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Cuba : issues and legislation in the 106th Congress

Author: Mark P Sullivan; Maureen Taft-Morales; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, [2001]
Series: CRS report for Congress, RL30628.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Cuba remains a hard-line Communist state, with a poor record on human rights. Fidel Castro has ruled since he led the Cuban Revolution, ousting the corrupt government of Fulgencio Batista from power in 1959. With the cutoff of assistance from the former Soviet Union, Cuba experienced severe economic deterioration from 1989-1993, although there has been some improvement since 1994 as Cuba has implemented limited  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Mark P Sullivan; Maureen Taft-Morales; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
OCLC Number: 46362552
Notes: Title from title screen.
"Updated January 11, 2001."
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Series Title: CRS report for Congress, RL30628.
Responsibility: Mark P. Sullivan, Maureen Taft-Morales.

Abstract:

Cuba remains a hard-line Communist state, with a poor record on human rights. Fidel Castro has ruled since he led the Cuban Revolution, ousting the corrupt government of Fulgencio Batista from power in 1959. With the cutoff of assistance from the former Soviet Union, Cuba experienced severe economic deterioration from 1989-1993, although there has been some improvement since 1994 as Cuba has implemented limited reforms. Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba has consisted largely of isolating the island nation through comprehensive economic sanctions. The Clinton Administration essentially continued this policy of isolating Cuba. The principal tool of policy remains comprehensive sanctions, which were made stronger with the Cuban Democracy Act (CDA) in 1992 and the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act in 1996, often referred to as the Helms/Burton legislation. Another component of U.S. policy consists of support measures for the Cuban people. This includes private humanitarian donations and U.S.-sponsored radio and television broadcasting to Cuba. Under this rubric of support for the Cuban people, President Clinton announced several policy actions in March 1998. These included the resumption of direct charter flights and cash remittances to Cuba, and the streamlining of licensing procedures for the sale of medicines. In January 1999, the President announced additional measures, including a broadening of permissible cash remittances, increasing direct charter flights, expanding people-to-people contact, and authorizing the sale of food and agricultural inputs to independent entities in Cuba. Although U.S. policymakers agree on the overall objective of U.S. policy toward Cuba ₂ to help bring democracy and respect for human rights to the island ₂ there have been several schools of thought about how to achieve that objective. Some advocate a policy of keeping maximum pressure on the Cuban government until reforms are enacted, while continuing current U.S. efforts to support the Cuban people. Others argue for an approach, sometimes referred to as constructive engagement, that would lift some U.S. sanctions that they believe are hurting the Cuban people, and move toward engaging Cuba in dialogue. Still others call for a swift normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations by lifting the U.S. embargo. Numerous measures were introduced in the 106th Congress that reflected the range of views on U.S. policy toward Cuba. Legislative initiatives proposed both easing and increasing sanctions against Cuba. In the end, legislation passed reflected both approaches: it allowed the export of food and medicine to Cuba, but prohibited any U.S. financing, both public and private, of such exports. Travel to Cuba for tourism was also prohibited. Another law facilitated enforcement of anti-terrorism judgments in U.S. courts to allow for the payment of a $187.6 million 1997 judgment against Cuba to be paid from Cuba[alpha]s frozen assets in the United States to the families of three U.S. citizens killed when Cuba shot down two U.S. planes in 1996. President Clinton waived the provision, however, upon signing the rest of the bill into law.

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