Cuba and Its Potential


Cuba is the closest island nation to the United States; it is located just a few short miles from Florida. It could be one of the United State’s best trade partners, as the country is famous for its cigars, coffee, and historical tourist sites. However, the United States has had an embargo and sanctions placed on Cuba for over 60 years. Today few Americans visit Cuba, and the country is suffering as a result.


Cuba currently is undersupplied with medicine, school supplies, and even basic commodities like forks and knives. Obama recently visited Cuba for the first time, and he is the first president to visit Cuba since the 1920s; Congress strongly disapproves of President Obama’s decision.


One may wonder why these sanctions were put in place, and why there is so much tension between the two nations. After the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro was placed into power, and  Cuba quickly turned into a Communist Dictatorship that supported the Soviet Union, even allowing Russia to placed its nuclear stockpile there. This resulted in the U.S. quickly condemning Cuba and placing strict sanctions.


However, the Cuban people were not all for the rule of the Castro’s. Their freedom of speech was soon taken away, and the new regime began abducting civilians who opposed the government and killing them. As a result, thousands of Cubans fled to the United States.  The Soviet Union has since collapsed, and Cuba has renounced all nuclear weapons. Fidel Castro is still in power, but his brother has now taken charge because Fidel is sick. There is also currently no evidence of killings happening in Cuba, although there are still political prisoners in Cuba’s possession.


Evidently, the situation is not perfectly crystal clear, but all recent polls show a majority of Americans favor the deal.


Pentucket librarian, Ms. Costello, is one of them. She has also been to Cuba and is very excited about the current negotiations. “I loved Cuba,” Ms. Costello said. She went to Cuba in the early 2000s to see the Museum of the Revolutions and to study the literacy campaign Cuba had in the 1960s. This was a campaign done by the Cuban government to increase the literacy in the country. It succeeded, and today, Cuba has a higher literacy percentage than the U.S.


Cuba also claims to have taken care of all homeless children. While Ms. Costello was there, she saw a sign that said, “There are over five million children in the streets [worldwide], and not one of them is a Cuban.”  While the United States has a lot to teach the Cuban people, the Cuban people also have a thing or two to teach Americans.


Besides having an excellent history and and impeccable education, Cuba’s natural beauty is known throughout the world. It has sparkling beaches, crystal clear water, and almost no hotel industry. “it is so beautiful there,” said Mrs. Costello, who visited Cuba to learn more about their literacy campaign in the 1960s to make every citizen of Cuba literate. The plan succeeded, and today there are more.


This could be an excellent opportunity for the United States and its businesses to move into some of the Cuban industries, which would bring mass wealth for both countries. Even some of the current trade deals, like the sale of Cuban cigars and coffee, have already benefitted farmers in Cuba and American cigars shops and restaurants. The tourism has also nearly tripled in profits in Cuba over the past 3 years. Hopefully, both sides will be able to see the benefits that could come from this amazing chance at better relations.