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  • In an extraordinary move, the United States is pursuing full diplomatic relations with

  • Cuba, but this won't mean the end to the economic embargo, which only Congress can fully remove.

  • It's a comprehensive set of economic sanctions on Cuba that has existed since roughly 1962.

  • It has been an absolute disaster for both the United States and Cuba. Here are 7 reasons

  • why the embargo needs to end. #1. American diplomats in Havana admit that the embargo

  • is a failure. The goal of the embargo was to put pressure on the Cuban government -- economic

  • pressure that was supposed to create popular anger and resistance to the government and

  • eventually overthrow it. But, according to a 2009 cable from the U.S.'s top diplomat

  • in Havana at the time, that has failed to happen. 2. Sanctions have failed to ruin Cuba's

  • economy. Cuba has seen a fair amount of economic growth since the sanctions were created, indicating

  • that there wasn't nearly enough pressure to send the economy into a full tailspin and

  • thus foment rebellion. #3. The embargo has probably killed Cubans. The 1992 Cuba Democracy

  • Act restricted the flow of medical goods into Cuba from the United States. This resulted

  • in a precipitous decline in access to medical supplies inside Cuba. According to a 2010

  • review by two Stanford researchers, they believe that the lack of access to this medicine was

  • responsible for several disease outbreaks in the country, including an increase in Tuberculosis

  • fatalities. 4.) The embargo has not significantly reduced Cuba's human rights abuses. Cuba has

  • a terrible human rights record. Among other things, it's one of the worst countries on

  • freedom of the press in the Western Hemisphere, and it throws dissidents and bloggers into

  • jail merely for criticizing the regime. However, there's zero evidence that the sanctions regime

  • has done anything to make those abuses better. 5.) Almost the entire world opposes the United

  • States's policy. For 23 years, the United Nations has voted to condemn the American

  • policy towards Cuba. The last vote in 2014 saw 188 out of 193 UN member states opposing

  • it in the General Assembly. 6.) Cuba is not a state sponsor of terrorism anymore. Some

  • of the sanctions on Cuba come from the U.S. designated Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism

  • because of its support for the Basque terrorist group ETA and the Columbian group, the FARC.

  • Now, according to the State Department's most recent review, there's no evidence that Cuba

  • is providing material military support to these groups. Moreover, Cuba is cooperating

  • with Spain on the transfer of ETA prisoners, and it has been sponsoring a peace conference

  • in Havana for the FARC and the Columbian government -- one that appears to have resulted in a

  • unilateral ceasefire declaration by the FARC. 7.) A majority of Americans support normalizing

  • diplomatic relations with Cuba and majorities support relaxing major parts of the embargo,

  • including restrictions on US companies doing business in Cuba. Now, Cuban-Americans also

  • appear to oppose the embargo. If the people who have the most reasons to hate the Castro

  • government have come around to thinking the embargo isn't worth the costs,

  • it's time to reconsider the policy.

In an extraordinary move, the United States is pursuing full diplomatic relations with

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