Top Pro & Con Arguments


Since there is virtually no private sector in Cuba, opening trade would only help the government, not regular Cuban citizens. And, the US is able to target the Cuban government with its embargo while still providing assistance to Cuban citizens.

The 90% state-owned economy ensures that the Cuban government and military would reap the gains of open trade with the United States, not private citizens. [3] Foreign companies operating in Cuba are required to hire workers through the state, and wages are converted into local currency and devalued at a ratio of 24:1, so a $500 wage becomes a $21 paycheck. A Cuban worker was quoted as having said, “In Cuba, it’s a great myth that we live off the state. In fact, it’s the state that lives off of us.” [64]

US policy allows people to visit family members and send money to relatives in Cuba, and also permits travel for humanitarian and educational reasons. Over one billion dollars in remittances (money transferred from abroad) are sent to Cuban families each year, mostly from relatives in the United States. [4] Congress gave USAID a total budget of $364 million between fiscal year 1996 and fiscal year 2019 to promote democracy and human rights in Cuba. [112]

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