The work is to be 7 pages with three to five sources, with in-text citations and a reference page. The catalyst for the US embargo on Cuba was the Cuban missile crisis, which was arguably the Cold War's pinnacle, resulting in the Kennedy initiated economic embargo on Cuba on February 7, 1962 (Perez). . Moreover, on August 1, 1962, the Kennedy administration extended the domino effect of its blockade on Cuba within the international political framework by amending the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to prohibit US aid “to any country which furnishes assistance to the present government in Cuba”.
The 1962 Act was a culmination of a series of triggers contributing to the rising tension between the US/Cuban relations during this period, and Schwab comments that since 1959 Cuban Revolution, “the United States has been in the throes of a national paranoia, what Richard Hofstadter referred to in 1965 as the paranoid style of American politics” (Schwab163)
This “paranoia” has continued. The embargo is arguably understandable from a political aspect in terms of the Cuban missile crisis's historical context and the triggers for the Cold War. the ban continues today and was indeed codified in 1992 under the controversial Cuban Democracy Act. Moreover, in 1996 the US Congress enacted the Helms-Burton Act, which maintains restrictions on US citizens from doing business with Cuba and limitations on assistance to any successor regime in Cuba. . .
However, Purcell et al. comment that “US policy towards Cuba may be frozen in time, but on the island, things have changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War” (Purcell et al. 2). Indeed, the collapse of the former Soviet Union proved disastrous for a reliant Cuba’s economy, which has been forced to implement economic policy changes, which have included “a series of market-oriented reforms, among them the reestablishment of free farmer’s markets, the devolution of many state farms and co-operatives, sharp reductions in subsidies to the state enterprise, the legalization of self-employment, and -most significantly the legalization of the US dollar” (Purcell et al. 2).
Moreover, from a political perspective, the change in Cuban policy and the end of the Cold war has fueled debate on whether upholding the current economic embargo is justified by the US. The focus of this paper is to critically evaluate the current rationale for maintaining economic sanctions on Cuba.