Analyze the Case Study in Chapter 6 of the textbook, “U.S.-Cuban Trade: When does a Cold War Strategy Become a Cold War Relic?”

Analyze the Case Study in Chapter 6 of the textbook, pp. 252-256, “U.S.-Cuban Trade: When does a Cold War Strategy Become a Cold War Relic?”

Answer the first four questions, 6-3 through 6-6, at the end of the case.

Your paper should be at least three pages in length.

Make sure each question is used as a heading (as required by APA style guidelines) and answered in the order presented.

All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced, and quoted or paraphrased material must have accompanying in-text citations.

Title and reference pages do not count towards the minimum word count requirement.




Questions 1. Should the United States seek to tighten its economic grip on Cuba? If so, why?

From a practical standpoint, most would argue that without the cooperation of the rest of the world, there is little left that the United States can do. Further, given that China is now a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and nations like Vietnam are trading with the United States, the Cuban embargo gives the appearance of cold war relic that is no longer relevant in today’s world. However, given the consensus that Cuba consistently violates human rights, the continuance of U.S. trade sanctions against Cuba is consistent with U.S. policy. In addition, Cuba’s expropriation of American property without compensation is internationally recognized as unacceptable behavior; thus, retaliation can be seen as an appropriate response. Finally, there is the continuing argument that if the Cuban economy can be further weakened, the Castro brothers may at last be overthrown.


2. Should the United States normalize business relations with Cuba? If so, should the United States stipulate any conditions? There are both political and economic reasons for normalizing relations with Cuba. Cuba has long-since ceased to be a military threat, and there is hope that closer political relations with the United States (and the rest of the free world) will lead to greater democracy in Cuba. Further, Cuban trade sanctions are far tougher than those levied by the United States against Iran, Iraq, Libya, and North Korea. Economically, it is argued that because of the posture of the U.S. government, U.S. firms are losing out on opportunities to sell their products in Cuba to competitors from other countries. However, it is not likely that Cuba would trade with the United States as aggressively as in the past, even if it were possible. While progress in the area of human rights may be slow, experience in other countries suggests that Seminar week 4 CHAPTER SEVEN GOVERNMENTAL INFLUENCE ON TRADE 3 imposing some human rights conditions may be effective in the long run. In addition, the U.S. government may wish to facilitate the return to Cuba of U.S. companies whose properties were expropriated, even though any remaining assets are likely in a state of serious disrepair.



3. Assume you are Cuba’s leader. What kind of trade relationship with the United States would be in your best interest? What type would you be willing to accept? Raul Castro would logically want a trade relationship that would permit him to save face politically while contributing to the economic development of the economy. Initial overtures from the U.S. government could help bolster his political position and thus would possibly be welcomed as a way to begin negotiations. Economic development assistance could come in the form of direct aid and, possibly, foreign direct investment, although there surely would be substantial controls on either form.


4. How does the structure and relationships of the U.S. political system influence the existence and specification of the trade embargo? The structure and relationships of the American political system serve to reinforce the existence and specification of the Cuban trade embargo. Pro-embargo supporters relentlessly lobby the U.S. Congress and presidential administration to tighten the embargo in order to spur the collapse of Cuban communism. Although recently diminished, the pro-embargo viewpoint is supported by key people in key positions throughout the government.

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