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For more than 50 years the Cuban population has been denied affordable access to an extensive range of products and services, including a wide variety of medicines commonly found in most other countries. Because of the embargo imposed by the USCubans also experience restrictions in exporting their goods, with a damaging impact on the development of their economy. Most of the reasons - or excuses - the United States imposed this policy on Cuba are now ridiculously outdated, and represent a blatant example of a violation of human rights. 

Intended as a tool to weaken the Castro regime, the embargo has only affected the civilian population, denying Cubans goods and services they desperately need. Only free-trade has been proven to accelerate the democratic progress in countries administered by dictatorships, while isolation tends to maintain the tyrants in power. In addition, the Cold War was over a while ago, and Cuba hasn't been a "threat" to the US for decades. If this weren't enough to dismantle any justification of the embargo, the US is wasting an unprecedented opportunity to boost its economy, as Cuba would become a lucrative business partner and create thousands of jobs nationwide. No matter how you look at it, the embargo is a heartless and unjustified policy condemned across the globe, and is only damaging the reputation of the United States. 
With Raul Castro taking a leadership role in 2008, Cubans have started experiencing some changes, but many doubt their significance. For instance, Cubans are now allowed to buy some foreign-made and used cars from each other, and can travel abroad; however, with a salary among the lowest in the Americas, how could they ever afford such expenses? In addition, the Cuban government has passed a legislation making it easier for private entrepreneurs to loan money; however, with the embargo limiting both quality and quantity of businesses, it's often inconvenient for Cubans to invest their lifesavings. Fidel might have left the political stage, but his 87-year-old presence is still vividly felt among Cubans, including the current administrators.
Since the change of the guard, the United States and Cuba have made some positive steps toward each other, but the embargo has not been lifted. Barack Obama's handshake with Raul Castro at Mandela's funeral made headlines around the world, but the two sides are still far from a common agreement. Raul's latest remarks aspiring to "civilized relations with the US", were soon replaced by paranoid publicly-made warnings to "global power centers subtly introducing neo-liberal and neo-colonial thinking" into his island... a statement not exactly encouraging dialogue. As this weren't disappointing enough, two days ago American M&T Bank removed all its establishments from Cuba, forcing the regime to stop all consular services in the United States. Another blow to any positive interaction between these countries.
In no way I want to justify the violations of human rights perpetrated by a regime that has been repressing its citizens for more than 50 years, limiting their freedom and individualistic aspirations. Cuba is still theatre of social injustice, and I would be unfair if I failed to mention that people are still being currently intimidated and incarcerated for speaking out against the regime's totalitarian policies. Nevertheless, the embargo is not the answer - and neither the cure - to the oppression carried out by the Communist rulers; and it makes me happy that the world is finally coming together to condemn it. 
Last month the Dutch Foreign Minister advocated for a less restrictive policy on Cuba, and was soon followed by a committed effort of the European Union to change attitude on its relations with the Communist regime. We are still light years from a formal annihilation of the embargo, but if more countries around the world started making pressure on the US, maybe its position would start to crack. Also, if more people around the globe wrote social media blogs and joined a social media campaign against the injustices of the embargo, maybe the the future US administration will change its stance. If more individuals used their social media network strategies in a contest of communication without borders, maybe this unnecessary policy will come to an end. Do you want the US embargo on Cuba to be over? This is your time to tell the world.
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About the author


As Annex Press Senior Editor, I'm an educator writing about 3 main topics: fitness, digital literacy and women's rights. I've been traveling extensively throughout the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe, especially in underdeveloped countries where women are considered second class citizens, and deprived of their most basic rights. Many of…

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