Time to Rebuild an Island

I was stationed in Cuba at GITMO for almost a year. Came back stateside every 4-5 months. I could not tell you much about the country itself. We did get people coming over the fence to escape. Not sure what happened to them.

I think it is about time we loosen up on this island. They are not much of a threat. The embargo plays out on the Cuban population mostly. Other countries are not looking kindly on the US embargo of Cuba.

There is not much more we can do to Cuba that has not been done over the years.


Background: The US embargo against Cuba is one of the oldest and most stringent of all US sanctions regimes, prohibiting nearly all trade and financial transactions between the United States and Cuba since the early 1960s. After a brief loosening under Obama, sanctions were tightened and expanded under Trump — a policy the Biden administration has, for the most part, maintained.

The Cuban government has temporarily delayed implementing a planned fivefold increase in fuel prices, citing a cyberattack on its fuel marketing system. The price hike, part of a range of measures intended to curb inflation and help the economy weather its long-running economic crisis — driven in large part by the US economic embargo — is a source of considerable concern for Cuban civilians. NBC reports, everything from food to public transportation will be costlier under the plan. In spite of the delay, the plan will go into effect in the coming weeks.

Also this month, the African Union adopted a resolution condemning the US blockade of Cuba and specifically calling for the US to end the designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SSOT). Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) also criticized the terrorism designation in a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal, stating:

“Wrongly labeling [Cuba] as a sponsor of international terrorism only furthers a broken status quo.”

Similarly, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said:

“Trump put Cuba on the SSOT list simply to spite President Obama. It’s time to reverse it.”

And Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador reiterated his long-standing condemnation of the blockade:

“They [the US] want the people to suffer so the people rebel against their government . . . it is a great injustice.”

Finally, Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are longtime critics of the embargo. They visited Cuba this month “to discuss human rights and the U.S.-Cuba bilateral relationship.”

It is time to rebuild an island.

CEPR Sanctions Watch February 2024, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Pedro Labayen Herrera and Michael Gallant.