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Should the United States maintain its embargo against Cuba? ProCon.org brings the pros and cons to 50-year-old debate

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the ongoing US embargo against Cuba. Eleven successive US presidents have imposed economic sanctions and restrictions on Cuban travel and commerce for all people and companies under US jurisdiction.

ProCon.org, a nonpartisan research organization devoted to critical thinking on controversial issues, debuts a brand new issue website, http://cuba-embargo.procon.org, and delves into the pros and cons of whether or not the United States should maintain its embargo against Cuba.

Proponents of the embargo argue that Cuba has not met the US conditions for lifting the embargo, including transitioning to democracy and improving human rights. They say that backing down without getting concessions from the Castro regime will make the United States appear weak, and that only the Cuban elite would benefit from open trade.

Opponents of the Cuba embargo argue that it should be lifted because the failed policy is a Cold War relic and has clearly not achieved its goals. They say the sanctions harm the US economy and Cuban citizens, and prevent opportunities to promote change and democracy in Cuba. They say the embargo hurts international opinion of the United States.

In addition to in-depth research on the pros and cons of maintaining the Cuba embargo, the new ProCon.org website contains a historical background section, videos, images, over 60 footnotes and sources, and Did You Know? facts including:

1.  President John F. Kennedy sent his press secretary to buy 1,200 Cuban cigars the night before he signed the embargo in Feb. 1962.

2.  Estimates place the cost of the Cuban embargo to the US economy between $1.2 and $4.84 billion annually. A 2010 study by Texas A&M University calculated that 6,000 American jobs could be created by lifting the embargo.

3. There are an estimated 65,000 to 70,000 political prisoners incarcerated in Cuba as of May 2012, which is among the world's highest on a per capita basis.

4. The United Nations has denounced the US embargo against Cuba for 21 straight years. The vote against the embargo was 188-3 in 2012, with only Israel and Palau supporting the United States.

5. The United States began exporting food to Cuba following a devastating hurricane in 2001 and is now the island's second-largest food supplier. Annual food sales to Cuba peaked at $710 million in 2008.

For pros, cons, and related research on whether or not the United States should maintain its embargo against Cuba, visit http://cuba-embargo.procon.org.

About Us
ProCon.org (online at www.procon.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity whose mission is promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship.  Information is presented on 46 different ProCon.org issue websites in subjects ranging from Obamacare, alternative energy, and medical marijuana to the death penalty, illegal immigration, and gay marriage.

ProCon.org websites are free of charge and require no registration.  The websites have been referenced by over 700 media entities, cited 36 times by the governments of 11 countries (including 20 US states and seven US federal agencies), and used by teachers, librarians, and educators in over 3,300 schools in 50 countries and all 50 US states.

Media/Press Coverage of ProCon.org Includes
60 Minutes, ABC, Associated Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, BBC, Bloomberg, Business Week, CBS News, CNN, CNBC, Contra Costa Times, Dallas Morning News, Esquire, Forbes, FOX News, The Guardian, Houston Chronicle, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Mother Jones, NBC, New England Journal of Medicine, New York Times, The Oregonian, Orlando Sentinel, PBS, Reuters, Slate, USA Today, Washington Post, Wired, and many others.

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YouTube: www.youtube.com/proconorg

CONTACT: Kambiz Akhavan, +1-310-587-1407

SOURCE ProCon.org



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