There are a two must read posts about the embargo up at Capital Hill Cubans. One debunks the long held belief by many, that the majority of Cubans blame the embargo and not the regime for the shortages and hardships they suffer. The other is this excellent reminder of the embargo’s original purpose, which it continues to serve.
A (Timely) Historic Reminder
by William Hawkins*
The United States first imposed economic sanctions on Communist Cuba in 1960. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1964, Secretary of State Dean Rusk laid out the aims of the policy, which it should be noted did not include any expectation that the sanctions alone would lead to the overthrow of the Castro regime.
“First, to reduce Castro’s will and ability to export subversion and violence to the other American states; Second, to make plain to the people of Cuba that Castro’s regime cannot serve their interests; Third, to demonstrate to the peoples of the American Republics that communism has no future in the Western Hemisphere; and Fourth, to increase the cost to the Soviet Union of maintaining a Communist outpost in the Western Hemisphere.”
Measured by its aims, U.S. sanctions policy has been successful in Cuba, and should be maintained because it continues to serve the first three of the four ends set out by Secretary Rusk.
The only goal that is no longer a concern is number four, as the Soviet Union has disintegrated. Before its collapse, the USSR was providing Cuba with $5 to $7 billion in aid each year and spending scarce hard currency on the purchase of oil for Cuba. With some effort, it was able to offset Cuba’s loss of trade with the U.S. though the cost became another nail in the Soviet coffin.
*”No ‘Normalization’ Until the Castro Regime is Gone,” Family Security Matters, April 10, 2009.