this time would only serve the purpose of facilitating to Castro desperately needed resources, mainly in the form of credit lines extended by international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and also by private banking and other financial institutions. This financial influx would serve to strengthen his 40-year stranglehold on the Cuban people. Furthermore, to those who believe that greater contacts between the United States and Cuba would further the cause of democratization, it should be pointed out that such hopes definitely have not been validated by the experience of Marxist societies from the inception of the New Economic Policy in the Soviet Union, which followed the stage of War Communism, up to the last efforts at reforming socialism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. In these countries, trade, foreign investment, and loans led hermetic lives of their own, oblivious to and unaffected by the rest of society. There is no historical precedent for drawing hope from the Cuban experience. As a matter of fact, it could be realistically argued that the opposite has happened. As the Cuban regime succeeds in solidifying itself, as a result of the legitimacy conferred upon it by other nations and by an augmented flow of resources, its repressive proclivities have increased in parallel fashion. Trade and investment with totalitarian states have not weakened or eroded those states; rather, the contrary has always been the case. Castro’s regime is certainly no exception to the rule and, in fact, categorically confirms it. Only pressure has led Castro temporarily to implement some timid reforms that he subsequently has either partly rescinded or revoked altogether. Cuba has established for all to see a system of apartheid — which is openly and vigorously enforced — between foreigners and Cuban nationals.

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression – Funds Regime

[ ] Economic engagement won’t yield regime change because the wealth from trade won’t trickle down to citizens.

Lopez, former professor of political science at the University of Illinois, 2000

(Juan, “Sanctions on Cuba Are Good, But Not Enough,” Orbis, Volume 44, Issue 3, June,

p. 345-362, EBSCOhost)
The engagement thesis also claims that economic development tends to promote democracy, an old hypothesis dating from the 1950s work of Seymour Martin Lipset.(n19) But the empirical evidence of the past fifty years suggests that this hypothesis is also false. Countries under dictatorial regimes are not more likely to experience a transition to democracy as they reach higher levels of economic development.(n20) Nevertheless, the idea that development generates democracy continues to be presented as if it were true and is one of the key arguments used by USA Engage to justify its opposition to the U.S. embargo. Samuel Huntington has also argued that economic development produces democracy by creating new sources of wealth and power outside state control. However, if one considers the intervening mechanism between development and democracy in Huntington's reasoning, one finds that, whatever its validity elsewhere, it does not hold up in the Cuban case. If increased wealth simply accrues to the state, as in Cuba, then (as Huntington himself acknowledges) the additional revenue merely increases the power of the state and makes no contribution to democratization.

Lifting Embargo Increases Government Repression – Funds Regime

[ ] Engagement wouldn’t promote change – Castro will use US goods to maintain his control over Cubans.

Jorge, Professor of Political Economy at Florida International University, 2000

(Dr. Antonio, "The U.S. Embargo and the Failure of the Cuban Economy," Institute for Cuban & Cuban-American Studies Occasional Papers, Online:

Under the real world of Castroism, however, the answer must be a terse one: none. The embargo has not harmed the Cuban economy. Cooperation between the United States and Cuba would have been impossible from the very beginning of the Revolution for legal, political, ideological, strategic, and economic reasons, not to mention others of a philosophical or moral character. In other words, it was in the past, and continues to be at present, contrary to the United States’ national interest and to its fundamental foreign policy orientation and objectives to lift the embargo under Castro’s conditions: that is, without a firm commitment to the political democratization and market reforms that his regime has stubbornly opposed for the last 40 years. However, if, purely for the sake of an intellectual exercise, we were to assume that the embargo had never existed, its nonexistence would have had no effect whatsoever on the Cuban economy. Castro simply would have squandered U.S. instead of Soviet resources. Given Castro’s objectives and policies, the ultimate result for the Cuban economy could not have been any different, regardless of who had financed his Revolution.

No Impact – US/Latin American Relations Resilient

[ ] US relations to Latin America are resilient and high now – we still have significant economic influence in the region.

Duddy, former US ambassador to Venezuela and Mora, former Assistant Secretary of Defense, 2013

(Patrick and Frank, “Latin America: Is US Influence Waning?,” Miami Herald, May 1st, Online:

While it is true that other countries are important to the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, it is also still true that the United States is by far the largest and most important economic partner of the region and trade is growing even with those countries with which we do not have free trade agreements. An area of immense importance to regional economies that we often overlook is the exponential growth in travel, tourism and migration. It is commonplace to note the enormous presence of foreign students in the United States but in 2011, according to the Institute of International Education, after Europe, Latin America was the second most popular destination for U.S. university students. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. tourists travel every year to Latin America and the Caribbean helping to support thousands of jobs.¶ From 2006-2011 U.S. non-government organizations, such as churches, think tanks and universities increased the number of partnerships with their regional cohorts by a factor of four. Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean from the United States totaled $64 billion in 2012. Particularly for the smaller economies of Central America and the Caribbean these flows can sometimes constitute more than 10 percent of gross domestic product. Finally, one should not underestimate the resiliency of U.S. soft power in the region. The power of national reputation, popular culture, values and institutions continues to contribute to U.S. influence in ways that are difficult to measure and impossible to quantify. Example: Despite 14 years of strident anti-American rhetoric during the Chávez government, tens of thousand of Venezuelans apply for U.S. nonimmigrant visas every year, including many thousands of Chávez loyalists.¶ Does this mean we can feel comfortable relegating U.S. relations with the hemisphere to the second or third tier of our international concerns? Certainly not. We have real and proliferating interests in the region. As the president and his team head to Mexico and Costa Rica, it is important to recognize the importance of our ties to the region.¶ We have many individual national partners in the Americas. We don’t need a new template for relations with the hemisphere as a whole or another grand U.S.-Latin America strategy. A greater commitment to work more intensely with the individual countries on the issues most relevant to them would be appropriate. The United States still has the economic and cultural heft in the region to play a fundamental role and to advance its own interests.

No Impact – China Fills in for US

[ ] Even if US influence declines, China will fill in – China and Latin American co-operation solves.

Xiaoxia, Professor of Economics at Tsinghua University, 2013


In the opinion of many European and American scholars, China's current practice isn’t much different from that of Western colonizers of the last century. These scholars believe that China doesn’t care about local human rights or the state of democracy when dealing with countries. All China is interested in is establishing long-term, stable economic relations. This realistic path is exactly opposite to that of America's newfound idealism. Thus China has become a close collaborator of certain Latin American countries, such as Venezuela, that are in sharp conflict with the United States.¶ The global financial crisis of 2008 was a chance for China to become an increasingly important player in Latin American. As Europe and the United States were caught in a financial quagmire, China, with nearly $3 trillion of foreign exchange reserves as backing, embarked on "funds-for-assets" transactions with Latin American countries.¶ So what does China want exactly in entering Latin American? Is it to obtain a stable supply of energy and resources, and thus inadvertently acquire political influence? Or the other way round?¶ Presumably most U.S. foreign policy-makers are well aware of the answer.¶ China's involvement in the Latin American continent doesn’t constitute a threat to the United States, but brings benefits. It is precisely because China has reached "loans-for-oil" swap agreements with Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and other countries that it brings much-needed funds to these oil-producing countries in South America. Not only have these funds been used in the field of oil production, but they have also safeguarded the energy supply of the United States, as well as stabilized these countries' livelihood -- and to a certain extent reduced the impact of illegal immigration and the drug trade on the U.S.For South America, China and the United States, this is not a zero-sum game, but a multiple choice of mutual benefits and synergies. Even if China has become the Latin American economy’s new upstart, it is still not in a position to challenge the strong and diverse influence that the United States has accumulated over two centuries in the region.

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Other Unpopular Factors

[ ] Cuba is only one of many obstacles to US/Latin American cooperation – the plan can’t solve

Lobe, chief of Washington Bureau of the Inter Press Service, 2012

(Jim, “U.S., Latin America Growing More Distant, Warns Think Tank,” Inter Press Service, April, Online:

Relations between the United States and Latin America have “grown more distant” in importance part due to the latter’s persistent disagreement with U.S. policies on immigration, drugs, and Cuba, according to a new report released here Wednesday on the eve of this year’s Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. “The United States must regain credibility in the region by dealing seriously with an unfinished agenda of problems, including immigration, drugs, and Cuba that stands in the way of a real partnership,” according to Michael Shifter, president of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue (IAD).¶ The 20-page report, entitled “Remaking the Relationship”, described current inter-American relations as “generally cordial but lack(ing) in vigor and purpose”. It suggested that Washington, in particular, has failed to fully come to terms with Latin America’s strong economic and political progress over the past two decades.¶ It also concluded that the two sides “need to do more to exploit the enormous untapped opportunities of their relationship in economics, trade, and energy”, as well as to work more closely together on global and regional problems.¶ “They need to breathe new life and vigor into hemispheric relations,” it stressed.¶ “If the United States and Latin America do not make the effort now, the chance may slip away,” the report warned. “The most likely scenario then would be marked by a continued drift in their relationship, further deterioration of hemispheric-wide institutions, a reduced ability and willingness to deal with a range of common problems, and a spate of missed opportunities for more robust growth and greater social equity.”

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Regime Resilient

[ ] Economic engagement historically hasn’t created regime change – Cuba has traded with other countries for decades without effect.

Lopez, former professor of political science at the University of Illinois, 2000

(Juan, “Sanctions on Cuba Are Good, But Not Enough,” Orbis, Volume 44, Issue 3, June,

p. 345-362, EBSCOhost)
The nature of the Cuban regime is such that it is unjustified to think that engagement can induce the Castro government to implement political liberalization.(n11) Havana is controlled by hardliners, led by Fidel Castro himself, who oppose any change in the status quo. There are no regime "softliners" (those who believe that some degree of political liberalization is necessary for the dictatorship to endure) with sufficient power and autonomy to conduct negotiations concerning political liberalization with members of the moderate opposition. Were softliners in fact to emerge and display a willingness to negotiate with democratic moderates, they would be quickly eliminated or demoted by hardliners.(n12) It is important to add that the standard conception of softliners in the literature on transitions to democracy involves those advocating political liberalization, not economic reform, because some scholars attempting to conjure up moderates in the Cuban ruling elite count advocates of market reforms (even if very limited ones) as softliners. But a cogent example demonstrating that economic reformers in Cuba are not political softliners is Carlos Lage, Cuba's minister of economy, who stated on September 2, 1999, that there is already a democracy in Cuba while at the same time advocating the influx of foreign investment.(n13) The fact that the U.S. embargo has been in place since 1962 and the Cuban dictatorship has endured is taken by critics of the embargo as an indication that the economic sanctions have failed. Those who make this argument disregard the fact that, for a long time, Cuba has had diplomatic and commercial relations with most other countries. Not only have Latin American and European countries engaged the Cuban government in diplomatic and trade relations, but some leaders from these countries have tried many times to persuade the Cuban government to take steps toward political liberalization without the least success.(n14) In short, the Cuban government has failed to respond to positive inducements. For example, Havana has not accepted the offer of the European Union to establish an economic cooperation agreement that would facilitate trade, investments, and aid in exchange for Cuba's respecting human rights and moving toward political liberalization.(n15) Both Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, the second in command in the ruling elite, have consistently rejected any negotiations to improve relations with the United States that would include preconditions involving Cuba's domestic policies.(n16)

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Government Backlash

[ ] Trade won’t promote democracy – Cuba’s regime will crack down on dissent.

Amnesty International, international organization promoting human rights, 2012

(“Routine Repression,” Online:

Cuba does not tolerate any criticism of the state outside the official mechanisms established¶ under government control. Laws on “public disorder”, “contempt”, “disrespect”,¶ “dangerousness” and “agression”, are used to prosecute government opponents. No politicalor human rights organizations are allowed to obtain legal status. Trade unions and bar¶ associations independent from those affiliated to the Cuban Communist Party are notpermited to operate legally and their members are subject to repressive measures. Anychallenge to official policy invariably results in retaliatory action involving the violation ofhuman rights.To justify their arsenal of repressive laws and practices, Cuban officials continue to claimthat political opponents act under the sponsorship or the infludence of the United States¶ government, and that their activities are a threat against national security, Cuba’s integrity¶ and the revolution.

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – Cuba Controls Imports

[ ] Lifting the embargo won’t create change – the Cuban government will still maintain control over profits from trade, which deters investors.

Suchlicki, Director of Institute for Cuban Studies at the University of Miami, 2013

(Jaime, “What If…the U.S. Ended the Cuba Travel Ban and the Embargo?,” Feb 26, Online:
In Cuba, foreign investors cannot partner with private Cuban citizens. They can only invest in the island through minority joint ventures with the government and its state enterprises. The dominant enterprise in the Cuban economy is the Grupo GAESA, controlled by the Cuban military. Most investments are done through or with GAESA. Therefore, American companies willing to invest in Cuba will have to partner mostly with the Cuban military. Cuba ranks 176 out of 177 countries in the world in terms of economic freedom. Outshined only by North Korea. It ranks as one of the most unattractive investments next to Iran, Zimbabwe, Libya, Mali, etc. Foreign investors cannot hire, fire, or pay workers directly. They must go through the Cuban government employment agency which selects the workers. Investors pay the government in dollars or euros and the government pays the workers a meager 10% in Cuban pesos. Corruption is pervasive, undermining equity and respect for the rule of law. Cuba does not have an independent/transparent legal system. All judges are appointed by the State and all lawyers are licensed by the State. In the last few years, European investors have had over $1 billion arbitrarily frozen by the government and several investments have been confiscated. Cuba’s Law 77 allows the State to expropriate foreign-invested assets for reason of “public utility” or “social interest.” In the last year, the CEOs of three companies with extensive dealings with the Cuban government were arrested without charges.

Lifting the Embargo Won’t Solve – No US/Cuban Trade

[ ] Cuba and the US won’t trade – there’s no market in US for Cuban goods and Cuba won’t abandon relationships with China and Venezuela.

Suchlicki, Director of Institute for Cuban Studies at the University of Miami, 2013

(Jaime, “What If…the U.S. Ended the Cuba Travel Ban and the Embargo?,” Feb 26, Online:
All trade with Cuba is done with state owned businesses. Since Cuba has very little credit and is a major debtor nation, the U.S. and its businesses would have to provide credits to Cuban enterprises. There is a long history of Cuba defaulting on loans. Cuba is not likely to buy a substantial amount of products in the U.S. In the past few years, Cuba purchased several hundred million dollars of food in the U.S. That amount is now down to $170 million per year. Cuba can buy in any other country and it is not likely to abandon its relationship with China, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran to become a major trading partner of the U.S. Cuba has very little to sell in the U.S. Nickel, one of Cuba’s major exports, is controlled by the Canadians and exported primarily to Canada. Cuba has decimated its sugar industry and there is no appetite in the U.S. for more sugar. Cigars and rum are important Cuban exports. Yet, cigar production is mostly committed to the European market.

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