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MDAW 2013: DCH & MBK. Cuba Facts Population: 11+ million Area: 43,000 square miles Capital: Havana.

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Presentation on theme: "MDAW 2013: DCH & MBK. Cuba Facts Population: 11+ million Area: 43,000 square miles Capital: Havana."— Presentation transcript:

1 MDAW 2013: DCH & MBK


3 Cuba Facts Population: 11+ million Area: 43,000 square miles Capital: Havana


5 Background Info Settled by the Taino (Arawak), Guanajatebey and Ciboney peoples Brought to European attention by Christopher Columbus in 1492 Colonization by Spain began in 1511, and was based on the encomienda system (slavery / indentured servitude of indigenous peoples) Indigenous labor was replaced with slave labor (largely taken from West Africa) Spanish control of the colony, which had a large export- based economy (sugar, coffee, tobacco), lasted until 1898


7 Background, cont’d A revolution (Marti) began in 1895—the war saw massive atrocities (first modern concentration camps) and tremendous numbers of civilian deaths Remember the Maine—destruction of U.S. battleship that was used as a pretext for war against the Spanish Empire War ended in 1898 with the U.S. acquiring Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam from Spain and Cuba gaining independence U.S. claimed right to monitor Cuba’s foreign relations and finances


9 Background, cont’d Former president Fulgencio Batista seized control of Cuba via coup in 1952 Fidel Castro led a revolution against the Batista regime beginning in 1956; captured Havana/ gained U.S. recognition in 1959 U.S. efforts to isolate the Castro regime began soon thereafter, including sanctions, support for rebel groups, and assassination attempts Cuba began close collaboration with the USSR and other communist states


11 Background, cont’d Cuban Missile Crisis Cuba faced serious problems after the collapse of the USSR in 1991—loss of energy, financial, military support Cuba adapted—reforms to the socialist economy, new alliances with China, Venezuela, other Bolivaran states Fidel Castro stepped down in 2008, replaced by his younger brother Raul The U.S. embargo, codified in 1993’s Cuba Democracy Act and 1996’s Helms-Burton law, remains in place


13 Status of U.S.-Cuba Relations Trade, assistance, business relations, monetary transactions, travel, financial transactions, etc. are all severely restricted Exceptions exist for trade in particular goods/services (particularly agriculture) and travel/remittances by certain Americans (typically Cuban ex-pats and their descendants). All relations must be licensed, and those licenses are very difficult to obtain The U.S. tries to enforce aspects of the embargo extra- territorially (outside of the U.S.) Resumption of trade/relations is conditioned on Cuba meeting strict economic/political liberalization goals


15 Rationale for the Embargo Cuba’s government poses a security threat to the U.S. and we should not do anything to enrich the regime Cuba’s government oppresses its people, and refusing to do business with the regime demonstrates our objections to these practices Cuba’s government stole property from American companies and citizens (old and new) The U.S. needs to take a hardline with Cuba to signal to our enemies that are deeply resolved to defeat them


17 Proposals for Change Normalize relations End particular isolation policies Travel restrictions Agricultural payment restrictions Restrictions on transactions with state-owned enterprises Restrictions on joint resource development Restrictions on access to financial services Terror list Restrictions on humanitarian items /telecomm remittances Restrictions on public/private collaborations Promote exchanges / dialogue Conditioned (tit for tat) easing of restrictions Return Guantanamo Bay

18 Advantage Areas Cuba Economy Cuba Political Transition / Stability Humanitarian Concerns Imperialism is Bad International Law Relations / Collaboration Good Drug cooperation Environmental cooperation Scientific Cooperation

19 Advantage Areas, cont’d U.S. Credibility / Influence Allies / extraterritorial sanctions Influence vs. competitor states (China, Russia, Venezuela) Latin American states Multilateralism U.S. Economy

20 Negative Gripes Topicality Ending the embargo goes above and beyond “economic engagement” Many forms of engagement are likely not “economic” Counterplans Advantage counterplans Alternative mechanism of engagement Domestic actor (executive v. courts v. congress) Unconditional vs. QPQ U.S. vs. alternate international actor

21 Neg Gripes, cont’d Disadvantages Politics Cuba as Security Threat Cuba as Unspoiled Socialist Paradise U.S. hegemony / influence bad Reverse Cuba political transition / stability Kritiks Traditional IR K’s—identity, geopolitics, etc. Affs have to be “economic” Affs have to be “engagement” “Economic engagement” means using trade/aid to turn other countries into “mini-me’s”

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