US Embargoes

An embargo is defined as a ban or restriction of some sort. There are several U. S embargoes in effect today and these affect several countries. The embargoes put up by the U. S are characteristically put up because the United States considers those countries benefactors of terrorism. When an embargo goes into effect the following restrictions are typically come arms force: • Any form of artillery cannot be exported to the country the embargo on.

• Any economic assisitance given to that particular country is severely restricted. • The U. S even goes as far as to contesting any help given to the country the embargo is on, by the World Bank and other such establishments. • U. S citizens aren’t allowed to trade with that country. Any money going into the embargoed country is not returned to the remitter. • The investments of foregin countries directed to a country which has a U. S embargo on it, through a U. S bank may be frozen. • Citizens of the U.

S need a special license to trade with countries which have an U. S embargo on them. • The U. S denies dipolomatic immunity to citizens of countries on which embargoes are on if they families of terrorist victims want to file a case against them in an American court. • Any earnings made in a country with a U. S embargo will be refuesed tax credits. • The U. S cannot import duty-free goods from the countries which have the U. S embargoes. (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/United_States_embargoes)

Perhaps the most known U. S embargo is the U. S embargo against Cuba. It was formulated by President Eisenhower as a clandestine strategy to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government. At that time the embargo excluded food and medicine. It was put into effect in 1962 and has been in effect since then. (http://www. historyofcuba. com/history/funfacts/embargo. htm). In 1996 the “helms-Burton Act” came into being. This bill put an even greater restriction on U. S citizens doing trade with or in Cuba.

In fact some claim that this particular piece of legislation surpasses “the jurisdiction of national legislation and encroached on the sovereignty of other States that dealt with Cuba and they also deemed the Act to be incompatible with the principle of the sovereign equality of States and deemed the embargo to be a systematic collective punishment that ran counter to international law and prevailing moral and ethical values”. (http://www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2006/ga10529. doc. htm )

It has been proven by the American Association for World Health after a year long research that the ban on Cuba has affected the health of thousands of average Cubans. The U. S embargo has been a millstone around the Cuban Health Care System. It has resulted in an abominable number of Cubans going without life saving drugs and doctors performing medical operations with essential equipment. This was the outcome of the tightening of the U. S embargo in 1992. Till that point the embargo excluded food and medicine.

However, the trade embargo of 1992 banned the sale of food and any such items along with the sale of medical equipment and medicines. The sale of medicine and medical items wasn’t banned directly. A rule was imposed which stated that a ship could not load or unload in U. S ports for one hundred and eighty days after delivering cargo to Cuba. This obviously discouraged any ships from delivering any goods to Cuba. (http://www. cubasolidarity. net/aawh. html ) The United Nations General Assembly is severely against this embargo and has been asking the U.

S to end this embargo for the past consecutive fifteen years. The most recent vote taken in the general assembly to end this embargo was done on the 8th of November 2006. The vote ended in a very clear majority in favor of ending the embargo, 183-4. The only countries against ending the embargo against Cuba were The United States of America, Israel, The Marshall Islands and Palau. However there has been some activity related to lifting some restrictions if not all because the embargo which was meant to weaken the Cuban government and give Cuba democracy invariably actually strengthened the Cuban Government.

The American embargo has never worked as a tool to weaken Castro. It has been a strategy that has backfired. The embargo is his excuse, his way of rationalizing and justifying his fiascos and the island’s disastrous poverty and cruel political oppression. Cuba is now actively socially, economically and politically integrated with other Latin American countries such as Venezuela. The embargo seems less effective with each passing day. The political cost of the U. S embargo on Cuba is huge and there seems to be very few benefits.

One of which it seems it pleasing a small portion of the American citizens. Of course then there are the Cuban-American voters who feel like they are being discriminated against. It is odd that the U. S accepts Vietnam a communist state with which the U. S. fought a long and costly war and also promotes trade and investment with Hanoi. It simply symbolizes a barefaced double standard that supplies ammunition to U. S. critics everywhere. (http://www. carnegieendowment. org/publications/index. cfm? fa=view&id=18511&prog=zgp&proj=zted,zusr) The U.

S has some valid reasons not to lift the embargo entirely. Adversaries of the embargo claim that lifting the embargo will promote Cuban economy as American corporations will infiltrate and sway the Cuban market towards a positive trend and the consequence of it all might be the fall of the Communist system allowing a Democratic system to emerge faster. This is not true. Castor’s government is either naive nor inexperienced and will not allow American investments to undermine or challenge the revolution in any way and thus manipulate domestic events in the island.

The establishments which will be allowed to trade with Cuba will be looked over with a microscope and picked individually. It is not as if floodgates will open allowing every American establishment to enter Cuba. It is highly unlikely that Fidel Castro will forget everything and embrace the lift of the embargo. It seems that he is more interested in his Socialist regime than he is in improving his people’s economic status. He has gone on record saying that “We will do what is necessary without renouncing our principles.

We do not like capitalism and we will not abandon our Socialist system”. (http://www. nocastro. com/embargo/embarSucki. htm) The U. S put an arms embargo on Indonesia in 1991 when over 270 East Timorese died because Indonesian soldiers open fired on a pro-independence demonstration. Then in 1999 Indonesia tried to prevent East Timor’s Secession through a military invasion. Over 1500 civilians died. Just recently the United States has lifted its Indonesia arms embargo. The U.

S government has said that this will help the Indonesian “The Bush administration claims that ending the arms embargo and modernizing the Indonesian Defence Force will help Jakarta address mutual security concerns such as terrorism, maritime piracy, narcotics trafficking, pandemic disease, and disaster relief”. (http://www. armscontrol. org/act/2006_01-02/JANFEB-indonesia. asp) The United States also put an embargo on Iran. It has banned the shipping of F-14 fighter parts to Iran. ran brought 79 US-built F-14 “Tomcat” fighters before the 1979 Islamic revolution and the U.

S believes that Iran is responsible several insurgent attacks in Iraq, on the U. S military personnel. Unfortunately Iran is obviously able to obtain F-14 fighter parts through a third party. Thus the U. S has put an embargo on the sale of F-14 fighter part to anyone. It has in effect frozen the sale of F-14 fighter parts. This ban can be seen in a positive light as it may save the lives of several American soldiers. Perhaps Embargoes should be looked at as negative sanctions. Then instead of negative sanctions positive sanctions should be incorporated.

These would have the same effect as an embargo but would be easier for the target to accept. The reason is being that there would be a positive extension of effects on other features of the two countries’ relationships. The impact on groups within the target state is positive and thus allies are won over for the country initiating the sanctions. In the end there is little economic motivation for other countries to break the sanction. (http://ies. berkeley. edu/contact/crawfordarticles/Newnham%20Slavic%20Studies%20Review. pdf)


American Association of World Health (1997) “Denial of Food and Medicine: The Impact of the U. S. Embargo on the Health and Nutrition in Cuba”. American Association of World Health http://www. cubasolidarity. net/aawh. html Accessed, February 25 2007 Carnegie Endowment. (2006) “The Good Neighbor Strategy”. Carnegie Endowment: For international Peace. http://www. carnegieendowment. org/publications/index. cfm? fa=view&id=18511&prog=zgp&proj=zted,zusr Accessed, February 25 2007 German-Russian Relations”. Slavic Review. Vol. 63 no. 2. pp. 427-28. http://ies.

berkeley. edu/contact/crawfordarticles/Newnham%20Slavic%20Studies%20Review. pdf Accessed, February 25 2007 General Assembly. (2006). “Sixty first General Assembly Meeting: General Assembly overwhelmingly supports end to United States embargo on Cuba”. General Assembly. http://www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2006/ga10529. doc. htm Accessed, February 25 2007 Mannion, Jim. (2007). “US stops F-14 parts sales, hints Iran behind Karbala attack” Yahoo News. http://www. netscape. com/viewstory/2007/01/31/us-stops-f-14-parts-sales-iran-behind-karbala-attack/?

url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews. yahoo. com%2Fs%2Fafp%2F20070131%2Fwl_mideast_afp%2Fusiranmilitary_070131113736&frame=true Accessed, February 25 2007 Morrissey, Scott. (2207) “U. S lifts Indonesia arms embargo”. Arms Control Association… http://www. netscape. com/viewstory/2007/02/02/us-lifts-indonesia-arms-embargo/? url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. armscontrol. org%2Fact%2F2006_01-02%2FJANFEB-indonesia. asp&frame=true Accessed, February 25 2007 Newnham, Randall. (2004). “Deutsche Mark Diplomacy: Economic Linkage in Sierra, A. J. (2006).

“Economic Embargo Time Line”. History of Cuba. :http://www. historyofcuba. com/history/funfacts/embargo. htm. Accessed, February 25 2007 Suchliki, Jaime. (2000). “The U. S. Embargo of Cuba: Implications of Lifting the U. S. Embargo and Travel Ban. ” No to his Castro nor his regime. http://www. nocastro. com/embargo/embarSucki. htm Accessed, February 25 2007 Wikipedia Encyclopedia. (2007) “American Embargoes” Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/United_States_embargoes Accessed, February 25 2007