why does the us still have an embargo on cuba
The U. S. embargo against Cuba is a series of trade and travel restrictions enacted in response to the Cuban Revolution. The 1962 policy was intended to force Cuba into economic isolation and catalyze a popular movement toward overthrowing the Castro government. It is the longest-enduring trade embargo in history. While the president has the authority to amend regulations that govern certain aspects of trade with and travel to Cuba, the backbone of the embargo is codified in statute, which requires congressional action to amend or repeal. Despite the easing of restrictions made under President Obama, the embargo is still strictly enforced--companies have been fined $5. 2 million for violations since December 2014. These statutes prohibit the majority of imports and exports between the United States and Cuba, with exceptions to exports that support the Cuban people, information dissemination, and humanitarian assistance. Americans are also restricted from traveling as tourists to the island. However, regulatory policy made by executive action allows for Americans to self-certify for 12 categories of legal travel. The U. S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the embargo costs the U. S. economy $1. 2 billion annually, while Cuba cites its own losses at $753. 69 billion. The relative severity of trade and travel restrictions on Cuba has ebbed and flowed over time. In the 1990s, Congress passed three major statutes that clarified and tightened sanctions on Cuba. After a period of harsh policy toward Cuba under President George W. Bush, President Obama announced in late 2014 that Washington and Havana would begin normalizing relations.
To that end, the Obama administration achieved three pillars of normalization: 1) the removal of CubaБs designation as a state sponsor of terrorism; 2) the reestablishment of diplomatic relations; and 3) relaxed restrictions on travel and trade through executive action. In 2017, the Trump administration
some of the changes made under President Obama, but the vast majority remain U. S. policy. Despite some tighter trade sanctions and limitations on authorized travel, there are still many legal pathways for Americans to export and travel to Cuba. Regardless of the degree to which a U. S. president wishes to tighten or relax restrictions on Cuba, a complete repeal of the embargo will require congressional action. Today, there are five main statutes through which the embargo is enforced: The U. S. Embargo Against Cuba is a series of sanctions imposed on Cuba by the United States which have existed since 1960. The embargo and ensuing Cuba travel restrictions are still enforced today however insightCuba is authorized to send any American to Cuba on one of our people-to-people tours under a general license issued by the U. S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Travel Restrictions: A brief history 1960- In the first trade restrictions on Cuba after the rise to power of Fidel Castro, President Eisenhower placed most U. S. exports to Cuba under validated license controls, except for non-subsidized food, medicines, and medical supplies. The action did not include restrictions on travel. 1962/1963- In February 1962, President Kennedy imposed a trade embargo on Cuba because of the Castro regimeвs ties to the Soviet Union.
Pursuant to the Presidentвs directive, the Department of the Treasuryвs Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued the Cuban Import Regulations. On July 9, 1963, OFAC issued a more comprehensive set of prohibitions, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, which effectively banned travel by prohibiting any transactions with Cuba. 1977- In March, the Carter Administration announced the lifting of restrictions on U. S. travel to Cuba that had been in place since the early 1960s. The Carter Administration lifted the travel ban by issuing a general license for travel-related transactions for those visiting Cuba. Direct flights were also allowed. 1982- In April, the Reagan Administration re-imposed restrictions on travel to Cuba, although it allowed for certain categories of travel, including travel by U. S. government officials, employees of news or film making organizations, persons engaging in professional research, or persons visiting their close relatives. It did not allow for ordinary tourist or business travel that had been allowed since the Carter Administrationвs 1977 action. 1999- On May 13, 1999, OFAC issued a number of changes to the Cuba embargo regulations that loosened some restrictions on certain categories of travelers to Cuba including travel for the purpose of people-to-people educational exchanges. 2000- The first specific license for People-to-People Education Exchanges were granted by OFAC. InsightCuba received its People-to-People Educational Exchange license and was the first to begin sending Americans to Cuba under this license. 2003- On March 24, 2003, OFAC announced that the Cuba travel regulations were being amended which included the elimination of People-to-People Education Exchange licenses.
InsightCuba sent the last Americans to Cuba at the end of December. 2009- On April 13, 2009, President Obama directed that all restrictions on family travel and on remittances to family members in Cuba be lifted. The Administration also announced measures to expand the scope of eligible humanitarian donations through gift parcels and to increase telecommunications links with Cuba. 2011- On January 14, 2011 President Obama issued a press release announcing that changes be made to regulations and policies governing: (1) purposeful travel; (2) non-family remittances; and (3) U. S. airports supporting licensed charter flights to and from Cuba. These measures will increase people-to-people contact; support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence from Cuban authorities. On January 28, President Obamaвs policy to officially restore People-to-People Educational Exchanges with Cuba becomes official after a seven year absence. 2014- On December 17, President Obama and President Castro announce efforts to normalize relations between the U. S. and Cuba. 2015- January 16, new regulations regarding travel to Cuba are issued making it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. 2016- U. S. commercial airlines offer flights from the U. S. to Cuba. Click to view insightCuba's specific history regarding legal travel to Cuba.
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