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An embargo is an official ban or prohibition on trade or other commercial actions between two or more countries. The intent of embargoes is typically for a country or group of countries to coerce another state to change its policies in a desired direction through economic sanctions in times of peace. Embargoes, however, have often proven unsuccessful, especially when adequate surveillance is not in place to prevent smuggling, which is covertly or illegally transporting goods into or out of a country. This entry begins with a brief glance at embargoes enacted in early times, and it follows with examinations of well-known embargoes against countries such as Great Britain, the Soviet Union, Rhodesia, Iraq, and Iran. The entry concludes with a look at the variables ...

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