Sanctions Against Rogue States: Do They Work?

September 16, 1998
10:09 pm (EST)

News Releases

(May 22, 1998) - The Council on Foreign Relations’ Great Debate on Sanctions Against Rogue States will air on UCSD-TV, a non-commercial television station broadcasting from the La Jolla campus of the University of California, San Diego.

More From Our Experts

Last month, Senator Robert G. Torricelli, D-New Jersey, and Dr. C. Fred Bergsten, Director, Institute for International Economics, debated the effectiveness of using economic sanctions to undermine rogue states from Iran to Iraq to Cuba and their impact on relations with U.S. allies around the world. Leslie H. Gelb, President, Council on Foreign Relations, moderated the debate.

More on:


Dr. Bergsten argues that [the Helms-Burton Act] "has rallied anti-Castro sentiment within Cuba. Indeed, a group of former congressmen who came back recently reported quite widely that it’s now called in Cuba the Helms-Burton-Castro Act because it has so rallied support to the regime, even from those who oppose it more generally but feel they have to support it against the imperialist aggressor."

Senator Torricelli counters, "I have probably met at the docks in Florida more Cuban refugees than anyone in this country. And I can tell you this idea that this is strengthening Fidel Castro is fallacious. It is not. It is not. This is an old song for Fidel Castro that somehow the United States is legitimizing his regime by this embargo. In fact, the bitterness at Mexican and Canadian corporations is palpable, the fact that they continue to support him through trade. This will bring a change."

UCSD-TV will broadcast this debate on Monday May 25 at 8 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. The debate will reair on Monday, June 22 at 6 p.m.

More From Our Experts

UCSD-TV reaches the San Diego and La Jolla communities on UHF channel 35. It is also carried from 4 p.m. to midnight on Southwestern Cable channel 15 or 18, on Coronado Cable channel 16, and on Cox Cable San Diego 76 and Cox Cable North County 58.

Please direct any questions to Irina Faskianos at 212 434-9465.

More on:



Top Stories on CFR


Successful vaccine rollouts in the United States and other wealthy nations have made many people hopeful that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight. But the majority of the world’s population does not yet have access to these vaccines. Without a strong global effort to immunize everyone, new variants could tighten the pandemic’s grip on rich and poor countries alike.

United States

The nuclear arms race was perhaps the most alarming feature of the Cold War competition between the United States and Soviet Union. Over the decades, the two sides signed various arms control agreements as a means to manage their rivalry and limit the risk of nuclear war. However, deep fissures have reemerged in the U.S.-Russia relationship in recent years, raising once again the specter of a nuclear arms race.