From the Summary: "Cuba, which remains a hard-line communist state with a poor record on human rights, commemorated the 50th anniversary of its revolution on January 1, 2009. Cuba's political succession from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl in 2006 was characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. Fidel stepped down from power temporarily in July 2006 because of health reasons, and Raúl assumed provisional control of the government until February 2008, when he officially became President. [...] As in past years, the main issue for U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 111th Congress will likely be how best to support political and economic change in Cuba. In light of Fidel Castro's departure as head of government, many observers have called for a re-examination of U.S. policy toward Cuba. In this new context, two broad policy approaches have been advanced: a status-quo or a stay the course approach that would maintain the U.S. dual-track policy of isolating the Cuban government while providing support to the Cuban people; and an approach aimed at changing attitudes within the Cuban government and Cuban society through increased contact and engagement. President Barack Obama vowed during the electoral campaign to change U.S. policy by allowing unlimited family travel and remittances to Cuba, although he also pledged to maintain the embargo as a source of leverage to bring about change in Cuba. Over the past several years, various legislative initiatives have been introduced to ease U.S. economic sanctions on Cuba, but none of these have been enacted."
CRS Report for Congress, R40193