Top Pro & Con Arguments


The Cuban government has consistently responded to US attempts to soften the embargo with acts of aggression, raising concerns about what would happen if the sanctions were fully lifted.

President Carter tried to normalize relations with Cuba by opening the US Interests Section (a de facto embassy) in Havana in 1977. Fidel Castro then orchestrated the Mariel Boatlift, which sent 125,000 emigrants (including criminals and mentally ill people) 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 in 2004 in response to Cuba’s crackdown against political dissidents. [4]

President Obama relaxed the US travel policy in 2009 to allow unlimited travel to Cuba to visit family members. [8] 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. [81]

Since the United States agreed to re-open the US embassy in Cuba, the Cuban government has continued to persecute and arrest its own citizens. Arbitrary short-term detentions increased between 2010 and 2016, from a monthly average of 172 detentions to a monthly average of 827 detentions. While the average had dropped by 2019, the Cuban government was still detaining over 227 people per month arbitrarily. [111]

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