In the article, “US-Cuba Normalization: US Constituencies for Change,” Piccone analyzes the plight of Cuban Immigrants under the latest economic sanctions enforced by Trump’s administration. The author uses various evidences to show that the Trump’s economic embargo is adversely affecting the economic plight of Cuban immigrants. In order to establish whether the author makes a useful analysis, it is critical to conduct an examination of the article. On that account, the following essay will conduct an analysis of the article to determine the current state of the U.S and Cuba relationship.
Piccone’s main argument is that Trump’s embargo is more harmful to Cuban immigrants than the Cuban government, which was the intended target of the sanctions. In summary, he states that, in mid-2017, President Donald Trump declared a partial reversal of the policy deployment developed by his predecessor. Important aspects of Obama administration’s diplomatic engagement with Cuba remain in place, however, President Trump highlighted plans to block significant features of the previous approach (Piccone, 10). Travelers from the United States will find it harder to visit Cuba. Even if one reaches the island, opportunities for getting into commercial ventures will be increasingly restricted (Spadoni, 55). Beyond the effect on U.S nationals, Cuban immigrants and entrepreneurs will be adversely affected by the new travel limitations, much more so than the Cuban government.
The author chose to engage in the study as he is also a Cuban immigrant in the United States. He feels that it is useful to highlight the plight of his fellow immigrants in the midst of these reinforced sanctions. Indeed, the subject is personal to him and this is why he makes a passionate plea for the sanctions to end. To that extent, the author’s purpose is to criticize the sanctions as they are only hurting innocent people who are trying to create a better life for themselves. His main audience is the policy makers and federal agencies concerned with enforcing the embargo. To make a convincing argument Piccone arranges his ideas in a chronological manner to provide the reader a sense of the rollback of policy undertaken by Trump’s administration. The author arranges his words in a technical manner as he is attempting to convince the relevant stakeholders o abolish this punitive legislation. He constantly repeats the key terms as they are a fundamental part of his argument; this enables his statements to be declarative and create a convincing effect. By taking a formal and technical structure, Piccone manages to make a convincing argument.
Piccone manages to persuade the reader by stating actual facts regarding Trump’s rollback of Obama’s administration’s policy. He states that after assuming office in January 2017, President Trump pledged to reverse Obama’s Cuba deal which he termed as “one-sided.” Accordingly, his government requested all key federal government agencies to undertake a wide-ranging examination of U.S-Cuba policy (Piccone, 10). All issued favorable reports to the administration regarding the results of the engagement. This strongly highlights that the President’s decision to reverse sections of the Obama deal did not respond to the consensus perspective of his administration (Spadoni, 70). By engaging in this discussion, Piccone offers concrete evidence, and by doing so, it is clear that his claims are not based on propaganda. Further, the author shows his expertise on the subject matter. Therefore, through the correct use of ethos, Piccone makes his article to be legit.
Piccone’s wider notion is that some of the most influential individuals who have ruined the plight of Cuban immigrants were determined pro-embargo advocates Mario Diaz-Balart and Marco Rubi, who relentlessly endorsed a narrow Cuba policy agenda with President Trump that does not represent the majority perspective of constituents (Piccone, 10). In some aspects, Trump’s policy towards Cuba appears to be more bark than bite. The rollback is comprised of two key changes, First, travelers from the U.S will no longer be able to visit Cuba as individuals for one-to-one exchanges. However, group visits will go on. Second, remaining travelers and businesses from the U.S will be banned from conducting transactions in the future or engaging in commercial ventures with entities overseen by the Cuban military (Piccone, 10). Nonetheless, diplomatic relations will remain open. Likewise, the island will not be restored to the list of countries that fund terrorism nor will other general permits for sending remittances and travel, which includes for Cuban-Americans, be repealed. Seemingly, bilateral networks on matters of mutual concern maintain the legal authority to continue. Commercial airlines and cruise ships will continue to land on the island (Piccone, 10). Even previous restrictions on importation of rum and cigar for legal immigrants have not been restored. Nonetheless, the changes that have been announced have key and adverse impacts on the Cuban people rather than the Cuban government.
To strengthen his argument the author makes wide use of statistics. As shown by statistics “people-to-people” travel for individuals instigated a significant rise in the percentage of U.S travelers to the island in the past eighteen months (Piccone, 10). The money they brought to the island gave life to the small business sector in Cuba. By cutting off such travelers, Trump’s government is significantly waning a key agent of change in Cuban society. Even now, private enterprises have witnessed future reservations and bookings from U.S tourists reduce. The restriction of any transaction with the Cuban military reacts to apprehensions about its huge role in the island’s economy, especially in the tourism sector (Spadoni, 73). The belief is that financing the military also funds the repressive apparatus of the Cuban government. Consequently, numerous Cuban state-held stores and hotels will likely be prohibited to U.S travelers. Overall, the author manages to capture the imagination of the audience through the use of such descriptive statistics
Piccone makes a passionate plea by showcasing the inconsistencies in Trump’s policy and its economic effect on Cuban immigrants. The author wants the reader to act on their emotion so as to persuade them. In particular, he states that the numerous inconsistencies center the administration’s reason for this policy change, or the chances that it will have the desired impact. First, the role of the Cuban military in the country’s economy (in regards to its percentage of GDP) has been exaggerated significantly. Frequently used calculations suggest the military controls up to 60% of Cuba’s GDP. The real figure is around 4%. GAESA, a military holding company, may control up to 21% of the country’s income (Piccone, 10). Whereas this figure is troublesome, without it, the island still has other methods to access the income its military needs. The use of such figures, give Piccone’s article an authoritative appeal.
In conclusion, the following essay has conducted an analysis of Piccone’s article to determine the current state of U.S and Cuba relationship. Through the use of a formal and technical style, Piccone manages to highlight the economic effect of Trump’s embargo on Cuban immigrants. The article is convincing and it is clear that his argument is based on facts.
Piccone, Ted. “US-Cuba Normalization: US Constituencies for Change.” IdeAs. Idées d’Amériques 10 (2017).
Spadoni, Paolo. “The US Congress and the Cuban Embargo: Analysis of a Learning Process.” Organizational Learning in the Global Context. Routledge, 2017. 55-82.