Top Pro & Con Arguments


The embargo is hypocritical. The United States should not have different trading and travel policies for Cuba than for other countries with governments or policies it opposes.

The United States trades with China, Venezuela, and Vietnam despite their records of human rights violations. And President George W. Bush lifted trade sanctions on North Korea in 2008 amidst concerns about that nation’s desire to develop nuclear weapons. [60]

Americans are permitted to travel to other communist countries, nations known for human rights violations, and even places on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Citizens may go to countries like Burma, Iran, and North Korea if given a visa. There is no justification for singling out Cuba as the one nation in the world that is off limits. [52] [78]

Promoting democracy by prohibiting Americans from traveling to Cuba is hypocritical. Restricting American rights as a means of forcing another country to embrace freedom is insincere, as is demanding that Cuba adopt a representative democracy given the long history of U.S. support for brutal dictatorships in countries that favor American interests, such as Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Augusto Pinochet in Chile. [72]

The United States even backed Cuban dictator, President General Fulgencio Batista (who served as elected president from 1940 to 1944, and then as U.S.-backed dictator from 1952 to 1958 before being overthrown by Fidel Castro), someone known to have killed, tortured, and imprisoned political dissenters, because he was friendly to American interests. [73]

An opinion poll of more than 1,000 US adults found that 62% of respondents thought the United States should re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. Among Americans surveyed, 57% think that the travel ban to Cuba should be lifted, while only 27% think the ban should remain. Regarding the trade embargo, 51% of Americans want to open trade with Cuba, compared to 29% who do not. [2]

Most of the world opposes the embargo. Maintaining it is detrimental to the reputation of the United States among the international community. The United Nations has formally denounced the U.S. embargo on Cuba every year since 1991. In Nov. 2023, 187 countries in the U.N. General Assembly voted to condemn the U.S. policy. Only Israel sided with the United States, while Ukraine abstained from voting. [13] [88] [119] [135]

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