Cuba embargo needs to end, Congress not in agreement


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the embargo because about $1.2 billion are lost each year in sales and exports.


Last year, the United States and Cuba participated in a prisoner exchange that released a U.S contractor. Some experts believed that this was an initial act of more open communication between the two countries.

On Dec. 17, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the restoration of diplomatic ties between the two countries will be restored for a more hopeful and prospective future after 50 years of closed communication.

However, the trade embargo can not be lifted without congressional approval. Hopefully, that approval will not be hard to attain.

The embargo is what 80 percent of Cubans blamed for the lack of medicine, technology and food according to a poll conducted in 2011. The conditions have become so dire that medicine for children with HIV/AIDS is not found anywhere legally in the country.

Still, some in Congress believe Cuba should stay on the Trading With The Enemy Act, a bill that prohibits U.S. commercial business to trade with countries that might assist the enemy.

Opponents within Congress include Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio who is adamantly against lifting the embargo.

For Rubio, the reason that Cubans suffer from lack of advancements in medicine and technology is not because of the embargo — but because of Castro himself.

“The reason why Cubans don’t have access to 21st century telecommunications — like smart phones, like access to the Internet — is because it is illegal in Cuba,” Rubio said.

Due to strict laws like those mentioned above, Rubio believes that even with the embargo lifted that Cubans will still suffer and that any diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba, being a communist country, will damage the standards of liberty.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the embargo because about $1.2 billion are lost each year in sales and exports.

Obama cannot remove Cuba from the Trading With the Enemy Act. Congress has passed measure dating from the Kennedy era that make it impossible for Obama make the embargo null himself.

On the other hand, some will argue that taking baby steps in regaining diplomatic ties is necessary for a friendly relationship. Immediately lifting the embargo as the U.S. is regaining its economic foot hold would be much too quick and can hinder diplomatic relations.

As true as this is, diplomatic relations can tighten with the embargo lifted as the U.S. embassy starts gaining its presence. Finding a balance between a possible economic boom with the U.S. and political relations is key.

These actions will also raise the opinion of the U.S. among Cuban citizens and allow the two cultures to mingle peacefully.