The Current Resolution

Public Forum Debate – 2017 Feb Topic Area: Cuba

Resolved: The United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.

• Pollution and Politics for Cuban Embargo and Sugar Quotas

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: Story of the Cuban Rafters

Balseros (Cuban Rafters) [is] much grander humanist statements because they give a particularly human face to the horror of two separate Cuban refugee debacles.”

• Freedom for Cubans to Trade or Depart?

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.

• Time to End the Half-Century Cuban Embargo?

Why did the U.S. government relax trade restrictions with China, the USSR, and communist countries in Eastern Europe in the 1970s, but not with communist Cuba?

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.]

China and Cuba Trade, Labor, and Migration

[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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