...are the ones that make the biggest difference

10.17.2005

Why Cuba?

I saw an item over on CS Monitor on some mild diplomatic row over whether the US is "sanctioning" or "blockading" Cuba. I'm sure I'm displaying some of my own ignorance in even asking this, but why are we still doing this? I mean, during the Cold War, yeah, lets go ahead and prevent an island 90 miles off our shores from being used as a nuclear weapons site of our biggest enemy - this makes sense. But why are we still doing it? The country is practically a 3rd world nation and while I would agree that Castro is a bit of a head-case, don't we have the means & intelligence gathering technology to prevent Cuba from ever becoming a threat again? Do we really have to maintain the majority of that nation in poverty for own security today? Yes, Cuba has a horrible human rights record, but so do Pakistan and China, 2 nations we seem to have normal relations with - why are we still picking on Cuba?

5 comments:

Levi said...

Nathan,
I also have a profound lack of knowledge in international relations, but I have to agree with you. I also favored the ending of sanctions against Iraq prior to the current war. It seems to me like sanctions make bad dictators even more likely to hurt their own people, which shouldn't be the goal of a nation that's a self-touted guardian of freedom, liberty, democracy, blah blah blah.

Chase Vaughn said...

I do not know very much in this area as well. My opinion, US trade policies only hurt the people of Cuba. It in no way hurts Castro. We definitely need to begin buying and selling goods with Cuba, especially cigars.

Nathan said...

In the short term, sanctions might work to undermine a regime's control or lead to some revolutionary efforts by the people as the "bite" of the sanctions is felt. However, if a regime manages to hang on past that relatively short period, I think it only ends up hurting the people - I can't think of a single example where sanctions have worked as intended. Libya, Iran, North Korea, Cuba - all these regimes have managed to hang on despite sanctions. But then again, I don't think war is the answer in most of these cases...so what do we do?

Levi said...

I don't think war is a viable solution for any of the world's problems. The problem with just war theory isn't that there aren't any just nations around to carry out these just wars.
Maybe sanctions are acceptable when they are the consensus of the world's governments. This actually mirrors the concilar form of government common to significant decisions in the early church. Truth is found best in groups. (but not all groups-- some groups are not so smart.) It should be that the best solution could be found by seeking this consensus among the world's leaders.

Nathan said...

Levi -

I agree that consensus in the world is a good thing but I think you might be stretching things a bit to equate it with the conciliar authority of the early church. Especially as the council-members of the early church were all united in their goal: promulgating the true & correct doctrine as handed down by the Apostles. Its obvious that the various states of the world don't have the same goal of peace or have very different versions of it - with no consensus on the ideal objective of such deliberations they'll never be able to achieve "truth." They may be able to achieve beneficial ad-hoc results, but it will never bring about a truly world peace.