Argument: Sanctions should persist to leverage Cuban leaders that follow Castro

Issue Report: Ending US sanctions on Cuba


  • Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL). “U.S. Sanctions Critical for Cuban Democratic Transition”. October, 1999 – “U.S. sanctions on the Cuban dictatorship may be unilateral, but they nonetheless constitute decisive leverage for a democratic transition to take place once Castro is gone from the scene. Keep in mind that geographically, culturally and historically, there are close ties between the Cuban and American peoples. Keep in mind that America stood alone in helping the Cuban people achieve their independence from European colonialism a hundred years ago. Keep in mind that Cuba is in the Western Hemisphere, the only otherwise fully democratic hemisphere. Keep in mind that Cuba had a thriving economy, a strong independent press, multiple political parties and a robust civil society before Castro.
What is at stake here is the future of eleven million people who are our closest neighbors. In other words, we are dealing with the issue of freedom for Cuba after Castro. I am absolutely convinced that if we keep our sanctions until Castro dies or is overthrown, those who will be in a position of provisional power in Cuba will have no choice but to agree to free the political prisoners, legalize political activity, the press and labor unions, and hold elections.”