Ending the Embargo Against Cuban Would be Good for the US Economy

For the first time in nearly fifty years the United States has an opportunity to normalize relations with Cuba.

The inauguration of President Barack Obama offers the chance for a clean break with the policies that have separated the US from our closest Caribbean neighbor.

The Cuban people have suffered under the rule of Fidel Castro and living in a time warp where little has changed since the Communist leader lead the revolution and ousted Batista in 1959. Cars from the 50's held together by rope and human ingenuity, buildings deteriorate an decaying and revolutionary slogans painted on the walls make Cuba a land that time has forgotten.

The embargo itself was initiated by Robert F. Kennedy in 1962 after Fidel Castro took control of the country and he nationalized the economy. The embargo has been in place since and has failed in its efforts to initiate an overthrow of Fidel Castro. The embargo has been supported by the Cuban-American community of South Florida for many years, however recent polling suggests this is changing.

By ending the Cuban embargo, President Obama has the opportunity to help both the Cuban and American people. By allowing travel to the island nation, Cubans can get a taste of the freedoms we as Americans take for granted. Cubans will be exposed to our fashion, music and technology which will stimulate a desire for freedom and personal wealth.

Travel to Cuba will also generate much needed dollars for the Caribbean Nation which was devastated by four hurricanes last year.

The European Union has already ended their embargo and recently the United Nations, in a 183-3 vote, called for an end to the embargo worldwide.

Many US business groups have been advocating the end of the embargo as well. Many business groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation, Business Roundtable, US Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and Grocery Manufacturers Association have called for an end to the embargo. Currently only certain agricultural and medical products are exempt from the embargo.

The US economy will be greatly affected by ending the Cuban embargo in a very positive way. At a time when the US economy needs it most, we would enter a nearby market that has nearly 11.5 million people and nearly 43,000 square miles.

Our recession battered construction industries would also benefit greatly as engineers, carpenters and skilled laborers could help the Cuban people rebuild their country. Building supply industries would start manufacturing again and natural resources would be consumed.

Travel industry segments such as cruise lines and airlines would prosper as tourists explored this beautiful country. Port would be rebuilt, airports would be improved and hotels constructed, all with the help of US industries.

Cuba also appears to have a large expanse of untapped oil resources. China and Venezuela would like to tie those resources up for themselves which would not only cut the US market from the oil, but could create the opportunity for an Eco disaster for the Caribbean and Southeastern United States.

Politically, ending the Cuban embargo just makes sense, Russia is looking to Cuba to establish a Caribbean presence. Since the demise of the old Soviet Empire, Russian influence in Cuba has waned. But in December of 08, Russia sent three warships to visit the island nation. In January Raoul Castro visited Russia to seek trade and money. Be assured that Russia would like to expand their presence in the region and this is a great opportunity to do so.

President Obama has another chance to make history by ending the embargo and promoting freedom, however this window of opportunity won't be open forever.

Resource Box
Keep up to date on the effort to end the Cuban Embargo, and support common sense solutions to US foreign policy. With Cuba only 90 miles from Key West, we can build a bridge between Washington and Havana.

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