The United States embargo against Cuba was imposed over fifty years ago initially as a response to the new revolutionary government's seizure of US properties, which was viewed by the US as a violation of international law. However, while sanctions can be legitimate means of enforcing established norms, the Cuban embargo itself appears to be the wrongful act, and its persistence calls into question the importance and function of international law.
This book examines the history, legality and effects of US sanctions against Cuba and argues that the embargo has largely become a matter of politics and ideology; subjecting Cuba to apparently illegitimate coercion that has resulted in a prolonged global toleration of what appears to be a serious violation of international law. The book demonstrates how the Cuban embargo undermines the use of sanctions world-wide, and asks whether the refusal of world governments to address the illegality of the embargo reduces international law to tokenism where concepts of sovereign equality and non-intervention are no longer a priority. Despite the weaknesses of international law, Nigel D. White argues that in certain political conditions it will be possible to end the embargo as part of a bilateral agreement to restore normal relations between the US and Cuba and, furthermore, that such an agreement, if it is to succeed, will have to be shaped by the broad parameters of law and justice.
As a fierce re-evaluation of international law through the story of a country under siege, this book will be of great interest and use to researchers and students of public international law, international relations, and US and Latin American politics.Reseña del editor:
The book considers fundamental questions about international law and the international order through a detailed examination of the Cuban embargo. The book contains an extensive examination of the history, legality and effects of the US sanctions over the last fifty years. It considers the extent to which the US authorities have enforced the embargo's letter of the law, the impact on Cuba and an evaluation of the Cuban response to the embargo. The Cuban embargo will be examined alongside other major disruptive conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries, including the Cuban Missile Crisis; sanctions against Rhodesia; the Arab Oil Embargo; sanctions against and the invasion of Iraq; sanctions against Burma, Iran and North Korea. Through an analysis of these conflicts it traces the development of non-forcible reprisals, sanctions, counter-measures and embargoes in history and specifically as a means of enforcement of international law. The book asks crucial questions about the importance and function of international law in the modern era, including its very existence. Nigel White argues that the illegality of the embargo and the fact it has not been curbed or even fully confronted by the rest of the world has resulted in a fifty-year toleration of what appears to be a serious violation of international law which has made it very difficult to identify when sanctions are lawful or not. The book offers a valuable reference point for scholars, experts and interested parties seeking understand this long-running dispute; but will also appeal more widely to those interested in the functioning and future of international law and international relations.
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