Efficacy and Quality of Cuba's Educational Program
Tensions continue to wax and wane between the two countries, but Cuba's economy has largely stabilized and the situation between Castro's country and the United States is also essentially at an impasse (Suddath 2009). The increased stabilization of the Cuban economy and society has led to many internal changes in the country, however, and these have largely been to the benefit of Cuba and indeed of much of the world. As current research and statistics show, Cuba has not only managed to achieve a modicum of stability under Castro's communist regime, but it has actually achieved levels of success envied by many prosperous capitalist nations.
One of Cuba's singular achievements that demonstrates the prowess of its educational program and the country's basic commitment to learning and the advancement of knowledge is its International Pedagogy Congress, which has been held in Cuba every two years since 1986 and sees huge crowds of scientists and educators from around the world -- largely from Central and South America, though the conference is not limited to these nations -- presenting papers and holding discussions on a staggering variety of topics (CMHA 2011). With nearly ten thousand Cubans having presented papers at this conference over its quarter-century history, the International Pedagogy Congress is not only evidence of the importance attached to knowledge and education in Cuban society, but also provides an opportunity for the country to showcase its substantial educational success (CMHA 2011).
The success of the Cuban educational program is not only visible in the higher echelons of Cuban society, however, where the brightest individuals have been singled out for extensive quality education at the expense of a more equitable system. In fact, both in terms of the success of Cuba's high achievers and the general baseline for its educational system, Cuba's achievements in education have been "noteworthy," to use the word ascribed to the country's basic knowledge levels by UNESCO (UNESCO 2011). As far as Central and South American countries are concerned -- even when compared to the United States and many…… [Read More]
Those officials who did look at the question of Japanese intentions decided that Japan would never attack, because to do so would be irrational. Yet what might seem irrational to one country may seem perfectly logical to another country that has different goals, values, and traditions. (Kessler 98)
The failures apparent in the onset of World War II and during the course of the war led indirectly to the creation of the CIA in 1947. During World War II, Colonel William J. Donovan headed the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and in 1941 Donovan submitted to the president a plan outlining the need for a government-wide organization that would pool and coordinate existing intelligence. Roosevelt followed this recommendation and created a Coordinator of Information as part of the Executive Office of the President. This office evolved into the OSS, and this would become the model for the CIA. During the war the OSS organized resistance movements and sabotage operations behind enemy lines and also tried unsuccessfully to centralize intelligence functions within the government through an analytical section known as Research and Analysis. When the OSS disbanded after the war, the State Department absorbed many of its functions.
The agency was reconstituted at Donovan's urging with the creation of the Central Intelligence Group and a year later the Central Intelligence Agency. The agency was established by the National Security Act of 1947, with the new agency absorbing the institutional values of the OSS.
Before and after Pearl Harbor, the idea of a centralized intelligence agency had been opposed by many in the War Department who saw it as an infringement on their turf, and it was now considered important that the new CIA be independent and not tied to the interests of the military. The defense Intelligence Agency would be created in 1961 to focus more on tactical questions, and it did indeed reflect the biases of a military that constantly sought bigger budgets. The concept of a centralized intelligence agency, one bringing together all the available information on a subject and analyzing it objectively, is embodied in the Directorate of Intelligence, which with 3,000 employees is the smallest of the CIA's directorates. This is the analytical side of the house, made up of eggheads rather than spies, with analysts who openly identify themselves as CIA employees and who contribute to academic publications and…… [Read More]
What is the role of women in your country deciding reproductive strategies?
The total estimated 2004 fertility rate of Cuba was1.66 children born per woman. The de-emphasizing of the Catholic influence in the region is largely thought to have reduced the yearly population growth. Women have free access to birth control, as much as the health care system can be accessed by the individual woman -- however, access as a practical matter, as with most health care, is much better and more open in urban as opposed to rural communities.
What is the per capita income of your country? How unevenly is income distributed?
The population of Cuba was 11,308,764 (July 2004 est.) Officially, there is an equal and egalitarian distribution of income amongst all members of the population, depending upon the standard of living in the community. The 2004 per capita income was $381.76, in a nation where there is provision, on the part of the government, for health care and other social services. ("Labor," 2004) Still, in 1993 the Cuban Government was effectively forced, because of the Cuban people's economic privation, to make legal for its people to possess and use the U.S. dollar. Since then, the dollar has become the major currency in use. "The gap in the standard of living has widened between those with access to dollars and those without. Jobs that can earn dollar salaries or tips from foreign businesses and tourists have become highly desirable. It is common to meet doctors, engineers, scientists, and other professionals working in restaurants or as taxi drivers." ("Economics," 2004)
Works… [Read More]
Comparing a blockade to the first option (air-strike) was a no-brainer. First of all, a guarantee of the airstrike being effective was highly unlikely.
At the time, the pinpoint weaponry employed by the present day United States was not available, and in fact such weaponry had not even been invented yet. The Soviet Union, of course, knew that such a course of direction would not be effective and therefore the deterrence factor on this particular option was rather low.
Secondly, a comparison of a blockade vs. An invasion was also strongly tilted towards the idea of a blockade. The reason(s) for this bias towards the blockade included the fact that an invasion was a risky prospect, and at best, put far more lives at risk than a blockade would. An invasion could also be considered as an overt act of war against the country being invaded (Cuba in this circumstance) and that such an act of war would require retaliation and a constant state of preparedness to defend the action.
As for comparing the blockade to negotiations, there again, was no comparison. The blockade was a strong response to an event that could threaten the end of the world. Negotiations continued even as the blockade was enforced and were a part of the solution as the Soviet Union realized that though the United States was 'standing tough' the President was more than willing to negotiate, but only after the missiles were removed. The Soviet Union may have been a bit surprised by the President's response, and may have even thought that President Kennedy would use negotiations as the method of solution rather than the blockade he ultimately ended up using.
Following the course of action as it was taken by the United State's government at that time was (in retrospect) the wisest choice available to them. It was also the only choice that allowed both governments to back out of a situation that could have spelled disaster for the world's inhabitants. It was a no-win problem, and the solution (as it unfolded) was the most likely of all the choices to succeed.
That the choice was made and enforced tends to give the government a little more credence in foreign policy than many Americans at that particular time in history was willing to give it.
Works… [Read More]
It is common for parents and children to live very tightly packed in small apartments. (Wordiq, "Culture, 2004) the fact that there is so little housing in urban centers means that the government is unwilling as well as perhaps unable to release statistics about how densely populated the nation's urban areas are per square mile.
Cubans are found of music and sport, and the national fondness for baseball underlines the still-close cultural connection between Cuba and the United States, despite Castro's best efforts to sever it. (AOL "Destination Guides: Cuba") the persistence of Santeria and other indigenous religious traditions likewise underlines the impossibility of entirely erasing religion from the national consciousness. (AOL "Destination Guides: Cuba -- History") Music has enabled the government's half-hearted efforts to resurrect the extinct tourist trade to bring in some currency and infuse the local economy with some life, as music forms the "pulsing backdrop to virtually all entertainment in Cuba, and remains popular around the world." ((AOL "Destination Guides: Cuba -- Music") However, because of the economic downturn, which has been particularly precipitous since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of aid from fellow communist regimes, the local population, due to the reluctance of particularly urban dwellers to have children with a dismal eye upon the future, has been plummeting steadily since forty years ago.
Works… [Read More]
Cuba So You Could Dress Like This? By Achy Obeja. Specifically, it will select one required discussion thread and summarize the selected thread. To summarize is to break down the content of a subject and sum up its ultimate meaning and importance.
WE CAME ALL THE WAY FROM CUBA
"The Spouse" is the story of two estranged people who run into each other, which brings up many old memories from their relationship - a relationship that never really meant anything. Lupe married Raul as a business deal, so he could stay in the country. This is illegal, but it is done all the time, and these two people represent just why it is done. Raul needed an American wife to make him legal in this country, and Lupe needed money. The amusing thing about this is that he really took the marriage seriously, while Lupe simply wants it behind her. Raul thinks Lupe needs to get in touch with her "Latin self," and Lupe just wants to get rid of him.
They do not have any kind of relationship, but it is clear Raul is desperate for one. He cares about Lupe, but Lupe is cold, and does not care anything for Raul. That's pretty true, considering the fact she is a lesbian. In fact, she thinks he is a little bit crazy. Or a lot crazy. Especially when he says he "cheated" on her, and they have not even been living together as man and wife.
This is a story about relationships, and the way each of us runs from relationships, no matter what the reason is. It is also a story about good and bad. Raul is a good man, who cannot comprehend anything else. Lupe is an indifferent woman, who only sees men as objects - to marry for money but not for love. It is kind of a reversal of the sexes, because usually it is the man who is indifferent, and the woman who is more involved. In fact, all the roles are reversed here, because Lupe is the stronger, more masculine one,…… [Read More]
Revolution of 1958 inevitable?
Cuba. This island is known everywhere in the world. Everybody knows such names as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Also Cuba is associated with Caribbean crisis, which had frightened both the U.S.A. And USSR. That's all that common person knows about this land and nation famous for specific culture and interesting history (especially of the 20th century). Cuba has always been a region of American interests in the Caribbean Sea and its 45-year resistance against capitalism (in fact -- American politics) impresses everyone, even person hostile to Cuban regime.
Cuban influence on worlds politics during the Cold War and nowadays is important and worth paying attention to. Cuba is still one of the last Communist countries of the world.
Many years have past, Communism had a great success but it died after Soviet Union collapsed. Now China and Vietnam try to democratize and capitalize own economics. Only Cuba and North Korea are still devoted to Communism. But even there we can find some ideas of capitalism. The majority of Socialistic revolutions (older and younger that Cuban) are history already. Some scientists admit that Cuban revolution took place in the most complicated situation and practically had no chance to come true. But Cubans proved their moral strength and they still succeed protecting the Revolution. Cuban revolution created the first Socialistic state in this part of Earth. Now I'll try to find out why Cuban Revolution of 1958 was inevitable. Also it is very interesting and worth studying that Cuba was not the most developed country of Latin America and many people explain the Revolution with Fidels charisma, Russian success and American miscalculation. As historian Jules Benjamin in his book -- The United States and Cuba -- wrote, United States and Cuba had always very uneasy relations.
Cuba had a very tragic history before the middle of the 20th century. Spanish and later -- American influence was not good for this island nation. We cannot name American influence of that time democratic because United States and owners of…… [Read More]
In more than one occasion, the current policy of embargo was challenged by representatives from the think-tanks as not serving the purpose of actually promoting democracy in the Cuba, which is seen as inimical to campaign for democratic consolidation in the region.
The chapter entitled, Through the Looking Glass, dealt mainly with how the political debate on Cuba has encroached in the arena of American pop culture. The chapter opens with Michael Moore's attempt to present another of his acerbic documentary about the U.S. health care system, a 15-minute segment of which was devoted to portraying the Cuban health care system. Moore's exploit to Cuba have earned him the ire of the U.S. State Department, which led him to "exile" his film to nearby Canada to protect it from being seized by the Bush administration in light of its current policy of isolation with regard to Cuba. The chapter includes several instances where attempts to reach out to the Cuban people, in some instances with the government of Fidel Castro, are discussed which comprise the U.S.'s so-called soft diplomatic policy through cultural exchange. The battle for the minds of America has seeped into the educational system as schoolbooks were used as instruments to portray life of Cuban children. While the contention was brought to the legal arena, the struggle to create a picture of Cuba in the minds of young Americans, whether in the Cuban-American community or not, continues as books are written and rewritten depending on whose lenses are being used. The chapter also shows another unexpected arena of struggle emerged in the area of commercializing the images of celebrated revolutionary Che Guevarra, which earned the ire of the Cuban regime, as well as pro-Cuba activists, with the idea of a capitalist venture amassing profits at the expense of a popular figure of the Cuban revolution while popularizing one its heroes in the psyche of the consuming American public. The Internet also is shown as a new arena where debate over Cuba has found fertile ground for intellectual…… [Read More]
The U.S. created the Platt Amendment allowing the U.S. The right to interfere in the sovereign interest of Cuba.
Yet, regardless of the seeming loyalty of the Cubans towards the Spaniards the fact remains that the majority of the people were not satisfied with the rule. The people realized that they needed to be free but were not in a situation to take advantage of the fact, they were simply biding their time for freedom. The various rebellions over the years had taken its toll on the Cubans and none were in a hurry to create a situation that would adversely affect the land and the people.
There was a certain instability in the social classes as by 1884 the 'sugar nobility' was changing. They were unable to mobilize costs and this allowed the U.S. To penetrate the region. By 1894 it was U.S. resources that were allowing the plantation owners to survive heralding a wind of change. The previous rebellion of the Ten-Year War had created a patriot group that wanted freedom. The roots of the rebel groups came from the Creoles and men from the lower social strata. The society was in fact disintegrating in terms of the social segments and the ruthlessness of the Spanish commanders was further causing unrest.
The constant conflict though suggestively low was in fact creating a devastating effect of the land and the people. The economy was down and the Cubans were low on capital and high on debt. The masses were poor the black community was apathetic and the elite had broken down in terms of organization. The loyalists from the government to the merchants were no longer in control and had come to slowly hate the Spaniards. Of course a loyal group did remain but the constant struggle was leaving its mark as slow erosion of the society took place. [Beede, 1994]
Thus, the consequences of the series of events was the freedom of Cuba gained through an insurgent group un-fearful of the change that was taking place in society. The realization that change was immeninet was a major cause of the Cuban rebellion. However, a fact that should not be forgotten was the majority of the rebels were blacks and slaves who had gained freedom as…… [Read More]
Santeria in Cuba
Santeria began in Cuba as a mixture of the Western African Yoruba Religion and Iberian Catholicism. It is one of the numerous syncretic religions created by Africans brought to the Caribbean islands as slaves. It was developed out of need for the African slaves in order to carry on practicing their native religion in the New World. As in all nations where the African slaves were taken, Cuban slave masters dampened and sometimes banned the practice of their native religions. The slaves in Cuba were required to follow the practices of the Catholic Church, which went against the beliefs of their native religions. Noticing the similarities between their native religion and Catholicism, and in order to please their slave-masters and accomplish their own religious needs, they fashioned a secret religion. Santeria utilizes Catholic saints and personages as facades for their own god and Orishas or spiritual representatives. Consequently, when a slave prayed to an Orisha, it looked as if they were praying to a saint (Santeria, 2001).
Following the freedom of some slaves in Cuba, the free people of color created Santeria on the foundation of old Yoruba beliefs and practices. African religious customs were reinvented and merged with elements of the Spanish culture; an example of incorporation is the combination, both culturally and socially, of groups with distinguishing identities. In the 1880's the syncretism was further inflated by the addition of Kardecian Spiritist customs that were brought from France. These had a persuasion on Santeria by integrating the facet of spirit illumination in its practices. This course of seeking light has been included in worshiping the Orisha. Santeria spread rapidly in the New World among the slaves who came from Western Africa. When slave trade was eliminated, the practice of Santeria continued to carry on (Santeria, 2001).
There are a lot of different parts to Santeria. One thing that is very…… [Read More]
..." Quirk is noted to have said that: "Many times in later years Castro spoke of his ignorance as a university student. He admitted to being a 'political illiterate' and had studied law, he said, not because he felt an attraction to the legal profession but because his family expected it." (Quirk; as cited by Escobar, 2004) Fidel Castro became involved in political activism and became a widely renowned orator and was labeled a political agitator. His group attempted a coup d'etat against the rule of Batista however they failed and were imprisoned. While in prison Castro wrote the work entitled: "History will Absolve Me" finally putting his views of revolution down on paper. Castro is noted to have stated:
know the imprisonment will be hard for me as it has been for anyone - filled with cowardly threats and wicked torture. But I do not fear prison, just as I do not fear the fury of the miserable tyrant who snuffed life out of seventy brothers of mine. Sentence me I don't mind. History will absolve me." (Escobar, 2004)
Although sentenced to 15 years in prison Castro was released after only two years under the amnesty law. Fidel and his group once again attempted revolution and failed retreating to the Sierra Maestra mountain range. While in the Sierra Maestra Castro and his men attacked and gained ground over the under equipped rural guardsmen and tales of victories went to Havana. Batista immediately responded by suspending the constitutional guarantees for 45 days and terror ensured. The media was censored and military action against Castro and his men began. Approximately 2000 families were removed from the highlands, lock, stock and barrel and those who remained in the zone that was cleared were "presumed guilty of aiding the guerrillas, and were treated accordingly." (Escobar, 2004) Support for Castro and his men grew quickly.
IV. ECONOMIC REASONS CASTRO GAINED SUPPORT IN THE REVOLT
The Cuban economy of 1957 was second only to Venezuela's in terms of the standard of living but the cost of living was high stated to be due to their relationship with the United States. (Escobar, 2004) The "impoverished conditions facing the people of Cuba allowed Fidel Castro to position himself as the political and economic savior of the downtrodden." In fact, the "...ousting of Fulgencio Batista would eventually lead…… [Read More]
As a result, the cuisine is heavily dependent on heavily spiced dishes accented by inclusion of easily accessible seafood. Due to the fact that the population of Cuba has been largely impoverished rice and beans have been a major part of most Cuban meals.
An interesting development in the history of Cuban cuisine has been the difference between the diets of Cubans living in the easterly regions of the island and those in the west living in and around Havana. In the east the cuisine is more heavily influenced by the Spanish and African cultures while the cuisine the west in and around Havana is far more continental due to the presence of outside influences from and around other European cultures.
Sports are an important part of the Cuban culture. Baseball, boxing and soccer enjoy wide popularity and are almost a passion for many Cubans. Again, Cuba's proximity to the United States has played a major part in the popularity of both baseball and boxing. Soccer's popularity developed as a result of the relative inexpensive nature of participation and the heavy influence of the Hispanic culture throughout Cuba.
Religion in Cuba is unique. Due to historical developments and geographical factors, the influence of the Catholic Church has not been as strong in Cuba as it is in other Latin American countries. Due to its long colonial history, strong resentment against Spain and anything Spain is prevalent among native Cubans. For many Cubans the Catholic Church was identified with Spain and so, although the Catholic influence is still present, many Cubans began practicing a form of religion based on a mixture of Catholic doctrine and African tribal influences. As so often happens in Cuba, this religious form known as Santeria is practiced more prevalently in the eastern region of Cuba while traditional Catholicism and some forms of Protestantism are more popular in the west.
The social makeup of Cuban society historically developed around its geography. As the island really only developed two major metropolitan areas, Havana and Santiago de Cuba, the population remained largely agrarian throughout history. Add in the colonization factor and you have a society that was highly fragmented. At the…… [Read More]
The article goes on to say that a correspondent for a Pennsylvanian newspaper who visited the country in 2007 stated,
"I asked the guide what Cubans did if they had a cold. The guide said that a Cuban would go to the doctor -- a visit free of charge -- who would write a prescription for aspirin. However, there would be no way to fill the prescription. We visited a pharmacy later in the trip. Behind the counter five well-dressed Cuban women waited to serve, but the shelves were empty. The only items in sight were the monthly ration of sanitary napkins, 10 permitted per Cuban woman per month."
This is the paradox of Cuban healthcare -- it is readily available, but if somebody really does need medicine, such as in the case above, to get better, this may not be readily available.
Some articles, however, do not agree with the one written above. For example, the Guardian UK states that there are various programs that do help some parts of the population. For example, senior citizens benefit from exercise classes or other health related classes. The UK newspaper gives a whole slideshow, where each slide speaks about a different means in which Cubans benefit from the system. The article also includes Cuban rations, which are also very interesting:
"A Cuban adult's monthly food ration: 3.8kg of rice, 283g of dried beans, 2.3kg of sugar, 113g ounces of coffee, about two cups of cooking oil, 10 eggs, a bag of salt, a bar of soap, a tube of toothpaste, 226g of dried pasta, 226g of sweetened cocoa, 1.8kg of potatoes, 30 bread rolls and a bottle of dishwashing liquid. [They also receive] crackers, 283g of fish, 226g of chicken and a little less than 500g inexpensive meat products."
From this quote, one may already state that this is unfair, that the people in Cuba are truly not benefitting from the system, and may start to question whether the "good sides" of the system are put forward for foreigners. However, other proponents beg to differ. Another article states that the system is actually world class, and is proven with a great life expectancy for Cubans, which extends to 77.5 years (the…… [Read More]
Un-Conventional Warfare in Cuba 1960
Unconventional Warfare in Cuba 1960s
Unconventional warfare in Cuba 1960's
Unconventional warfare in Cuba 1960's
Unconventional Warfare or UW also referred to as the guerrilla, revolutionary or partisan, is a soldierly technique with political references, which is used to decrease an opponent's military capabilities leaving it vulnerable to potential attacks or threats. Its main objective is coercive compliance and voluntary submission; to stop the enemy from attacking despite having the armed resources to continue (Tierney, 2006).
Cuba has been a hub of unconventional warfare traditionally and historically specifically, in the mountains of Oriente Province. The peasants (guajiros) have a history of campaigns such as Maceo and Membises, a heritage which they cherish. And even after the evolution of the newly developed guerrilla model in the 1950s, it could not be applied without alterations in the Republic of Cuba. Now, with the changing times and technological advancement, there are no more Gomez and Maceo, Cuba has come a long way the military wise; Augusto Ce'sar Sandino has brought new innovations to the ancient guerrilla warfare (Dosal, 2004).
The CIA approved document became the Cuban policy paper for administration and also became the incoming President John F. Kennedy's first foreign policy crisis. On April 29, 1963, President Kennedy specifically wrote to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and asked him to keep the Cuban Contingency Invasion plans updated and even strengthen them, anticipating higher resilience. The new plan included massive UW equipment such as more troops, heavy combat equipment, aircraft, artillery, etc. The plan layout for the U.S. invasion other than replacing Castro also included the establishment of a Beach Head; it is a pure military term which means to breach a country's beach by sea and begin to defend the area with excess reinforcements. The UW intensified in Cuba's heating things up as it became clear that the U.S. wanted to establish a provisional government in Cuba (Russo, 1998).
Many secret code names were given to the operations underway such as MH/Apron; the upcoming revolt was known as Operation Judas, and the project as a whole was coded as AM/Trunk (Russo, 1998). President Kennedy along with the CIA made strategy for placing two key exiles as part of the movement. The exiles were trained and controlled as elements of the…… [Read More]
Implications for the Future
The United States has a long and complicated history with Cuba that dates back over 100 years (Ciment 1115). The United States assumed occupancy over Cuba after defeating the Spanish at the end of the 1898 Spanish-American War. Cuba became an independent country in 1902, although the United States continued to delegate power and control over Cuba's affairs through the Piatt Amendment. Supervised elections began in 1909, but in 1952 dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar was elected which changed the political climate of the country. Batista soon proved to be a true enemy of the Cuban people with many corrupt policies and unfair political maneuvers. He was eventually driven out by Fidel Castro in 1959.
Castro's rise to power could not be considered friendly or in the best interest of peaceful relations between Cuba and the United States. In addition to the mistreatment of the Cuban people, Castro assumed domination over all U.S. owned businesses in the country in 1960, leading to a break in diplomacy with America and paving the way for the 1962 trade embargo that still persists today (Zelikow 317).
The United States hoped that the restriction on foreign exchange would help end Cuban communism; however, the effect was quite opposite. Prior to the embargo, nearly 75% of Cuba's foreign trade had been with America ("Cuba: U.S. Moves to Change" 4). Rather than comply under the embargo, Castro simply turned to other trade partners and alternative markets (Durand and Mike 35). Specifically, Cuba turned to the United States' foremost rival in the Cold War -- the Soviet Union -- which was interpreted as a threat by the American government (Padgett et al. 62).
The Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, backed by then U.S. President John F. Kennedy, sent a strong message to Fidel Castro. The charge was carried out by Cuban exiles who opposed the dictator. The faction ultimately lost and the move only encouraged Castro's hostility by prompting him to formally declare Cuba as a communist country and Soviet ally (Rumbaut and Rumbaut 132). The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis further added to the hostility and division between America and Cuba.
The trade embargo against Cuba continues…… [Read More]
Diplomatic and Trade relations between U.S. And Cuba
Cuba: Diplomatic & Trade Relations
Analysis of Economic Policy
The purpose of this work is to examine the Economic Policy in Diplomatic and Trade relations between the United States and Cuba and in Analysis of the Economic Policy determine the impact that this has had on the United States.
Tension and confrontation are the definitions used to describe the relations between the United States and Cuba over the last forty years
Due to Cuba's establishment of very close ties with the Soviet Union and the part Cuba played in fueling the Cold War frictions between the United States and Cuba have been of a long-running nature. While President Clinton was in office the policy with Cuba was one that promoted the 'peaceful transition' of Cuba to a stable and democratic government and held respect for human rights. Two complements of the policy were first the maintenance of pressure on the government in Cuba for bringing about changes through the embargo and Libertad Act while at the same time making provisions for humanitarian assistance to the people of Cuba.
I. Background and History:
Cuba is an island that is located approximately ninety miles off the coast of Florida and is one of the last communist regimes left in the world today. A long history that is defined by 'mistrust' is share between Cuba and the United States. There is much disagreement within the United States concerning how the situation in Cuba should be handled. The Cuban Democracy Act was passed in 1992 by Congress and prohibits any foreign-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies from doing any trade with Cuba. The goal in this bill was to have a 'crippling effect' on the economy in Cuba in order to bring Castro down out of power. In February, 1996 the Helms-Burton Act was signed by President Clinton and is a…… [Read More]
Since late 2000, Venezuela has been providing oil on preferential terms, and it currently supplies about 100,000 barrels per day of petroleum products. Cuba has been paying for the oil, in part, with the services of Cuban personnel in Venezuela including some 30,000 medical professionals" (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010).
Relevant numeric information:
The income per capita for the average Cuban individual is of $9.700
The GDP composition by sector is of: 4.3 per cent agriculture; 20.9 per cent industry and 74.8 per cent services
The labor force is of 4.968 million and the unemployment rate is of 1.6 per cent
The composition of the labor force by sector: 20 per cent agriculture; 19.4 per cent industry and 60.6 per cent services
The inflation rate is of 4.3 per cent and the public debt accounts for 34.8 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010).
6. Military threat
In terms of military threat, Cuba does not manifest any intention of attacking its neighbors or any other global locations. Relative to its military capacities, these register declines due to insufficient funds. Yet, they remain stable and able to defend the country. More specifically, the fall of the Soviet partner led to the weakening of the armed forces; however, the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) still hold on to residual strength. "At present, Cuba does not pose a significant military threat to the U.S. Or to other countries in the region. Cuba has little motivation to engage in military activity beyond defense of its territory and political system. Nonetheless, Cuba has a limited capability to engage in some military and intelligence activities which would be detrimental to U.S. interests and which could pose a danger to U.S. citizens under some circumstances" (Federation of American Scientists, 1997).… [Read More]
Congress expanded this in late 2000, with the passage of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) (unknown, 2003)."
To assist hurricane savaged Cuba, in December 2001, for the "first time in nearly 40 years, ships carrying tons of food from the United States arrived in Havana's harbor -- a move some American farmers and exporters hoped would help open Cuban markets (www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/americas/12/16/cuban.us.food/index.html)." Cuban importers feel the embargo is ridiculous, stating "American companies are being blocked by their own laws, which don't allow them to participate in the Cuban market (www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/americas/12/16/cuban.us.food/index.html)."
In 2003, Cuba was not an export partner with the United States, however as an import partner, it received 8.3% of its goods from the United States (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/cu.html).
The trade relationship between Cuba and the United States continues to be strained, despite efforts for improvements. While the United States contends it will continue the embargo until Cuba allows freedom for its citizens, Cuban importers stress the United States is losing out on a potential market.… [Read More]
Cuban Trade Embargo -- another Roadblock to Globalism
To be sure, the concept of "globalization" is a confusing one. Although a world in which trade is not restricted between nations, and the earth becomes a kind of "united economic entity," ruled by the equalizing nature of the market is a pleasant image, many believe that such a "pie in the sky" view of globalization is horribly wrong -- idealistic, unlikely, and even dangerous. Indeed, whereas political leaders of "first world" nations are quick to tout the benefits of a globalizing world, others, like writer Joseph Stiglitz, believe that "integration with the global economy works just fine when sovereign countries define the terms. It works disastrously when terms are dictated." (Stiglitz, 2002). Unfortunately, this is exactly the position in which so called "third world" countries find themselves. Even worse, when these countries are also under the thumb of an economic embargo, the results can be even more disastrous -- both "in country," as well as globally.
Much like Iraq, pre-war, the nation of Cuba has suffered from years of economic hardship due to a trade embargo imposed by the United States. The embargo was established as a full scale trade embargo on February 3, 1962, as a result of the birth of Fidel Castro's Soviet-allied communist regime. However, as a result of this embargo, much more than purely economic hardships began to emerge, and Cuban citizens began to experience drastic rises in poverty and suffering. As a result, especially in today's post cold-war world, many wonder if the increasingly globalized world economy has any use for the continued embargo of Cuba -- as well as if the negative effects on the economies of Cuba and the world are adversely affected as a result of its continued existence.
Howard La Franchi commented on this issue in his 1997 article, "America's Embargo of Cuba: What Result After 35 Years?" where he raised the question of just how Cuba and the world is faring economically (as well as ethically and socially), as…… [Read More]
Political Leadership in 20th Century America
The United States is an established 'superpower' nation of the world in the turn of 20th century. In the 20th century American society, numerous events had led to the creation of the American image, where the country played a significant role in influencing and affecting decisions in domestic and international politics. In America, the President plays the essential role of analyzing and deciding on solutions that will involve the country and society in participating on crucial events and situations, domestically or internationally.
The United States shows in its history the vital role of the President as the decision-maker and leader of a society stricken with socio-political conflict and civil strife domestically and internationally. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson, as America's 28th president faced the crucial decision in involving the U.S. In the First World War, and breaking the country's strict Neutrality Program. Similarly, the onslaught of World War II and development and production of the atomic bomb led to millions of death in Japan when Harry Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Lastly, John F. Kennedy, in the Cuba missile crisis, managed to avoid an impending nuclear war with Russia (then the Soviet Union) when it started constructing missile deployments in Cuba.
The three U.S. presidents had all taken part in crucial events and moments in American history; their political leadership determined the positive and negative images that the U.S. had been portrayed for many years. This paper discusses how the political leadership of Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy were influenced by two important elements that dictate the essence of societal development: the society and development of technology. Thus, this paper posits that increased public opinion for or against a socio-political issue and advancements in technology and communications greatly influenced the decisions of these three U.S. presidents, leading to either a negative or a positive feedback on the image of America as a nation and political power.
In the first case, that of Woodrow Wilson's…… [Read More]