Presidential doctrine is the beliefs, goals and crucial parts of a president after they take office. It is a set of practices or principles applied to the government that a president uses to advance policy towards a country to accomplish foreign policy goals. The Kennedy Doctrine refers to initiatives of the external policy of the 35th President of USA John Kennedy towards Latin America in his office term between 1961 and1963. He talked of how he would support the containment of communism and reverse the communist progress in the Western Hemisphere. In his inauguration, Kennedy gave a blueprint of how the future foreign initiative would follow and come to represent. He addressed the nation passing a message of warning to all nations. He said that any nation that wished them well or ill should know that they are ready to pay any price, meet hardships,bear any burden, support friends or oppose enemies to survive and succeed in liberty. He called upon all people to help him fight the enemies of man; poverty, disease, tyranny and war. He was ready to fight communism where he called on the soldier to help. He hoped to bring global cooperation and disarmament after communism was over. Before his doctrine, other administrations before him revolved on communism but failed. Eisenhower and Truman Doctrine helped to contain communism by providing economic and military assistance to resisting nations but they failed. Kennedy doctrine came as a result of much need to fight communism (Gleek & Grillo, 2003)
Before the Doctrine, Kennedy persistently pursued the Cold War containment policy. He boosted the size of armed forces, expanded U.S, stockpiled missile and fought to end Soviet influence in Cuba. In 1959when Fidel Castro entered in power, he came up with policies to eliminate social classes in Cuba. These policies involved confiscating land and large businesses that belonged to the wealthy people of Cuba and U.S firms. Angry with actions of Castro, the U.S organized Cuban exiles to attack Cuba to instill fear in him. When this attempt failed there was the Bay of Pigs invasion.
There was so much tension between Cuba and the U.S. to prevent any more interference from the U.S, Castro asked for economic and military assistance from USSR. Kennedy had to face the crisis of destroying nuclear missiles bases that had been set up by Khrushchev in Cuba from which rocket- powered missiles could be launched. He was my dilemma whether to destroy the base that could have brought war or ignore them risking an attack on the U.S. when Kennedy demanded the USSR to remove the missiles, there was hesitation but they agreed. Kennedy and Khrushchev later signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban treaty banning nuclear test in the air and water. Despite the treaty, cold war still continued. The U.S supported non-Communist South Vietnam increasing its commitment to the region (Fitzsimons, 1972).
Although the relationship between Cuba and the U.S has been a rough road, the trend is now changing. President Obama is taking action to bring down the anchor of failed policies from the past and adopt a new course. He intends to foster a relationship that will engage and empower Cuban people. Since 2009 when President Obama took office, he has taken steps to support the Cuban people gain control over their lives and determine the countrys future. U.S president is promoting more efficient change in the approach we have in Cuba. There are some things that his approach will do. President Obama has re-established diplomatic relations by reopening discussions with Cuba on how to re-establish an embassy in Havana. They will also work together on issues of national interest such as counternarcotics, migration, trafficking of persons and environmental protection. The U.S is also adjusting regulations to improve travel and remittance policies. This will increase contact, civil society support in Cuba and enhancement of free flow of information. (The USA, 1995)
Expansion of travel to Cuba will automatically support the growth of civil society in Cuba. There will be the provision of business training for private companies as well as small farmers. Authorization of American citizens to import goods from Cuba will ensure growth in both nations and more business growth. (Morales & Prevost, 2008). The change will necessitate expanded sales and exports several goods and services to Cuba from the USA. This will in turn empower the Cuban private sector making it much easier for Cubans have access to goods of low price improving their living standards and having higher economic independence. Telecommunications services will be established including infrastructure to allow access to internet services. Cuba pays high prices for telecommunication since they only have five percent of internet penetration, yet the services are limited. Therefore relations between Cuba and U.S are on a better road.
Kennedys Administration has been criticized while others have seen the good deeds during his Administration. In politics, there will always be supporters and the critics on the far left. His administration had both positive impacts and adverse effects especially after the presidential doctrine. In his fight against communism, although he did not witness it, it was a total success. Although the success has taken place after many years, President Castro with support from the U.S President has ended the long reign of communism. Before the end of communism, war broke out and many people lost their lives with others became exiles. The doctrine has broken war between nations for many years especially between U.S and USSR. Nuclear missiles have been planted on the U.S risking the lives of many, all in the name of presidential doctrine. The relationship between U.S and Cuba was one not to be admired. Economically, there was no support, neither was there financially. Tension has been there for many years, to the extent of banning any travels to and from Cuba.
Looking at the positive side, the presidential doctrine has brought about harmonious relationship between Cuba and U.S after so many years. This along turns that most people thought it was never going to happen. Economic and financial support exists between these two nations as a result of the presidential doctrine. It matters no more how many years it has taken or how many presidents have come to power, the end results of this doctrine are confident. At the long run the doctrine has changed both the behavior of the Cubans as they have become more civilized due to harmonious relations between U.S and Cuba. With the end of communism, the behavior of the Cubans was bound to change. With equal sharing of wealth among all people, this was an impossible thing to do. Social equality regarding social class is hard among a community. In conclusion, the Kennedy doctrine has been a success after many years.
Fitzsimons, L. (1972). The Kennedy Doctrine. New York: Random House.
Morales, D. E., & Prevost, G. (2008). United States-Cuban relations: A critical history. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books.
The United States. (1995). The economic relationship between the United States and Cuba after Castro: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Trade of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, June 30, 1995. Washington: U.S. G.P.O.
Watson, R. P., Gleek, C., & Grillo, M. (2003). Presidential doctrines: National security from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
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