The Current Resolution
Public Forum Debate – 2017 Feb Topic Area: Cuba
Resolved: The United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.
Ending the Cuba trade embargo would shift sugar production back to Cuba and away from ecologically fragile lands in the U.S. “Protect the Everglades, not sugar farmers,” (Florida Sun Sentinel, Feb 16, 2017) argues
“Balseros (Cuban Rafters) [is] much grander humanist statements because they give a particularly human face to the horror of two separate Cuban refugee debacles.”
For decades the Cuban government has claimed the U.S. trade embargo is the cause of Cuba’s poverty. Economists agree the embargo blocked trade that would have allowed both Cubans and Americans to prosper.
In an April 19, 1971 press conference, President Nixon said:
“If the want to trade … we are ready,” he said. “If they want to have Chinese come to the United States, we are ready. We are also ready for Americans to go there, Americans in all walks of life.
Chinese could visit America and Americans could visit China. Why weren’t similar doors opened for travel between Cuba and the U.S.?
By the time of the Cuban revolution United States had a long history of “engagement” with Cuba. The U.S. military occupied Cuba from 1989 to 1902 and again from 1906 to 1909 and again from 1917 to 1922. U.S. firms controlled much of Cuban sugar and other industries.
Cuba’s political and economic history is complicated, and U.S. interventions in Cuba, as in many other countries, led to unexpected and unwanted consequences. [Full post here.]
[a combined China policy/ Public Forum Cuba embargo post]
In Mexico, China, and Cuba, labor rates are far lower than in the United States. And not just labor rates, but rules about how many hours a day or a week employees can work, and what benefits employers are required to pay.
NSDA debaters have a US/China engagement topic, and the February Public Forum topic is: Resolved: The United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.
The last days of the Obama Administration ended the long-standing wet-foot/dry-foot policy for Cubans (see below), and the Trump Administration wants to build a bigger wall along the Mexican border, renegotiate trade agreements between the US and Mexico (NAFTA), and also with China. The stated goal is to restore jobs lost as companies automated and shifted manufacturing operations to Mexico and China.
Lifting the trade embargo with Cuba would open doors to similar job displacements as US firms open new factories and upgrade agriculture in Cuba. Cubans are very poor after a half-century of communist rule, so Cuban demand for goods produced in the US will be minimal. [Full post here.]
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Pro Topic Guide
Nationals 2014: NATO deterrence against Russian aggression in Ukraine
April 2014: Economic development vs. environmental protection in India
March 2014: Single-gender classrooms
February 2014: Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act
January 2014: Sahel region of Africa
December 2013: Immigration reform
November 2013: NSA surveillance
September 2013: Non-Proliferation
April 2013: Drug Policy
March 2013: Health Care
February 2013: China Rise
January 2013: Citizens United
December 2012: Fiscal Cliff
November 2012: Middle East
October 2012: Climate
September 2012: Assault Weapons Ban
March 2012: Aid to Pakistan.
February 2012: Birthright citizenship.
January 2012: College costs.
December 2011: Income inequality.
November 2011: Electoral College.