Why there’s still a US Embargo against Cuba, especially since the Cold War is over and it’s now easier for a US citizen to travel to Moscow than Havana, is a question I’ve pondered in the past but especially since our recent trip.
Here are a few theories I’ve come across…
1. After I got back and was talking to a co-worker, she said “it’s simple – corporations have really long memories and Castro seized billions in US corporate assets when he seized power. The US won’t lift the embargo until they can figure out a way for the corporations to get their assets back. Preferably with interest.”
2. The author of the book I’m reading right now has a revelation near the end of his book after being fairly pro-Castro and pro-Cuba that Castro *wants* the US blockade to continue so he has a giant boogeyman to use to explain everything that goes wrong or right in his country and help make him a David v. Goliath figure.
3. On the flip side, some would argue that it’s a way for the US Government to make a show of opposing “communism” though they still trade with China and other communist/socialist countries. The US might be willing to lift the embargo but Castro would have to institute democratic measures such as freedom of the press, free votes, freedom of assembly and so on.
4. The embargo helps keep Castro relatively weak. Opening up trade with the US could lead to a huge influx of cash which would give the Cuban government more power.
5. Gotta justify all that US military spending somehow! 😉