Argument: US sanctions against Cuba cannot work unilaterally

Issue Report: Ending US sanctions on Cuba


  • Greg Reeson. “Time to Drop Sanctions Against Cuba”. American Chronicle. October 30, 2006 – “For economic sanctions to work against a particular state there has to be global consensus for their implementation. Sanctions imposed and enforced by one nation alone rarely have the desired effect because the sanctioned nation simply finds other trading partners to conduct economic activity. Too often, business opportunities and investment programs prevent countries from signing on to a sanctions regime, even though they may find the target country’s behavior objectionable.
Take for instance the recent discussions in the United Nations Security Council over Iran’s uranium enrichment activities. Despite a clear threat to regional peace and stability should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, Russia, France and China have thus far refused to go along with sanctions that would limit Iran’s access to nuclear technology. All three nations have business interests in Iran and all three stand to lose money if sanctions are imposed. Even if the United States unilaterally imposed sanctions to supplement restrictions already in place, the effect on Iran’s radical regime would be negligible at best.
In the case of Cuba, sanctions currently in place against the Castro regime are largely American, and as such are summarily ignored by most other nations. While Castro has certainly been deprived of American dollars, there has been no shortage of willing trade partners or arms suppliers for the communist dictatorship. Cuba has indeed experienced significant economic troubles since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but those fiscal woes are the result of losing the island nation’s long-time economic and political sponsor and not the result of American economic sanctions.”