Ongoing Cuban Embargo

Essay by en05delaporteCollege, UndergraduateA, December 2009

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The United Nations condemning the United States for the eighteenth straight year is a prime example of the role international politics can play within a society. The United States illegal blockade of the country of Cuba shows how the worlds super power has been and continues to be the biggest obstacle to a functioning international community. The actors of great importance in the United States international policy towards Cuba go all the way back to our forefathers and lead to our current leadership as well as the domestic population. Currently the United States government, in particular the federal government is actively allowing the embargo, while the truth about Cuba remains largely clandestine in our society.

The vote to condemn the embargo of Cuba falls upon mostly deaf ears here in the United States. This annual condemnation is rejected only by the United States and Israel while the rest of the world stands up for Cuba, as well as international laws as a whole.

The United States continues to be the biggest obstacle to giving real authority and power to the United Nations. As the worlds super power its participation is key but it only participates or abstains from doing so based on it's own interests. The United States rejects most all rulings from the UN that is doesn't agree with. It did so when the World Court (part of the UN), considered the highest court in the land, found the United States guilty of what we would call, 'terrorist operations' in Nicaragua during the mid nineteen-eighties. It then vetoed two resolutions calling on all states to adhere to international law, these resolutions were drafted specifically as a reaction to the US rejection of the case from Nicaragua. The US has also rejected the condemnation by the International Labor Organization (of the UN) during the nineteen-nineties in the case of Caterpillar Corp. All of this stands to exemplify the basic stance of the United States foreign policy and how it rejects most all international condemnations.

The international actors of great importance in this situation are, the United States government along with it's domestic population counterpart, on the other side is the rest of the world. The rest of the world seems to be quite aware of the situation in Cuba, they are doing their part by condemning the United States through the United Nations forum. The president of the United States could lift the embargo almost immediately if he wanted. Heavy pressure from either house could have the same effect. The domestic United Stated population in large part plays a role in this ongoing embargo. If the population were to cause enough of a stir then the embargo would be lifted, however the situation is rarely discussed and is even more rarely understood here in the United States. The inaction of the domestic population and the nearly two century outlook on the foreign policy we set in place for Cuba are the two key elements that are allowing the embargo to exist. President Obama's failure to act on that issue thus far in his presidency is a sign that nothing is going to change in terms of Cuban foreign policy. Unfortunately the economic strangulation of an entire people who live only 90 miles from our continental border was not part of the 'Change' that Obama was promoting. When dissident intellectual Noam Chomsky was asked about the new presidents continuation of the Cuban embargo he used his familiar phrase, "Old wine, new vessel."In terms of efficiency the United States embargo on Cuba has enjoyed only mediocre success. The country remains largely strangled in terms of trading and economy power as a direct result of the embargo. However, Cuba still remains as an independent nation with much to offer its people despite the illegal embargo by the worlds super power. Another factor that shows the lack efficiency and effectiveness of the embargo is that the rest of the world openly recognizes the lunacy of the United States. The matter has effectively marginalized and even demonized Cuba as well as it's inhabitants, but only in the United States and Israel. The embargo guarantees the poverty and general suffering of the Cuban people all under the façade that we are doing this because they are Communist, in that respect it has been very effective. So why is that communist China is one of our largest trading partners. In fact Cuba and North Korea are the only communist countries the United States doesn't trade with. Perhaps it is because of the vicious dictators that run those countries, but then we would have to consider that the United States supported Saddam Hussein right through his great crimes, the gassing of his own people. Actually a whole list of dictators could be compiled that the United States has supported but that list would still not be as long as the list of 'evil' dictators that the United States didn't place embargo's on. When considering the terms of equality in this situation it becomes clear that the ongoing punishment of Cuba seems most unfitting. As Chomsky again points out, "The unilateral policy of the United States rejects, in large, the principle of universality that all moral systems are based upon."In conclusion the condemnation of the United States by the rest of the world through the United Nations venue is a prime example of how international politics can be ineffective. The standing embargo however, serves to show how effective and detrimental one nations foreign policy can be on another nations society, even when there is no right for them to do so. The standing embargo remains as a sign of the insanity of the United States and stands to show our interest in hegemony over that of world peace.

Works CitedChomsky, Noam. Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance. New York: Henry Holt, 2003. Print.

U.N. again condemns U.S. embargo against Cuba. 2009. CNN US News. Oct. 28, 2009.