Calle Ocho and the Embargo: The Evolution of Cuban American Views on US-Cuba Policy

Figueroa, Richard A. (2004) Calle Ocho and the Embargo: The Evolution of Cuban American Views on US-Cuba Policy. Elcano Newsletter (6). 7 p.. ISSN 1698-5184

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Abstract

This ARI analyses the influence of Hispanics on American foreign policy by focusing on the important role that Cuban Americans have played in maintaining a hallmark policy of the United States in fighting Communism: the Cuban Embargo. What is commonly called the ‘Cuban Embargo’ is a 45-year old policy that has roots in the US ‘Containment’ policy of the late 40s and 50s. Cuban exiles benefited enormously from the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act that gave them a fast track to US citizenship and opened the door for their eventual entry into Florida politics and on the national stage. Jorge Mas Canosa founded the Cuban American National Foundation in 1981, which became a leading force in shaping Cuba policy throughout the Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton Administrations. As Florida’s importance in presidential elections has risen, Cuban Americans have used their leading role in South Florida to ensure that candidates of both parties take into account their views on Cuba policy. With Mas Canosa’s death in 1997, and in the aftermath of Elián González’s return to Cuba in 2000, according to public opinion polls, Cuban Americans have become more fragmented in their politics and, concurrently, ‘mainstream’ America has become more vocal about wanting changes to the embargo. Both President Bush and his challenger John Kerry are campaigning hard in Florida, which was won by President Bush by 537 votes in 2000. Both candidates are taking a firm stance on Cuba in the campaign but continuing interest from Congress, US business, farmers, and others will likely cause whichever administration is in place in 2005 to focus on the policy. It must be remembered that the embargo is only one aspect of a comprehensive policy that seeks to encourage a rapid, peaceful transition in Cuba to a democratic government characterised by open markets and respect for human rights. It is a safe bet that Cuban Americans will play a very constructive role in shaping a future policy conducive to these goals.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Estudio sólo disponible en inglés
Uncontrolled Keywords: América Latina
Subjects: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS > FOREIGN POLICY.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > COUNTRIES AND REGIONS > CUBA
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > COUNTRIES AND REGIONS > UNITED STATES
DEMOGRAPHY; POPULATION > ETHNIC GROUPS > CUBANS.
DEMOGRAPHY; POPULATION > MIGRATION > REFUGEES.
TRADE > INTERNATIONAL TRADE > EMBARGO.
Divisions: Real Instituto Elcano, RIE
Depositing User: Jorge Horcas Pulido
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2012 03:09
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2012 03:09
URI: http://biblioteca.ribei.org/id/eprint/615

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