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Cuban solution: Lift the embargo

February 7, 2017
Kenny Um  La Canada HS  10th Grade

Kenny Um
La Canada HS
10th Grade

The sanctions in Cuba have led to many debates about the effectiveness of such sanctions and embargos. However, I stand to lift the embargos specifically for environmental reasons.

Firstly, economic engagement with Cuba is essential to protecting the environment, and would set a model for sustainable development in other countries. According to the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Cuba’s environment is suffering due to its centralized regime, and could be aided from engagement with the U.S., which would also provide a model for other American countries. Cuba’s tropical forests, soils, and maritime areas have suffered degradation as a result of harmful policies stemming from a Soviet-style economic system.

An environmental partnership between the U.S. and Cuba could result in development models that could serve as an example for environmental strategies throughout the Americas. The U.S. has the economic resources necessary to aid Cuba in developing an effective policy. Also, the U.S. has the framework to reverse Cuba’s substandard environmental track record. By aiding Havana, Washington would be able to brand itself as an active conservationist. Such a label would enable the U.S. to create a valuable ecological public image in the international arena. Also, according to Marinela Krstinic, in December 2016, tourism companies, which will increase if we get rid of Cuban embargos, will have incentive to prevent climate change.

The tourism sector is one of the most sensible sectors with regards to climate change because even the slight changes in climate may have very profound impact on tourism destinations. As a result, they will do their best to prevent these changes in the environment because Climate defines the length and quality of tourism seasons, which directly affects profitability and environmental conditions that can deter tourists. Also, U.S. intervention will decrease oil spills, which, according to the Council on Foreign relations, destroys marine biodiversity.

And, Biological diversity is now known to play a vital role in maintaining the functionality and productivity of ecosystems. One of the most important functions of marine ecosystems is the production of plant biomass from sunlight and nutrients which represents the basic food source for all life in the ocean, and ultimately also for humans half of the worldwide primary productivity is achieved by phytoplankton, which grow and divide in the ocean.

Another function performed by ecosystems is the creation of habitats, or structures, in coastal ecosystems Scientists have addressed the question of whether the dramatic decline in biological diversity has consequences for the stable functioning of ecosystems. After 10 years of intensive study, the answer is clear yes. Experiments indicate that a decrease in biological diversity has a negative impact on the structure of the habitat, regardless of whether the number of species reduced.

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