Failed Sanctions:
Why the U.S. Embargo against Cuba Could Never Work

Paolo Spadoni

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"An excellent study indicating how transnational players, particularly corporations, nation-states (including Cuba), and individual tourists (particularly Cuban-Americans) were able purposefully or inadvertently to undermine the U.S. embargo on Cuba so that from its earliest stage in 1960 it was doomed to failure."--Peter Schwab, SUNY-Purchase

For almost five decades, the United States has maintained a comprehensive economic embargo on Cuba. U.S.-based travel to the island is severely restricted, and most financial and commercial transactions with Cuba are illegal for U.S. citizens. In the 1990s the United States tightened the embargo further, seeking to promote change in Cuba by depriving the Castro government of hard currency revenues. And yet the stalemate remains.

How effective has the embargo been in achieving its main goal? Paolo Spadoni dispassionately answers, "Not very." By extending his analysis to non-state actors (including multinational corporations, migrants, international travelers, indirect investors, and food exporters), Spadoni demonstrates that the United States has not only been unable to stifle the flow of foreign investment into Cuba but has actually contributed to the recovery of the Cuban economy, particularly from the deep recession it entered following the demise of the Soviet Union.

Failed Sanctions is a must-read book for those who closely follow Cuban-U.S. relations and for anyone interested in the efficacy of economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool.

Paolo Spadoni is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research at Tulane University.

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"This well-researched book provides an impressive argument as to why the United States economic embargo on Cuba has proven a failed policy. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in United States-Cuban relations, as it may well be the most definitive recent examination of the United States embargo on Cuba." American Review of Politics

"Failed Sanctions is one of the most informative books I have read about Cuba to date. It is well-written and data rich. Spadoni provides a detailed review of America's policies toward Cuba and their goals. He does a good job reconstructing the history of the relationship between the two countries since Castro's rise to power. It would be an important addition to the library of any student of Cuba and the Cuban Revolution." International Social Science Review

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