Top Pro & Con Arguments


The embargo has failed and harms Americans.

Signed in 1962, the Cuban embargo has not accomplished any of its goals in over 60 years of implementation. Cuba has not adopted a representative democracy and poses no threat to the United States.

Cuba’s relationship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War raised concerns about U.S. national security, but that era is long over. The U.S.S.R. dissolved in 1991, and American foreign policy has adapted to the change in most aspects apart from the embargo. [67] [68]

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency released a report in 1998 stating “Cuba does not pose a significant military threat to the U.S. or to other countries in the region.” The embargo can no longer be justified by the fear of Communism spreading throughout the Western Hemisphere. [22]

Fidel Castro resigned his presidency in 2008, and abdicated his role as the leader of Cuba’s communist party in 2011 due to illness. His brother Raúl then stepped in to take his place and, in Apr. 2019, Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, a close Castro ally, was selected as President. If over 50 years of sanctions have not toppled the Castro regime, there is no reason to think the embargo will ever work. [65] [66] [117]

Furthermore, the embargo harms the U.S. economy and Americans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the embargo, saying that it costs the United States $1.2 billion annually in lost sales of exports. [19]

A study by the Cuba Policy Foundation, a nonprofit founded by former U.S. diplomats, estimates that the annual cost to the U.S. economy could be as high as $4.84 billion in agricultural exports and related economic output. “If the embargo were lifted, the average American farmer would feel a difference in his or her life within two to three years,” the study’s author said. [20]

A Mar. 2010 study by Texas A&M University calculated that removing the restrictions on agricultural exports and travel to Cuba could create as many as 6,000 jobs in the U.S. [19]

And nine U.S. governors released a letter on Oct. 14, 2015 urging Congress to lift the embargo, which stated: “Foreign competitors such as Canada, Brazil and the European Union are increasingly taking market share from U.S. industry [in Cuba], as these countries do not face the same restrictions on financing…. Ending the embargo will create jobs here at home, especially in rural America, and will create new opportunities for U.S. agriculture.” [98]

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