Top Pro & Con Arguments

Pro

Cuba sponsors terrorism and responds to American actions with aggression.

Cuba is known to have repeatedly supported acts of terrorism. Cuba was on the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list from 1982 until 2015. The country was reinstated to the list on Jan. 12, 2021. The list, which includes North Korea, Iran, and Syria as of Nov. 30, 2023, is a tally of “countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” [114] [115] [134][114] [115] [134]

The U.S. State Department consistently finds evidence of Cuba’s involvement in promoting violence, giving terrorists a safe haven, and harboring U.S. fugitives. Members of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), a terrorist organization that operates in Spain, live in Cuba. Black Panther activist and convicted murderer Joanne Chesimard, known as Assata Shakur, is one of 90 or more criminals who fled the United States and received political asylum in Cuba. [10] [75]

In 1996, Castro’s military shot down two American civilian aircrafts, killing four people. Cuba has also supported armed insurgencies in Latin America and Africa. [4] [22]

In addition to sponsoring international terrorism, the Cuban government has consistently responded to U.S. attempts to soften the embargo with acts of aggression, raising concerns about what would happen if the sanctions were fully lifted. President Jimmy Carter tried to normalize relations with Cuba by opening the U.S. Interests Section (a de facto embassy) in Havana in 1977. Fidel Castro then orchestrated the Mariel Boatlift, which sent 125,000 emigrants (including criminals) to the United States. [27] [28] [29]

In 2003, President George W. Bush began to ease restrictions for visiting family members in Cuba, but tightened the rules again in 2004 in response to Cuba’s crackdown against political dissidents. [4]

President Obama relaxed the U.S. travel policy in 2009 to allow unlimited travel to Cuba to visit family members. That same year, the Cuban government arrested an American aid worker and sentenced him to 15 years in prison, and he was not released until Dec. 2014. [8] [81]

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