"Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate the communist government of Fidel Castro for much of the past 40 years. Over time, there have been numerous changes to the restrictions, and for five years, from 1977 until 1982, there were no restrictions on travel to Cuba. Under the Bush Administration, enforcement of U.S. restrictions on Cuba travel has increased, and restrictions on travel and on private remittances to Cuba have been tightened. In March 2003, the Administration eliminated travel for people-to-people educational exchanges unrelated to academic coursework. In June 2004, the Administration further restricted family and educational travel, eliminated the category of fully-hosted travel, and restricted remittances so that they could only be sent to the remitter's immediate family. In 2005, the Administration further restricted religious travel to Cuba by changing licensing guidelines for such travel. In the 109th Congress, several amendments to FY2006 and FY2007 appropriations bills that would have eased Cuba travel restrictions were defeated. Several bills were introduced that would have lifted or eased restrictions on travel and the provision of remittances to Cuba, but no action was taken on these measures. In the 110th Congress, two pending Senate Appropriations Committee-reported versions of appropriations bills have provisions that would ease restrictions on travel to Cuba for the marketing and sale of agricultural and medical goods."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31139