TEXT: The United States federal government should offer to substantially ease its economic restrictions on the Republic of Cuba in exchange for demonstrated Cuban economic reform.


Latin-American Relations



US-Latin American relations are low in the status quo and it undermines the development of strong regionalism


Inter-American Dialogue 12 - the Inter-American Dialogue is the leading US center for policy analysis, exchange, and communication on issues in Western Hemisphere affairs("Remaking the Relationship The United States and Latin America", April 2012, http://www.thedialogue.org/PublicationFiles/IAD2012PolicyReportFINAL.pdf)


What is at stake is the future of inter-American relations, which today are generally cordial but lack vigor and purpose . Efforts at hemispheric integration have been disappointing . Effective cooperation in the Americas— even on widely shared problems like energy security, organized crime and the drug trade, and international economic volatility—remains limited and sporadic .
It is the good news of Latin America~’s progress that has most altered hemispheric relations
AND
travel . They now have real and rapidly expanding stakes in their societies.
These advances have also led to new social stirrings which, along with demands and expectations, are notably on the rise . There are more and more pressures for further change and improvements .
Impressive economic, political, and social progress at home has, in turn, given Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and many other countries greater access to worldwide opportunities . Indeed, the region~’s most salient transformation may be its increasingly global connections and widening international relationships .
Brazil~’s dramatic rise on the world stage most visibly exemplifies the shift. But other countries, too, are participating actively in global affairs and developing extensive networks of commercial and political ties. China is an increasingly prominent economic actor, but India and other Asian countries are intensifying their ties to the region as well .
The United States has also changed markedly, in ways that many find worrisome.
AND
inaction on challenges that would advance US national interests and well-being.
In part as a result of these shifts, US-Latin American relations have grown more distant . The quality and intensity of ties have diminished. Most countries of the region view the United States as less and less relevant to their needs—and with declining capacity to propose and carry out strategies to deal with the issues that most concern them.
In the main, hemispheric relations are amicable. Open conflict is rare and, happily, the sharp antagonisms that marred relations in the past have subsided . But the US-Latin America relationship would profit from more vitality and direction . Shared interests are not pursued as vigorously as they should be, and opportunities for more fruitful engagement are being missed . Well-developed ideas for reversing these disappointing trends are scarce.


Now is key – Latin American countries want greater US engagement or they will transition to China or independence

Valencia, May 20, 2013 – political analyst and contributing writer for Global Voices Online ~~[Robert, "U.S. and Latin America: Economic Cooperation without Militarization?", http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2013/05/20/us-and-latin-america-economic-cooperation-without-militarization-http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2013/05/20/us-and-latin-america-economic-cooperation-without-militarization//cc~~]

In May, President Barack Obama visited Mexico and Costa Rica and vowed to strengthen
AND
want to be considered trade partners and not U.S. subordinates.
President Obama~’s meeting with Mexico~’s President Enrique Peña Nieto centered on the historic economic relationship
AND
3,000 kilometer-long border, one of the world~’s largest.
The issue of security was only briefly discussed during the visit. Obama offered his
AND
addition, Peña Nieto has rejected any U.S. military help.
Mexico~’s take on the war on drugs is borne out of desperation for the lack
AND
-related activities that are connected to drug consumption, and money laundering.
The lingering question is whether economic cooperation will be able to supplant entrenched security measures
AND
Central America given its greater share of responsibility for combating illicit drug trade.
The new emphasis on economic initiatives between the United States and Latin American countries represents
AND
cry from the 100,000 slots Obama promised to open this year.
Since the George W.Bush administration, the U.S. has seen
AND
Latin American countries will forge ahead with economic and security integration amongst themselves.


Increasing engagement with Cuba is key to US-Latin American relations

Doherty 8 – deputy director of the National Security Studies Program and director of the Smart Strategy Initiative (Patrick C, "An Obama Policy for Cuba," 12/12/8, http://newamerica.net/node/8668)//SJF

With his national security team in place, President-elect Barack Obama~’s foreign policy
AND
of marginal importance domestically, it could be changed immediately at little cost.
At present, that policy is a major black spot on America~’s international reputation. For the rest of the world, our failed, obsolete and 50-year old policy toward Cuba goes against everything that Obama campaigned for, and the recent 185-3 U.N. vote to condemn the centerpiece of that policy, the embargo – the 16th such vote in as many years – makes that clear. The entire world believes our policy is wrong.
And the world is right. The fact is that since Cuba stopped exporting revolution
AND
with Cuba, creating ill will in business communities from Canada to Brazil.
Our Cuba policy is also an obstacle to striking a new relationship with the nations
AND
Hugo Chavez, drugs, immigration, energy insecurity - will simply fester.
The November elections shattered the old political constraints on Cuba policy. It used to be that Cuba policy was controlled by the Cuban-American community in South Florida. It had been gospel that to win Florida~’s 27 electoral votes a candidate for president had to win the Cuban-American vote. What was once gospel is now history. President-elect Obama won Florida with only 35 percent of the Cuban-American vote.
Obama now needs his own policy, not a retread of past failure. We see three important elements of such a policy.
First, Obama should call on Congress to end the travel ban on all Americans for any purpose. This action not only restores Americans~’ constitutional rights, it also unleashes the greatest ambassadors of democracy and free markets, the American people.
Second, Obama should call on the Congress to repeal two aspects of the Helms-Burton act to restore the Constitution~’s separation of powers and to end the disruptive use of extra-territorial sanctions.
Finally, Obama must sign an executive order to meet the urgent needs of the
AND
. Such an action will instill immediate good will among the Cuban people.
With these three objectives accomplished, Cuba policy will once again be back in the
AND
and open the door to dealing effectively with our own hemisphere~’s many challenges.


US-Latin American relations are vital to US global leadership

Sabatini and Berger 2012 – editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly and senior director of policy at AS/COA, policy associate at the AS/COA ~~[Christopher and Ryan, "Why the U.S. can~’t afford to ignore Latin America", June 13^^th^^, http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/13/why-the-u-s-cant-afford-to-ignore-latin-america//cc~~]

Speaking in Santiago, Chile, in March of last year, President Obama called Latin America "a region on the move," one that is "more important to the prosperity and security of the United States than ever before."
Somebody forgot to tell the Washington brain trust.
The Center for a New American Security, a respected national security think tank a half-mile from the White House, recently released a new series of policy recommendations for the next presidential administration. The 70-page "grand strategy" report only contained a short paragraph on Brazil and made only one passing reference to Latin America.
Yes, we get it. The relative calm south of the United States seems to pale in comparison to other developments in the world: China on a seemingly inevitable path to becoming a global economic powerhouse, the potential of political change in the Middle East, the feared dismemberment of the eurozone, and rogue states like Iran and North Korea flaunting international norms and regional stability.
But the need to shore up our allies and recognize legitimate threats south of the Rio Grande goes to the heart of the U.S.~’ changing role in the world and its strategic interests within it.
Here are three reasons why the U.S. must include Latin America in its strategic calculations:
1. Today, pursuing a global foreign policy requires regional allies.
Recently, countries with emerging economies have appeared to be taking positions diametrically opposed to the U.S. when it comes to matters of global governance and human rights. Take, for example, Russia and China~’s stance on Syria, rejecting calls for intervention.
Another one of the BRICS, Brazil, tried to stave off the tightening of U.N. sanctions on Iran two years ago. And last year, Brazil also voiced its official opposition to intervention in Libya, leading political scientist Randall Schweller to refer to Brazil as "a rising spoiler."
At a time of (perceived) declining U.S. influence, it~’s important that America deepens its ties with regional allies that might have been once taken for granted. As emerging nations such as Brazil clamor for permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council and more representatives in the higher reaches of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. will need to integrate them into global decision-making rather than isolate them.
If not, they could be a thorn in the side of the U.S. as it tries to implement its foreign policy agenda. Worse, they could threaten to undermine efforts to defend international norms and human rights.
2. Latin America is becoming more international.
It~’s time to understand that the U.S. isn~’t the only country that has clout in Latin America.
For far too long, U.S. officials and Latin America experts have tended to treat the region as separate, politically and strategically, from the rest of the world. But as they~’ve fought battles over small countries such as Cuba and Honduras and narrow bore issues such as the U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement, other countries like China and India have increased their economic presence and political influence in the region.
It~’s also clear that countries such as Brazil and Venezuela present their own challenges to U.S. influence in the region and even on the world forum.
The U.S. must embed its Latin America relations in the conceptual framework and strategy that it has for the rest of the world, rather than just focus on human rights and development as it often does toward southern neighbors such as Cuba.
3. There are security and strategic risks in the region.
Hugo Chavez~’s systematic deconstruction of the Venezuelan state and alleged ties between FARC rebels and some of Chavez~’s senior officials have created a volatile cocktail that could explode south of the U.S. border.
FARC, a left-wing guerrilla group based in Colombia, has been designated as a "significant foreign narcotics trafficker" by the U.S. government.
At the same time, gangs, narcotics traffickers and transnational criminal syndicates are overrunning Central America.
In 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderón launched a controversial "war on drugs"
AND
the use of their territory as a transit point for drugs heading north.


Relations with Latin America are beneficial to solve for democracy and human rights

Inter-American Dialogue 12 ("Remaking the Relationship The United States and Latin America", the Inter-American Dialogue is the leading US center for policy analysis, exchange, and communication on issues in Western Hemisphere affairs, April 2012, http://www.thedialogue.org/PublicationFiles/IAD2012PolicyReportFINAL.pdf)

There are compelling reasons for the United States and Latin America to pursue more robust ties.
Every country in the Americas would benefit from strengthened and expanded economic relations, with
AND
will inevitably become more and more crucial to the United States~’ economic future.
The United States and many nations of Latin America and the Caribbean would also gain a great deal by more cooperation on such global matters as climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, and democracy and human rights. With a rapidly expanding US Hispanic population of more than 50 million, the cultural and demographic integration of the United States and Latin America is proceeding at an accelerating pace, setting a firmer basis for hemispheric partnership.
Despite the multiple opportunities and potential benefits, relations between the United States and Latin America remain disappointing. If new opportunities are not seized, relations will likely continue to drift apart. The longer the current situation persists, the harder it will be to reverse course and rebuild vigorous cooperation. Hemispheric affairs require urgent attention—both from the United States and from Latin America and the Caribbean.


Latin American democracy is key to prevent regional prolif and war

Fargo, 4 – national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution, Hoover Digest (Jeffrey, 2004, no. 3, http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/3020711.html) //SP
In short, democracy and economic integration are not simply value preferences, but are
AND
the United States, and is now considered a non-NATO ally.
This leads us to those interests which are most commonly defined as "vital"—
AND
, the United States today is the undisputed hegemonic power in the hemisphere.

Latin American democratization leads to environmental protection

Jacobs, 2 – Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University (Jamie Elizabeth, Winter 2002, Latin American Politics %26 Society, p. 59-60) //SP
In Brazil and other Latin American countries attempting to strengthen democracy, the mobilization of
AND
the struggle for citizenship, rights and government accountability in the democratic process.

Human Rights


Cuban embargo is a human rights violation—killing Cuban~’s value to life

Hernandez- Truyol 2009- Levin %26 Mabie Professor of Law, University of Florida, Levin College of Law (Berta E., "Embargo or Blockade? The Legal and Moral Dimensions of the U.S. Economic Sanctions on Cuba" ,The Legal and Moral Dimensions of the U.S. Economic Sanctions on Cuba, 2009, 4 Intercultural Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 53 )//KW

V Conclusion: The Human (Rights) and Moral Dimension
This essay has presented the history of economic sanctions against Cuba, analyzed the questionable
AND
"later in time" statement of the law which should then govern.
The other aspect of legality involves the human rights idea. Here, the real
AND
- although this has been changed dramatically by President Obama~’ s policy shift.
Economic sanctions are valuable tools for protecting human rights. The U.S.
AND
pro-democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square to name a few.~’ 51
The U.S. is not alone in this approach. In fact, human rights violations have resulted in states jointly taking economic sanctions through the UN Security Council. Examples include NATO states~’ 1986 sanctions against Libya as a result of Moammar Ghadafi~’s support for the terrorist killing of 279 passengers aboard a U.S. airline bombed over Lockerbie and 1990 Iraq sanctions for its invasion of Kuwait.
The Cuba sanctions, however, reflect another aspect of economic sanctions: their deleterious and harmful effects on civil society, the innocent citizenry of the targeted country. By depriving citizens of the benefits of trade, of travel, of family life; by creating circumstances in which people~’s health, nutrition, standard of living and overall welfare are negatively affected, sanctions have effected serious denials of human rights - a moral if not legal failure.


Economic Sanctions deprive Cubans of value to life—increases disease, malnutrition, and expands social gaps

Smith 2k –J.D., UCLA School of Law, 1999
(Adam "A HIGH PRICE TO PAY: THE COSTS OF THE U.S. ECONOMIC SANCTIONS POLICY AND THE NEED FOR PROCESS ORIENTED REFORM",2000, 4 UCLA J. Int~’l L. %26 For. Aff. 325, lexis nexis)//KW

B. The Effects of Economic Sanctions on Living Conditions Within a Sanctioned Country
Presumably, one of the motivating factors behind the U.S.~’s
AND
can have on the human condition of ordinary individuals within a sanctioned country.
Economic sanctions can have a catastrophic impact on the health and nutrition of large populations
AND
most vulnerable groups in a society, can suffer the greatest harm. n100
At the same time, economic sanctions can decrease the supply of safe drinking water
AND
, hospital infections, sepsis, and several other preventable dermatological disorders. n105
As the incidence of disease and illness rises, economic sanctions can further endanger the
AND
black market profiteering, which can have devastating consequences for the poor. n110
~~[*350~~] Even when medical supplies are available, the decay of a
AND
impossible, to reduce the pain and suffering of the seriously ill. n113
The imposition of economic sanctions can also have a significant impact on a target country~’s
AND
of agricultural diversity, and ultimately to the destruction of entire ecosystems. n117
The environmental stress associated with sanctions can lead to ~~[*351~~] sharp declines in
AND
a country from supporting even a minimal level of self-sustenance. n120
At the same time, the imposition of economic sanctions can damage long-term
AND
long-term sustainability of the human livelihood in a sanctioned country. n123
Economic sanctions can also increase social and economic disparities among the lower, middle,
AND
country~’s lower and middle classes while leaving the upper class relatively unaffected. n128
Economic sanctions can also have a profound impact on a sanctioned country~’s rural community.
AND
of the rural community and greater welfare dependency among the general population. n132
Education can suffer during a period of economic sanctions due, in large part,
AND
, children may not return to school even after sanctions are lifted. n135
C. Conclusions on the Effects of Economic Sanctions
Though economic sanctions can be an important means of promoting the U.S
AND
S.~’s unfettered willingness to impose economic sanctions is ill-advised.

Leadership


Lack of cooperation reinforces international condemnation – stains America~’s foreign policy reputation

Ayuso 12 (Silvia, "ANALYSIS: Lifting Cuba~’s embargo, a domestic taboo for the US," 2/5/12, http://news.monstersandcritics.com/americas/news/article_1689059.php/ANALYSIS-Lifting-Cuba-s-embargo-a-domestic-taboo-for-the-US)//SJF-http://news.monstersandcritics.com/americas/news/article_1689059.php/ANALYSIS-Lifting-Cuba-s-embargo-a-domestic-taboo-for-the-US)//SJF Thale = director at the Washington Office on Latin America

Still, even those timid steps reaped international applause, particularly from Latin America. According to Thale, the embargo is ~’a stain on America~’s reputation abroad.~’
~’The US embargo on Cuba is this long-standing symbol of an unpleasant history of US attempts to dominate Latin America ... and it does complicate US diplomacy in the region, because it reminds people of the tradition of the ugly American,~’ he said.
Each year, when the UN General Assembly votes on a resolution condemning the embargo - as it has done for 20 years - growing US isolation shows the extent to which the policy is unpopular far beyond the Americas.


The plan~’s approach boosts US credibility in negotiating other global hot spots

Hinderdael 2011- M.A. candidate at SAIS Bologna Center, B.A in History and Economics from University of Virginia (Klaas, "Breaking the Logjam: Obama~’s Cuba Policy and a Guideline for Improved Leadership", 6/11/11, http://bcjournal.org/volume-14/breaking-the-logjam.html?printerFriendly=true-http://bcjournal.org/volume-14/breaking-the-logjam.html?printerFriendly=true, google scholar)//KW

The two countries~’ histories have long been intertwined, particularly after the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 gave rise to the American belief that it would become the hemisphere~’s protector. Until the immediate aftermath of Fidel Castro~’s revolution, Cuba provided a testing ground for the promotion of American ideals, social beliefs, and foreign policies.
In the context of Raúl shifting course in Cuba, the Obama administration has the
AND
willing to make concessions knowing that the United States will return in kind.
The United States should not wait for extensive democratization before further engaging Cuba, however. One legacy of the Cold War is that Communism has succeeded only where it grew out of its own, often nationalistic, revolutions. As it has with China and Vietnam, the United States should look closely at the high payoffs stemming from engagement. By improving relations, America can enhance its own influence on the island~’s political structure and human rights policies.
At home, with the trade deficit and national debt rising, the economic costs
AND
ready for a shift in the country~’s approach to its neighboring island.52
At this particular moment in the history of US-Cuban relations, there is tremendous promise for a breakthrough in relations. In a post-Cold War world, Cuba no longer presents a security threat to the united States, but instead provides it with economic potential. American leaders cannot forget the fact that an economic embargo, combined with diplomatic isolation, has failed to bring democracy to Cuba for over 50 years.
American policymakers should see Cuba as an opportunity to reap the political, economic, and strategic rewards of shifting its own policies toward engagement. By ending the economic embargo and normalizing diplomatic relations with the island, President Obama would indicate that he is truly willing to extend his hand once America~’s traditional adversaries unclench their fists.


Engaging Cuba is vital to global democratic transitions

Reinsch, 3-President of the National Foreign Trade Council, A group of businesses advocating free trade and Co-Chairman of USA*Engage, a coalition of businesses against sanctions (William, "Statement of William A. Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council %26 Co-Chairman of USA*Engage Before the Senate Committee on Finance", USA*Engage, 9/4/03. [[http://archives.usaengage.org/literature/2003/20030904%20testimony%20to%20Senate%20Finance.html)TL-http://archives.usaengage.org/literature/2003/20030904 testimony to Senate Finance.html)TL]]

This is a sterile vicious cycle that must be broken. We cannot assume that
AND
in places as diverse as South Korea, Eastern Europe and South Africa.
Now, having failed to influence events in Cuba through a policy of isolation, it is time to call Castro~’s bluff and start removing the crutches he uses to stay in power. Increasing contact between Americans and Cubans is one way to begin.


A soft power competition for influence is inevitable globally – the US needs to expand its influence to spur non-violent democratic transitions and decrease radicalism

Kochan, 12 - Professor of Law, Chapman University School of Law (Donald, "CIVIL RESISTANCE AND THE LAW: NONVIOLENT TRANSITIONS TO DEMOCRACY: YOU SAY YOU WANT A (NONVIOLENT) REVOLUTION, WELL THEN WHAT? TRANSLATING WESTERN THOUGHT, STRATEGIC IDEOLOGICAL COOPTATION, AND INSTITUTION BUILDING FOR FREEDOM FOR GOVERNMENTS EMERGING OUT OF PEACEFUL CHAOS" 114 W. Va. L. Rev. 897, lexis)

We all want to change the world. And when others, like nonviolent revolutionaries
AND
decentralized, unorganized, unsophisticated, and particularly vulnerable to co-optation.
Recognizing each of these observed conditions, those with preferences for the direction of such
AND
that will consume the minds and guide the actions of the replacement leaders.
~~[*899~~] This Article examines the concept of the West and radicalism as
AND
means of such soft power to shape societies emerging from nonviolent revolutions. n4
This Article explains that, because the West does not claim a monopoly on the
AND
must be deployed in countries and regions suffering power vacuums after nonviolent revolutions.
This Article examines each of these points in turn. It also focuses on contrasting
AND
and principles on governance, the rule of law, and individual rights.
Whatever your position on what you prefer to emerge in regimes saddled with chaos after
AND
is likely to steer the chaos toward a structure in its own image.



New Arab regimes are at significant risk of backsliding and collapsing – winning the strategic battle for influence is vital to a peaceful transition

Kochan, 12 - Professor of Law, Chapman University School of Law (Donald, "CIVIL RESISTANCE AND THE LAW: NONVIOLENT TRANSITIONS TO DEMOCRACY: YOU SAY YOU WANT A (NONVIOLENT) REVOLUTION, WELL THEN WHAT? TRANSLATING WESTERN THOUGHT, STRATEGIC IDEOLOGICAL COOPTATION, AND INSTITUTION BUILDING FOR FREEDOM FOR GOVERNMENTS EMERGING OUT OF PEACEFUL CHAOS" 114 W. Va. L. Rev. 897, lexis)

The Arab Spring has created power vacuums with an uncertain and as yet unpredictable end
AND
turned inward, as activists deliberate what kind of state will emerge." n45
There is a substantial risk that non-liberal, at best, and perhaps
AND
of the ascendency of Western-style democratic values in Arab Spring nations:
This was a year riven with contradictions: The citizen movement that took flight in
AND
Revolution," a classic study of how such revolts go off track. n52
There is no doubt that the Arab Spring shows some signs of failure if one judges success as Western-style democracy. The situation is at least still precarious and demonstrates an area still susceptible to external influence for good or bad and one that would benefit from the infusion of more foundational legal and philosophical material that can make the case for liberal governance.
From all the evidence, it seems clear that it remains an open question how the dominoes will fall in the Arab world after the 2011 uprisings. n53 Vali Nasr, a Professor at Tufts University, cautions that we should be highly skeptical that Arab nations emerging from peaceful uprisings will resolve their new governing structures in favor of Western-style liberal values because of their history:
The Arab Spring is a hopeful chapter in Middle Eastern politics, but the region~’s history points to darker outcomes. There are no recent examples of extended power-sharing or peaceful transitions to democracy in the Arab world. When dictatorships crack, budding democracies are more than likely to be greeted by violence and paralysis. Sectarian divisions—the bane of many Middle Eastern societies—will then emerge, as competing groups settle old scores and vie for power. n54
For that reason, those interested in shaping the change and the institutions of change
AND
marketplace of ideas and challenge the anti-democratic forces that get footholds.