Effects of humanitarian aid : a Cuban case study
Brandt, Jason K.
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The end of the Cold War left Cuba without a superpower ally. It lost military protection and the majority of its trading partners. As the isolated Cuban economy faltered many predicted an end to the Castro government. Cuba entered a "Special Period" plagued with massive shortages of basic goods like fuel, food, and medicine. Cuba's only hope for survival seemed to be to normalize relations with the United States so as to end the embargo. This meant that Cuba would have to acquiesce to U.S. demands for an internal political change to democracy and an economic change to free market capitalism. Instead, Cuba refused to ally with the United States and held firm to its socialist ideology. Although Cuba was steadfast in its ideology, it was forced to change its foreign policy tactics in order to survive in the new world order. The end of Soviet economic subsidies and military protection made it no longer safe to send Cuban soldiers abroad. To continue with its strategy of military aid to states and revolutionary movements guaranteed Cuba's global isolation and eventual collapse. Cuba turned to non-military engagement as its tool of choice to promote its national interests, strengthen diplomatic relations, and increase trading partners. Chief among its humanitarian tactics is medical diplomacy. The effects of humanitarian aid are examined using Cuba as a case study. The scope consists of the entire history of Cuban foreign policy since the Cuban Revolution. The emphasis is on the shift from military to humanitarian aid that occurred with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The purpose of examining the variety of countries that Cuba engaged with humanitarian aid is to identify conditional generalizations about the effectiveness of humanitarian aid, especially medical diplomacy. These conditional generalizations provide a basis for recommending U.S. medical diplomacy policy options for its War Against Terror.
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