In the past two weeks of the Cuba protests and the #SOSCUBA movement. I have come across many asserting their views about the situation in Cuba. Mainly attributing fault to the United States embargo against Cuba and the United States as a whole. Although I agree, and it is factually correct that the U.S. embargo has caused problems for Cuban society, it has also limited the dictatorship in accessing more capital. As we saw in 2015 during President Obama’s administration, when it was decided to open diplomatic relationships with the Cuban government. During this diplomatic rapprochement, a most significant factor was the opening of tourism, which after its establishment it constituted 10% of Cuba’s GDP. The money earned through tourism goes directly through a governmental agency, which decrees how much is given to employees. On one of my trips to Cuba I stayed in a hotel in Varadero as it was the only place available to rent a car. As I dined with my family, I asked the lovely waitress about her life and she told me that she was a lawyer, but she earned a slight more as a waitress. She was adherent to tell me how much she earned, but she then secretly proceeded to tell she earned one-hundred-and-thirty-two Cuban pesos, that is the equivalent of $5 US dollars. Who is the real culprit? There was an economic opening that allowed foreign investment and domestic exchange, but Cubans on the island were still living in the same conditions
The embargo is strictly an economic assett that only adheres to trading with the United States. Whatever reasons you have for being against the embargo, the embargo is more than justified.
Fidel Castro nationalized hundreds of American companies during the early years of the Cuban Revolution without paying a dime to the owners. No matter what your ideological standpoint is, this action is stealing. Even Hugo Chávez, pupil of Fidel Castro, paid off owners of nationalized corporations. Also, if Fidel Castro spent most of his life cursing the “Empire” and emphasizing how Cuba does not need the United States to thrive, then why is an economic policy that only prohibits Cuba from exchanging with the United States and not any other country, at fault for 50 years of economic decadence? Hence, then, Cuba does indeed need the United States in order to sustain itself?
The only real embargo, no, blockade is the adequate term, is the one the Cuban government has with the people of Cuba. The only reason the embargo should considered being lifted is because of its use as a mechanism to lie to the people. We, either, lift and let the free market allow for regime change, or we either pursue a real blockade as the one in South Africa. There, cannot be a middle ground as the embargo has allowed. Although the Obama opening did provide some slight relief to economic decay, it only improved the elite lifestyle and Cuban people were still “guapiando”. It is the internal blockade that prohibits Cubans from killing and selling their own cows, fishing, and owning private property. So, who is the real culprit in Cuba’s decay?