American-Cuban Relations: A critical analysis

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The American Cruise Line is a United States small ship company. Its operations are around Eastern Seaboard in the US. Its operations commencement is dated back in early 1970’s. However, the business stopped sometimes in 1980s due to a decreasing level of customers. Its operations either went in business again in 2000, by launching some three ship fleet with the American Eagle (49 – passenger capacity) being the first ship. Others launched in 2002 and 2005 where the American Glory (49 – passengers) and the American Sprit (98 – passengers) respectively. In 2007, the company is to launch the American Star.

The owner had sold the company in late 1980’s before it went under due to operational inefficiencies. Since it’s rebirth in 2002, the company continues to embrace a big growth, with its operation expanding highly. The same rebirth followed an acquisition by the owner of the then former company which was operational in 1980’s. The company is a US based small ship company registered in Maine. Its operations are along the US coastal line form the Maine to Florida. Operational profile. The company owns a much larger fleet with a capacity of 220 square fleets.



Its cabins are of a larger size than any other small ship company. In its fleet Profile, its currently operates with three cruise ships such as the American Eagle, American Glory and the American Spirit. Its current decision to launch the fourth ship (America Star) within the year is perhaps its greatest achievement. Its ships are profound in three characteristics which make it to adequately compete with its competitors at the market place. They are highly roomy, and of the most modern nature. (http://www. cruisecritic. com/reviews/cruiseline. cfm? CruiseLineID=57)
Their ships have adequate privacy due to the large capacity, intimate relations for their relatively small size as well as allowing its passengers to be able to frequently meet within a week. Their dining room are located at the deck which primarily lowest at the stem point, where it has some windows on its three sides it has other two cabin sized lounges, with the tip deck making open cut facility for the remaining part of the ship. The four decks will then be linked together by an elevator. Many of the cabins have balconies which provide an attractive environment for the passengers on the coastal scenery while traveling.
Those without balconies will have their windows painted large pictures which are then opened for free circulation of air and also the different sounds emanating form the sea. They also offer cabin facilities for persons who are single or disabled. Generally, the vessels will have identical features in regard to the facilities, decor and also layout. The passengers are free in their choice of cruise in terms of date or even itinerary without been forced to use a cruise without their choice. (Morgan, 2004) The decors are attractive and exciting, with both muted and a range of simple colors.
Their close array is like that of a hotels generic lobby. Its main lounge has a specific location. This is underneath their bridges at a directly forward position. It has a set of tail windows in one of the three sides which are used for providing a way of viewing the attractive scenery while passing. However, the stringent maritime laws have worked to lower the company’s activities. These laws prescribe an attractive package in the certain conditions relating to capacity, modern, operating diameters, and other legal conditions on the cruise business.
At one point, we can talk of the advantage into the nature of the business customers. However, the same laws may be argued as stumbling blocks into the cruise business where stringent legacies ought to be followed. Consequently, cruise businesses are required to have a layout of specific modalities in the operational system and the physical nature of their ships. Such conditions have been voted as been highly expensive leading to conditions of high operating costs. The company has the launch of the American Star in progress which is to be later in this year.
Either, its development of Pearl Seas Cruises within the course of 2008, will find the company at the most competitive edge in the international waters. This would have the same similarities to the other ship models, though it’s highly sophisticated. With a regard to the environmental laws about water pollution, the company has been in the fore front to ensure Low rates of environmental pollution. The construction system of its ships follows a highly conventional manner in which high standards ships manufactured with lower cases of oil spill-over in the water.
Either, it has various facilities for ensuring safe custodies for any emergency cases and accidents that would lead to oil spillages in the water. Above these parameters, its high advocacy to the travelers of frontiers that provides conditions for lower environmental pollution has been ensured by the management. The company has continued to recognize and put in place various campaigns on environmental conservations, and reduction in water pollution. Through such a campaign, it has ensured high operational statuses which provide a hallmark in the conservation of the water environment through reduced pollution.
(Sagers, 2006) Organizational structure and current operating environment. The company has provided a layout in terms of its organizations structure. A compliment of various stakeholders to be same structure is therefore available. It has the CEO as the highest rank in the structure. A panel of board of directors also accompanies the same structure. Elsewhere, various managerial staff positions provide management services to the different management offices. The current operating structure may be summarized under the aspect of ship board organizational structure.
The shipboard organizational structure is comprised of system of controls into the various activities and operations at the time of boarding a ship. Like any other organizational activity, the ship boarding activity is comprised of various activities that help an adequate environment for the operations. Different personnel have various delegated responsibilities, which help the smooth process of activities during the boarding time. (Hazell, Fitzpatrick, 2006) Various control persons are therefore delegated with various duties.
These include; operations control who is capable of the communication process within the shipping process. The engineering control, who provide various engineering services for the shipboard process incase of mechanical breakdowns; the damage controller, who provide repairs and maintenance to any materials breakdown in the shipping process. The shipboard directors(s), who provides a package of directorship in the control layout systems of the ship board process. Above these profiles, the shipboard organizational structure is compounded by other systems of control / control officials.
These are medical controls, finance officials, supervisors, safety officers, security control and quality assurance controls. All the controls play their relevant authorities and displiness in correspondence to the requirements of the shipboard process. Summarily therefore, shipboard organizational structure is comprised of a system of control that ensure adequacy in the company’s organization at the shipboard process. The shipboard operating structure is comprised of a system of control available at the process of its operations.
While the ship is on its traveling process, there are various operating controls and processes that accompany it for adequate and safe traveling and services. At one level, the demographic population of the company can be echoed in a close perspective between the ships and the passenger volume they operate in. The demographic structure of the company depicts diversity in its clients in terms of geographical parameters. Clients are from the whole region. Generally, the number of children clients has been voted to be low.
However, a higher volume of children is available during the summer within the Maine and the New England. Currently the company has its three ships with the American Star at the verge of been launched within this year. (Talley, 2000) The major nationalities working in the onboard process are Americans. The company has had dominance in the employment of Americans for its onboard activities. This is in attribute and understanding that fellow Americans can provide good customers relation in the onboard process during the ship traveling.
However, the onboard process is accompanied by a number of activities on process where different personnel perform different roles. Firstly, the role and position of show excursions controller should not be overlooked. This is the controller person in charge of excursions in every port in which passengers are taken through to know the different environments they are driving in. This is taken as a refresher course to the passengers in the long journey processes. Food and drinking personals (waiter) who are allied to the different schedules of the passenger feeding.
With the long journey process, passengers are ideally provided with food, this is taken care of by the food controller. Like the shipboard organization structure, the on process is also accompanied by a system of control which includes quality assurance, finance, medical, security, administration, above others. At the onboard process, the persons are responsible for these controls. At the shore side either, a comprehensive, package of management structure, controls and human resources issues is highly pronounced to provide a higher and better environment of the shipping process.
Majority of the characteristics of activities found at the shore side is a combination those at the shipboard organizational and operating structures above those of the onboard structure. A combination of the relevant system of control relating to the various systems of control is therefore attributable to the shore side organizational structure. Marketing positioning The small ship industry in America is highly competitive. The company continue to get a high and stiff competition form its competitors around the world.
The success to the company has however been through a package of providing relatively high quality products and services above other strategies which helps it to even pursue well in such a competitive market. It has however a highly developed and established system of itineraries which are found placed in the whole Eastern Seaboard covering the Penobscot Bay at the Maine up to the Florida. (Haigh, Nomikos, Bessler, 2004) The traveling system changes considerably during the various seasons of the year. The cruises allied to England Island have the Block Island as their stopping areas at the summer periods.
They can also stop at Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Trips also change in the course of the year depending on the environmental conditions allied to the navigation process. There is the June offer of itineraries from the Chesapeake Bay which are allied to the Baltimore case. However, these are all short trip cases. The great passageway which is form the Baltimore to the peak of Florida is among its long paths. Elsewhere, the ships will sail via the Antebellum Itineraries, which is form the Jacksonville and the Charleston.
This occurs at the periods form November throughout April. The Okeechobee trip is offered as an occasional trip. As the 2008 approaches, other cruises will be introduced by the Pearl Seas Cruises. There destinations are proposed to been Canadian Marmites, St. Lawrence Seaway Caribbean American itineraries and also the Central American itineraries. This 2008 activity plan is a clear indication of the high level of expansion by the company in their itineraries. (Still, 2001) The target market of the company is to include the whole of the US costal line.
However, this is only its immediate (short run goals) with the intensity into its expanding phenomena, the company is perhaps to embrace its final attribute of expanding to reach the various water ways and ports in the US coastal strip. Elsewhere, its greatest achievement would be expanding to the broad foreign market. Foreign market is seen as an attribute in which the company will develop in capacity to even reach the global market, through mergers, acquisitions, starting or even through Franchises. Miscellaneous details The American Cruise company has continued to embrace the sovereignty as one the largest small ship company in US.
Over the last three years, it has had an average of reported profit amounting to $ 694 per annum. The price of it share in the American stock market has considerable been improving. Since is rebirth in 2002, it has continued to show an increasing level of profit. . References Cruise Review and News (2007) American Cruise Lines. Retrieved on 7th Nov. 2007 from http://www. cruisecritic. com/reviews/cruiseline. cfm? CruiseLineID=57 Haigh, M. S. , Nomikos, N. K. , & Bessler, D. A. (2004). Integration and Causality in International Freight Markets: Modeling with Error Correction and Directed Acyclic Graphs.
Southern Economic Journal, 71(1), 145+. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5006987575 Hazell, L. C. , & Fitzpatrick, S. M. (2006). The Maritime Transport of Prehistoric Megaliths in Micronesia. Archaeology in Oceania, 41(1), 12+. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5015172724 Morgan, C. (2004). The Public Nature of Private Industry in Confederate Georgia. Civil War History, 50(1), 27+. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5006500885
Sagers, C. (2006). The Demise of Regulation in Ocean Shipping: A Study in the Evolution of Competition Policy and the Predictive Power of Microeconomics. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 39(3), 779+. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5019554251 Still, C. (2001). Thinking outside the Box: The Application of COGSA's $500 Per-Package Limitation to Shipping Containers. Houston Journal of International Law, 24(1), 81+. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5000945085 Talley, W.
K. (2000). Ocean Container Shipping: Impacts of a Technological Improvement. Journal of Economic Issues, 34(4), 933. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5001180959 The state of conflict that has come to define the relationship between the United Sates of America and the tiny island nation of Cuba is, unknown to many, as old as the history of Cuba as a nation state. The first signals of conflict came early in the life of Cuba as a Spanish colony when in 1795 Negro slaves and whites came together to revolt against the Spanish overlords.
That momentous occasion caused a great disquiet amongst slave owners in the American south, and thus attracted the keen attention of the American establishment, who did not desire such an example to be set too close to home. The first overt reaction of the American rulers at that time was to make overtures to Spain for the purchase of Cuba. In this respect, Thomas Jefferson, the American President, was reported to have said in 1809 that, “I candidly confess that I have ever looked upon Cuba as the most interesting addition that can be made to our system of States. ”
Though Spain persistently rejected the American request, the Americans never dropped their desire to annex Cuba by any possible means. This ardent American desire and policy on Cuba was summed up by the then American Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, “These islands (Cuba and Puerto Rico) are natural appendages of the North American continent, and one of them (Cuba) almost within sight of our shores, from a multitude of considerations has become an object of transcendent importance to the commercial and political interests of our Union… These are laws of political as well as physical gravitation.
” It was therefore only a matter of time before the first real conflict over Cuba erupted. When it did, it did so in two fronts, one involved America and Spain while the other involved Cubans themselves, who desired independence from Spain. In 1823, US President Moore declared the Western Hemisphere, including Cuba, as an exclusive sphere of influence of the United States, warning European powers to take heed and steer clear of any interference in the affairs of any nations within the so declared ‘sphere of influence’.
Subsequently, in 1898, Cuba became a theatre of war between the Americans and Spain, the Spanish American War. This was coincidentally at a period Cuban revolutionaries claimed they were on the threshold of liberating Cuba from Spanish rule. The Americans won in the ensuing war and subsequently took control of the governance of Cuba as protectorate. What was to follow was a despoliation of the Cuban state by successive American appointed administrators, land speculators, profiteers, the Mafia and their local Cuban collaborators.
Attendant to these was the economic emasculation of the Cuban nation as American colonists swooped on the island and acquired large swats of fertile farm land, marginalizing the local people, and in so doing sowed the seeds of the many conflicts that were later to help shape American-Cuban relations for almost the past half century. 2. 7. 1. The Actors General Fulgencio Batista Formerly a Sergeant in the Cuban Army, Batista came into limelight when he led a group of sergeants, ‘The Revolt of the Sergeants’ to overthrow a sitting government in 1933.
Though he relinquished power shortly afterwards to become the army chief, he made himself the elector of the next president and subsequent five others until 1940 when he contested and won the presidency for himself. Successive American administrations found him a willing ally and were in tacit support of his conducts and rule over Cuba. Under Batista, the Miami mafia mob became the co-rulers of Cuba. Batista was to retire from presidency in 1944 only to make a quick come-back in 1948 when he was elected into the Cuban senate. Later in 1952 he sidestepped the elections and took over power in a coup.
With the support of U. S administration of Harry Truman, Batista cancelled the elections all together and became the maximum leader. Fidel Castro was one of the contestants in that botched election. Fidel Alejandro Castro. The son of a wealthy Creole farmer, Castro was educated in Jesuit schools, and finally graduated from the Havana University with a law degree. Disillusioned with the poverty he saw around him and the display of wealth by the American colonists, Fidel joined the political movement with intent to stand for an election into the Cuban congress.
When this desire of his was scuttled by the cancellation of the elections and the usurping of power by General Batista in 1952, he took up arms with other rebels, ‘The July 26 Movement’, including his brother Raul to wrest power out of Batista forcefully. Their attempt at rebellion in 1953 ended in disaster and the killing of most of the rebels. Fidel, his brother and a few others were arrested, tried and jailed, but later released. Castro was to strike again, and eventually defeated Batista’s soldiers to take over power in 1959.
On assumption of power, Castro took several populist actions, which endeared hum to the down trodden Cuban masses. But his later actions of nationalizing all American run and owned businesses in Cuba, closing down all casinos, whore houses and sending the mafia on the run, as well as his switch to communism earned him powerful enemies in the American establishment. Ever since, American Cuban relations can be effectively summed up in two this short term- mutual hostility. Dwight D.
Eisenhower. Two-term president of the U. S, 1953-1961, Eisenhower was in power at the height of the Castro rebellion, which ousted General Batista from power. Eisenhower was the architect of initial American policy response to the Castro challenge. Hostility was the initial and consistent response to the Castro regime. This response was later to be institutionalized, thus setting the mood for subsequent US-Cuban relations. Eisenhower took far-reaching steps to checkmate Castro.
Some of these steps were the authorization of the CIA to train Cuban exiles to form a force that could overthrow Castro and install a more acceptable regime in Cuba, cancellation of American orders for Cuban sugar, prohibition of American exports to Cuba, putting pressure on European banks to cancel loans meant for Cuba, blacklisting of naval vessels carrying cargo to or from Cuba, massive propaganda offensive to discredit the Cuban regime, liaisons with and use of mafia links to try to assassinate Castro or destabilize Cuba. J. F.
Kennedy. He succeeded Eisenhower as American President, and true to his election campaign pledge to ‘do something about Castro’, Kennedy went a step further by authorizing and sponsoring the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 by Cuban dissidents. This was in addition to other US sponsored covert and overt terrorist attacks against Cuban interests and attempts on Castro’s life. Kennedy followed up late with the termination of diplomatic relation with Cuba in 1961. Some other attempts by Kennedy to deal with Castro included:
Operation Mongoose, whose aim was to overthrow Castro through acts of terrorism and subversion; The invoking of US military intervention to “overthrow the Castro regime; Operation Peter Pan, (1960-62) in which the US colluded with the Catholic Church transport 14,048 unaccompanied children between 6 and 18 years old out of Cuba for the US; Institution of a full trade embargo against Cuba; Punishment and denial of US aid for third countries which allowed assistance or commerce with Cuba; Imposition of travel to Cuba on US citizens;
Though President Kennedy was assassinated in circumstances which some speculations have linked to the Castro issue, the US policy direction on Cuba did not change, but had rather intensified with successive US regimes. 2. 7. 2. Issues Basically the Issues at stake in American-Cuban relations could be described as both ideological and territorial.
The United States on the one hand had a long standing interest to annex or control Cuba and to have the island nation come under its capitalist mode of operation, whereas Cuba had traditionally resisted any such designs by the Americans and had under Fidel Castro towed the communist line of production and ideology. 2. 7. 3. The Underlying factors Many recent commentators on the unending face-off between Cuba and the United States have wondered why the US has found it difficult to accommodate the Cubans and their communist form of government at a time that they have normalized relations with such other communist regimes as China and Vietnam.
`It is quite obvious that such commentators have failed to take into account the full weight of the underlying factors that have helped shape and instruct American policy direction on Cuba. Some of these factors can be discussed below: 1. The ideological war: Capitalism vs Communism. It is an established fact that the United States is as rabidly capitalist as the former Soviet Union was Communist. So when Castro concluded his revolution by tilting towards communism he inadvertently touched America at it sorest point.
It was a declaration that an enemy was at its back door. Thus Cuban American relations were ab initio anchored on diametrically opposing posts the moment Castro took over power. 2. Proximity. Cuba’s proximity to the US which put it within the so-called American sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere precluded that the US must, as a matter of national security, have interest in what happens in its back waters. And what the American administrations loathed most was for Cuba to become an example which other Western hemisphere counties could look up to and copy.
3. Interest groups. Most of the American business interests that were nationalized by Castro are today part of the dominant group ruling the United States, and dictating state policy. They have not forgiven Castro and will never forgive him for disrupting their lucrative business operations in Cuba. The same is true of the mafia elements within the Cuban exile groups. 4. Resistance from ordinary Cubans. Having witnessed firsthand what unbridled capitalism and corrupt did to them the first time they came under U.
S rule, ordinary Cubans are loathe to again welcome any American hegemony over them. 2. 7. 4. Scope The scope and ramifications of US-Cuban relations crossed national and continental boundaries in the 70’s and 80’s when Cuba embarked on shoring up leftist regimes or groups in South America and Africa. These attempts brought them into direct conflict with the US; with disastrous effects in Nicaragua, Grenada, Angola, Ethiopia and Congo democratic republic.
Consequently, local conflicts were internationalized, protracted and resulted in tremendous human tolls. The effect of almost fifty years of American economic embargoes on Cuba has also been horrendous on Cubans. 2. 7. 5. Previous Attempts at Settlements The first known attempt at settling the disputes between the US and Cuba was in 1964 when Cuba offered to desist from exporting revolutionary ideals to South America if the US would halt its hostile actions against Cuba. The US refused, urging Cuba to first stop close relations with the USSR.
It was also speculated that Kennedy had intended to engage Castro in negotiations shortly before he was assassinated in 1965. Another secret attempt was made at reconciliation in 1974, but was supposedly cancelled after Cuba got involved in Angola. President Ford at that time linked normalization of relations with Cuba with its voluntary pull out from Angola. It was under Jimmy Carter that the most real attempts at the normalization of relations with Cuba were initiated when he lifted the travel embargo on Cuba.
A maritime boundary and fishing accord was signed by both countries during this period, while diplomatic interest sections were opened by both countries in Havana and Washington, respectively. Other bilateral negotiations were started; the American Congress also repealed the provision of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 banning aid to countries permitting their vessels to trade with Cuba. The National Security Council also rescinded the ship blacklist. 2. 7. 6. Phases and Intensity
The Kennedy era was perhaps marked zenith of American-Cuban hostility. It was then that the botched Pay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was carried out in 1961, same as the Cuban missile crisis, which involved the installation of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962. Though the missile crisis was eventually resolved, when the Soviets willingly dismantled the missiles, the crisis almost precipitated a nuclear war between the US and the Kruschev-led Soviet Union. Several U.
S instigated attempts were also made during that same era to assassinate Fidel Castro, but the climax was the assassination of President Kennedy himself. The other high intensity points in American-Cuban relations were in the 70’s and 80’s when Cuba actively supported leftist insurrections against American backed dictatorships in Africa and South America. The most notable of these countries where Cuban forces played direct combat role were Angola, Ethiopia, Grenada, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The U. S countered these Cuban moves by pouring in massive support to the opposing groups.
However, the relations between the have traditionally been known to experience upward and down swings in response to the parties in power in Washington- much more favorable under the Democrats and less so under the Republicans. 2. 7. 7. Balance of Power In territorial size and resources, Cuba is no match to the United States, but the active support of the Soviet Union at the start of the Castro revolution and until the collapse of the Soviet Union brought a semblance of balance of powers between the two feuding neighbors- U. S and Cuba.
However, at the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were expectations that Cuba would falter and collapse, but world public opinion and the support of Canada, the European Union, China and of late Venezuela have helped stabilize Cuba ideologically and materially. 2. 7. 8. Capacity and Resource There is no room for comparison of the resources and capacities of both countries, the U. S is way ahead of Cuba in all respects, but as explained earlier what Cuba has going for it are favorable world opinion and the resilience of its leadership and people. 2. 7. 9.
State of the Relationship The support for the continuing US embargo of the island nation have been completely eroded, as many of the nations of Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa have since normalized relations with Cuba. Even fellow North American countries of Canada and Mexico have consistently opposed US embargoes on Cuba, especially as it affected US subsidiary companies within these two nations. Even many Americans have come to question the wisdom of continuing with the hostilities when it is obvious that Cuba, at present, poses no threat to U.
S national security. Visits have been made of late by sitting congressmen and other influential Americans in efforts to settle the disputes between the two neighbors that are so close but yet so far apart. Works Consulted Chadwick Ian. History of Cuban American relations. Retrieved March 30, 2007 from http://www. ianchadwick. com/essays/cubahistory. html Siera J. A. Compilations of History of Cuba. Retrieved March 30, 2007 from http://www. historyofcuba. com/history/batista. htm

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