#AceNewsServices (Exclusive) – UNITED STATES (Washington) – September 06 – US President Barack Obama has extended the trade embargo against Cuba for another year RT reported.
The US began imposing economic penalties on Cuba when Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 and nationalized property owned by American individuals and corporations.
The measures were ratcheted up three years later by the US government to a full embargo on Cuba.
The United States embargo against Cuba (known in Cuba as el bloqueo) is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo imposed on Cuba by the United States. It began on 19 October 1960 (almost two years after the Batista regime was deposed by the Cuban Revolution) when the US placed an embargo on exports to Cuba (except for food and medicine), and on 7 February 1962 was extended to include almost all imports.
Currently, the Cuban embargo is enforced mainly with six statutes: the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuba Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms–Burton ActHelms Burton Act 1966, and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.
The Cuban Democracy Act was signed into law in 1992 with the stated purpose of maintaining sanctions on Cuba so long as the Cuban government continues to refuse to move toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights".
In 1996, Congress passed the Helms–Burton Act, which further restricted United States citizens from doing business in or with Cuba, and mandated restrictions on giving public or private assistance to any successor government in Havana unless and until certain claims against the Cuban government are met. In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo even further by also disallowing foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to trade with Cuba. In 2000, Clinton authorized the sale of certain "humanitarian" U.S. products to Cuba.
After taking office, President Barack Obama outlined a series of steps that Cuba could take to demonstrate a willingness to open its society, including releasing political prisoners, allowing United States telecommunications companies to operate on the island and ending government fees on U.S. dollars sent by relatives in the United States. In confirmation hearings for the position of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said that she believed that the ban on Cuban-American family travel should be lifted.
Many saw this as an opportunity for Cubans and Americans to engage in viable businesses together. The process toward larger diplomatic and commercial openings with Cuba was derailed when Cuban authorities arrested USAID contractor Alan Gross in December 2009, sentencing him to 15 years in prison in 2011. While maintaining limited economic exchanges with Cuba, President Obama stated that, without improved human rights and freedoms by Cuba, the embargo remains "in the national interest of the United States."
As of November 2011, U.S.–Cuba relations remain frozen and Cuba also remains one of the four countries (Iran, Sudan, and Syria) in the world designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism by the United States Department of State