From Cold War to New World Order: The Foreign Policy of George Bush

By Meena Bose; Rosanna Perotti | Go to book overview

9
Bush versus Castro:
America's Fight against the
Banana Dictatorship, 1989–1993

Derrick Bradford Wetherell and Michael J. Mclsaac

Editors ' Note: The following paper was presented at a student panel during the Bush conference, “President Bush and the World. ” Six students presented three papers on different aspects of President Bush's foreign policy, and General Brent Scowcroft, Bush's special assistant for national security affairs, served as discussant for the panel. Because the session was not taped, it could not be included in this volume. Nevertheless, the editors decided that the quality of this paper merited its inclusion in the proceedings.


INTRODUCTION

Since that fateful New Year's Day in 1959, when Fidel Castro assumed power over the people of Cuba, a singular principle has dominated the United States' policy toward the tiny island nation, that through comprehensive economic sanctions, Castro could be forced out of power, creating an opportunity for democracy to prevail in the Republic of Cuba.

The concept of using an embargo to restrict Castro's quest for power was first put forth by the Kennedy administration after the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Successive administrations continued this policy, with varying degrees of success. The initial purpose of such an embargo was to confine Castro's global sphere of influence as a Marxist ideologue. This conformed with the United States' overall foreign policy goal of containing the spread of Communism throughout the world.

The embargo proved to be a vital weapon in America's foreign policy arsenal toward combating the influence of Communism across the globe. However, with the fall of the “Iron Curtain” at the end of the 1980s, the need to continue anti-Communist policies such as the embargo came into question. President George Bush, who had inherited a world in which Communism's influence was rapidly declining, had an important decision to make: would America attempt to incorporate Cuba into the “New World Order,” or would it continue with a policy of isolation toward the

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