Cuba: Issues for the 111th Congress [January 13, 2010]   [open pdf - 755KB]

"Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy has consisted largely of isolating Cuba through economic sanctions. A second policy component has consisted of support measures for the Cuban people, including private humanitarian donations, U.S.-sponsored broadcasting to Cuba, and support for human rights. In light of Fidel Castro's departure as head of government, many observers have called for a re-examination of policy. In this new context, two broad approaches have been advanced: an approach that would maintain the 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 society through increased contact and engagement. In April 2009, President Obama announced that his Administration would allow unlimited family travel and remittances and greater telecommunications links; on September 3, 2009, the Treasury and Commerce Department issued regulations implementing these policy changes. The 111th Congress took action on Cuba in several measures in 2009. In March, it approved three provisions in the FY2009 omnibus appropriations measure (P.L. 111-8) that eased sanctions on family travel, travel for the marketing of agricultural and medical goods, and payment terms for U.S. agricultural exports. In FY2010 omnibus appropriations legislation (P.L. 111-117) enacted in December, Congress eased payments terms for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba during FY2010 by defining the term 'payment of cash in advance,' and provided continued funding for Cuba democracy programs and Radio and TV Martí broadcasting. In May, the Senate approved S.Res. 149, a human rights resolution related to freedom of the press."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40193
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