Cato Institute Cites Spy-Authored Assessment in Call For Embargo’s End 4

Time to End the Cuba Embargo

by Doug Bandow, Cato Institute

The U.S. government has waged economic war against the Castro regime for half a century. The policy may have been worth a try during the Cold War, but the embargo has failed to liberate the Cuban people. It is time to end sanctions against Havana.

Decades ago the Castro brothers lead a revolt against a nasty authoritarian, Fulgencio Batista. After coming to power in 1959, they created a police state, targeted U.S. commerce, nationalized American assets, and allied with the Soviet Union. Although Cuba was but a small island nation, the Cold War magnified its perceived importance.

Washington reduced Cuban sugar import quotas in July 1960. Subsequently U.S. exports were limited, diplomatic ties were severed, travel was restricted, Cuban imports were banned, Havana’s American assets were frozen, and almost all travel to Cuba was banned. Washington also pressed its allies to impose sanctions.

These various measures had no evident effect, other than to intensify Cuba’s reliance on the Soviet Union. Yet the collapse of the latter nation had no impact on U.S. policy. In 1992, Congress banned American subsidiaries from doing business in Cuba and in 1996, it penalized foreign firms that trafficked in expropriated U.S. property. Executives from such companies even were banned from traveling to America.

On occasion Washington relaxed one aspect or another of the embargo, but in general continued to tighten restrictions, even over Cuban Americans. Enforcement is not easy, but Uncle Sam tries his best. For instance, according to the Government Accountability Office, Customs and Border Protection increased its secondary inspection of passengers arriving from Cuba to reflect an increased risk of embargo violations after the 2004 rule changes, which, among other things, eliminated the allowance for travelers to import a small amount of Cuban products for personal consumption.

Three years ago, President Barack Obama loosened regulations on Cuban Americans, as well as telecommunications between the United States and Cuba. However, the law sharply constrains the president’s discretion. Moreover, UN Ambassador Susan Rice said that the embargo will continue until Cuba is free.

It is far past time to end the embargo.

During the Cold War, Cuba offered a potential advanced military outpost for the Soviet Union. Indeed, that role led to the Cuban missile crisis. With the failure of the U.S.-supported Bay of Pigs invasion, economic pressure appeared to be Washington’s best strategy for ousting the Castro dictatorship.

However, the end of the Cold War left Cuba strategically irrelevant. It is a poor country with little ability to harm the United States. In 1998, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that “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.” The Castro regime might still encourage unrest, but its survival has no measurable impact on any important U.S. interest.(emphasis added)

Editor’s Note:  Convicted spy Ana Belen Montes was the primary architect of the 1998 DIA assessment referenced above. Amazingly, 11 years into her prison sentence, Montes continues to influence think tanks and the US government. Are there any real “Cuba experts” left?    

Read entire Cato document here:



  1. Cuba is actually the way it is thanks to the Castro dictatorship that mismanages its resources and secondly to the lack of real Economists that can with their knowledge help to create some sort of Economic infrastructure which is absent in this Island due to decades of exploitation and mismanagement.The embargo only affects Castro and his cronies,the only ones that are crying for the embargo to be lifted so they can get richer.If there is an embargo how is it possible for Castro to own farms with cows to provide fresh milk to him and his family when Cuban kids don’t have any?How is it possible for Castro and his Cronies to purchase articles that have been absent in Cuba for decades and Cubans can not go to those shopping centers?Why Castro and his cronies are driving around in hummvies when regular Cuban can verily own a Bicycle? Cuba is a threat to the US as well to the whole entire South American Continent which Castro’s intelligence Agency the DI has tried to plague with spies! The DIA Analyst that mentioned that Cuba was not a threat to the US is named ANA BELEN MONTES and she is serving a sentence in federal prison for Espionage.She was the one that created this misconception but to people that have the capability to think,the reality is quite more different.Cuba has established trade with countries that are enemies of the US for decades such as Iran,Syria and now Venezuela who’s leader Chavez is a replica of his Cuban Senile friend with his same ideas.We must not forget that it was Cuba and its murderous regime that in 1962 placed the world at the edge of nuclear destruction thanks to its leader the murderer Fidel Castro.

  2. Its is really funny how the leftist media try to hide the reality of the Cuban spy wasp network.This incident happened more than a decade ago and if you go to the libraries and search for this event the only thing you see are newspaper fragments on this event.

  3. Pingback: End the Cuban embargo because a Castro spy says it is okay | Babalú Blog

  4. Ana Montes was a hardcore Cuban spy who caused the deaths of Americans and Cubans alike. Her handler was never caught; and you can still see the power of influence of cuban disinformation in these “think tanks”. Pretty weak tradecraft here, guys. Ti

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