University of Miami Inter-American Law Review


The relationship between the United States and Cuba can be described as anything but simple. In fact, it is the intricacy of the relationship that inspired this Note. A key point in the complex relationship between the United States and Cuba was the United States’ decision to impose the embargo in 1962. Since 1962, Cuba’s relationship with the United States, and its allies, changed entirely. While the embargo poses an economic sanction, the United States, throughout the years, has placed sanctions on Cuban officials as a result of human rights violations in Cuba. Broadly, sanctions target the officials and freeze their assets in the United States. This Note uses Cuba’s protests for freedom on July 11, 2021, and the due process violations that ensued, as proof that these sanctions have not achieved their goal because they have failed to stop the human rights violations on the island.

The focus of this paper is to explore alternatives to sanctions. The proposed alternatives are meant to provide an avenue that will lead to the desired change – namely, to stop legal and human rights violations in Cuba. This Note proposes a myriad of alternatives, which include the participation by international legal bodies, and the imposition of targeted sanctions, but at the core of the alternatives is the concept of engagement. Up until this point, sanctions have done nothing to change the behavior of the Cuban regime. Engaging in a dialogue with the Cuban regime and negotiating a series of exchanges could prove to be one of the only means to achieve the freedom and equality the Cuban people yearn for.