The Cuban Embargo: Punishing the Children for the Sins of the Father The key to understanding the foreign policy of a nation state is understanding that states national interest. The key to successful foreign policy is, as Henry Kissinger stated in 1998, defining an achievable objective. Thus United States policy towards Cuba fails because it neglects these two key ingredients of foreign policy. The US embargo of Cuba is four decades old and no longer serves the countrys national interest, rather it has proven to be a economic and political hindrance for the US. The embargo also falls short in terms of having an achievable goal, since many of the requests that embargo legislation calls for are simply not within the ability of the Cuban state. By examining the sanctions and their economic, political, and humanitarian affect on both the Us and Cuba a strong case can be made for a revision of US policy. US policy towards Cuba and the government of Fidel Castro has, since the 1960s, been a policy based on the objectives of removing Castro, instituting a democratic system, and gaining reparations for confiscated US holdings. The initial sanctions were instituted because the US considered the close proximity of a communist state to be a national security threat, and also because Castros regime confiscated US holdings, and thus US control, on the island. By enacting a policy that unilaterally cut Cuba off from economic and political contact with the US, the US felt that it could force Castro from power. In the decades since the embargos conception legislation has been created to even further enforce these concepts. In 1992 Congress passed the Cuban Democracy Act, which prohibited US subsidiaries abroad from having business relations with Cuba (Ratliff and Fontaine 22). This law pushed Cuban profits even further from the grasp of US businesses. Three years later when the…
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