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US policy of economic sanctions against Cuba in 1990s years

Yulia Sedliar

Abstract: The US economic embargo against Cuba has been in place for fifty years. During that period, its rationale and goals have not changed. As it is stressed in the article, principal purpose of the US sanctions strategy is either to modify the international behavior of Cuba, which Washington regarded as a threat to US strategic interests in the Latin America region, or to eliminate the Cuban political regime entirely. Measured against these goals, the sanctions clearly have failed. Author examines key factors having restricted sanctions’ ability to achieve American proclaimed goals regarding to Cuba. In this context, it is underscored that controversial maintenance of the US embargo against Cuba among US allies directly affected the results of sanctions strategy against Cuba. It is stressed that since the early 1960s, when the United States imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, the centerpiece of U.S. policy toward Cuba has consisted of economic sanctions aimed at isolating the government. The United States embargo against Cuba is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba. An embargo was first imposed by the United States on sale of arms to Cuba on the 14th of March 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime. On October 19, 1960 the U.S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after Cuba nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without compensation. On February 7, 1962 the embargo was extended to include almost all imports. Currently, the Cuban embargo is enforced mainly through six statutes: the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms–Burton Act 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. The stated purpose of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 is to maintain sanctions on Cuba so long as the Cuban government refuses to move toward democratization and greater respect for human rights. The article emphasizes that The Helms–Burton Act 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 were met.
Keywords: purpose / economic sanctions / American / embargo / regime / Stressed / Imposed / Sanctions against Cuba

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