2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the ongoing US embargo against Cuba. Eleven successive US presidents have imposed economic sanctions and restrictions on Cuban travel and commerce for all people and companies under US jurisdiction.
ProCon.org debuts its brand new issue website, cuba-embargo.procon.org, and delves into the pros and cons of whether or not the United States should maintain its embargo against Cuba.
Proponents of the embargo argue that Cuba has not met the US conditions for lifting the embargo, including transitioning to democracy and improving human rights. They say that backing down without getting concessions from the Castro regime will make the United States appear weak, and that only the Cuban elite would benefit from open trade.
Opponents of the Cuba embargo argue that it should be lifted because the failed policy is a Cold War relic and has clearly not achieved its goals. They say the sanctions harm the US economy and Cuban citizens, and prevent opportunities to promote change and democracy in Cuba. They say the embargo hurts international opinion of the United States.
In addition to in-depth research on the pros and cons of maintaining the Cuba embargo, the new ProCon.org website contains a historical background section, videos, images, over 60 footnotes and sources, and Did You Know? facts including:
1. President John F. Kennedy sent his press secretary to buy 1,200 Cuban cigars the night before he signed the embargo in Feb. 1962.
2. Estimates place the cost of the Cuban embargo to the US economy between $1.2 and $4.84 billion annually. A 2010 study by Texas A&M University calculated that 6,000 American jobs could be created by lifting the embargo.
3. There are an estimated 65,000 to 70,000 political prisoners incarcerated in Cuba as of May 2012, which is among the world's highest on a per capita basis.
4. The United Nations has denounced the US embargo against Cuba for 21 straight years. The vote against the embargo was 188-3 in 2012, with only Israel and Palau supporting the United States.
5. The United States began exporting food to Cuba following a devastating hurricane in 2001 and is now the island's second-largest food supplier. Annual food sales to Cuba peaked at $710 million in 2008.
For pros, cons, and related research on whether or not the United States should maintain its embargo against Cuba, visit cuba-embargo.procon.org.
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