Current Events and U.S. Diplomacy (CUBA AND U.S. DIPLOMACY)
Current Events and U.S. Diplomacy
This paper will be a revised and expanded version of the first research paper. Based on your
instructor�s feedback, you will first revise the first paper.
Write three-to-four (3-4) new pages that address the following:
Define presidential doctrine and summarize the regional or global events during the Cold War leading up
to the formation of the presidential doctrine you wrote about in Assignment 1.
Select one country you wrote about in Assignment 1 and describe the Cold War relationship that existed
between the country you selected and the U.S. before the presidential doctrine was announced.
Describe the relationship that currently exists between the U.S. and the country you selected in section
CUBA AND U.S. DIPLOMACY 2
Describe the effect that the presidential doctrine has had on regional or global affairs since it was
announced during the Cold War.
Assess whether or not the presidential doctrine you wrote about in Assignment 1 doctrine had had the
intended effect of altering the behavior of the country you selected in section (2) above since the doctrine
was first announced.
Use at least four (4) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites
do not qualify as academic resources.
The Kennedy Doctrine as a foreign policy was envisioned and pursued by the 35 th
president of the United States. John F Kennedy chose this doctrine as the cornerstone of his
foreign policy towards the Latin America between 1961 and 1963. Alive to the threat of
communism and especially the threat of a nuclear bomb within range of the US, he knew there
was need for a policy that could work despite the ‘current realities’. For President Kennedy, the
cold war was not going to stop him securing the nation.
President Kennedy understood that all out war would only result in world war III and the
world was hardly two decades away from the last world war. By choosing diplomacy – albeit
quite, President Kennedy was able to achieve more than what he set out seeking (Dobbs, 2008).
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He was able to contain the spread of communism and contribute to the growth of democracy as a
governance system in the world. Presently, even the communist countries; practice a form of
democracy with their governance structures (Zhang, 2014). China a proud communist country
practices Socialists Deliberative Democracy.
Despite the success in Cuba, the same doctrine failed spectacularly in Vietnam. May be
the poor intelligence gathering in Cuba should have been a pointer of the state of the Central
Intelligence Agency as a unit. After failure in Cuba, it could not accept the same outcome in
Vietnam and ended up costing American million if not billions of dollars in a war they were
doomed to fail from the start.
May be, had what happened in the background during those 13 days the world was at a
standstill had happened in Vietnam, American would have spared the world a whole lot of
problems (Dobbs, 2008). In the latter, the world was saved a nuclear holocaust, while in the
latter US carried out a costly military operation that was a failure. Having failed to overthrow
the government of Fidel Castro – the Bay of Pigs debacle, US should have learnt its lesson.
Apparently it did not and Vietnam Happened.
As President Kennedy played brinkmanship with President Khrushchev for the worlds’
gallery, he instructed the Attorney General – who happened to be his brother, to reach out the
Soviets (Dobbs, 2008). Through back channel interaction, a possible explosive situation was
diffused. Despite having downed a U2 spy plane for whom the standard retaliation was the
destruction of the missile site, the Soviets got away with that in exchange for the Russian
withdrawing the Nuclear war heads from Cuba.
Additionally, America was to withdraw the Jupiter Missiles it has placed in Turkey which
had the range to hit Soviet cities. In reality, the American gave up more for less. However,
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because they played the public opinion right, to date, the worlds perceives the American as the
victors. After the incident, President was famously quoted saying that diplomacy ‘can only
defeat us; foreign policy will kill us’ (Fitzsimons, 1972). Herein lays the truth on the Kennedy
Fifty year later, adoption of the same doctrine on the same country – Cuba has resulted in
another historical breakthrough. In December 17, 2014, President Obama of the USA and
President Raul Castro of Cuba announced a resumption of diplomatic ties between the two
countries. This was a culmination of numerous efforts in the background by the bureaucrats’ that
had started with the lifting of travel restrictions in 2009 (Roskin, & Berry, 2010). To arrive at
this point, America and Cuba under the mediation of Pope Francis agreed to exchange prisoners
and make the initial steps towards normalizing relationships (Dias, 2014). Who would have
thought this possible fifty years ago? Could the Kennedy doctrine have been successful only in
Cuba or can and could it be replicated in other countries and situations? What uniqueness did
this situation have that made the doctrine work?
The Kennedy doctrine has been successful in other situation when it has been employed.
The Americans have had success recently with hostages that had been held in the Middle East.
These were exchanged for prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay prison. This raises the question;
does the Kennedy doctrine not contradict the American publicly held position of not negotiating
The French seem to have perfected the Kennedy doctrine (Nuti, 2010). They have on
numerous occasions managed to get their citizens back from captivity. Though some have
condemned for negotiating with kidnappers and making kidnapping lucrative, when the need has
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arisen, the French have struck with vengeance and decisively to deal major blows to terror
networks that make money from kidnappings.
It could be argued that even Cuba has applied the doctrine when dealing with one of its
most prized assets – baseball players. Having negotiated with Mexico a deal to have a few
veterans trailblaze by playing overseas and returning home in the winter, when Mexico fearful of
incurring America’s wrath sort to falsify documentation and were discovered, Cuba reacted by
reneging on all the contracts. It turned instead to Japan where for the past two seasons, Japanese
crowds have been mesmerized by the Cuban talent in baseball playing.
To Cuba base ball is the national past time. Its players are sort in the American Major
League like hot cakes. In the recent past, those who have managed to join the league – mainly
defectors, clubs have paid some high figures for them. In one case, a club willingly took up a
player and paid them a high salary knowing full well that they would be fined the equivalent they
paid in salary.
On its part, Cuba has been making changes which can be attributed to the recent
interaction with the US. In 2012, as a culmination to many other economic reforms the Cuban
government had already undertaken, it abolished the requirement that Cubans obtain government
permission to travel abroad (Miller, A & Piccone, 2015). This move was especially critical as it
would allow many Cubans who have families across the channel to visit them.
Some of the economic reforms that Cuba implemented included relaxing small business
restrictions – nurturing entrepreneurship, expanding access to consumer goods – American
goods, decentralize the agricultural sector and liberalize the real estate market. All the reforms
are intended to make Cuba adopt a governance structure similar if not the same as the one the in
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US (Renwick, 2015). Whereas the reforms will benefit the Cuban people, those who benefit in
the short to middle term will be the American.
The Kennedy doctrine has had its share of successes and failure when it has been applied.
Cuba remains one of the most visible success cases where the doctrine has been applied by two
presidents – JFK the architect and Barack Obama in dealing with Cuba and Alqaeda. Other
instances abound where the doctrine has been a success – even been applied by Cuba, that it
makes it a universally acceptable doctrine.
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Bjarkman, P. C (2015) U.S.-Cuba Thaw is Not So Hot for MLB,