"Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba under Fidel Castro has consisted largely of isolating the communist nation through comprehensive economic sanctions, which have been significantly tightened by the Bush Administration. Another component of U.S. policy has consisted of support measures for the Cuban people, including private humanitarian donations and U.S.-sponsored radio and television broadcasting to Cuba. While there appears to be broad agreement on the overall objective of U.S. policy toward Cuba - to help bring democracy and respect for human rights to the island - there are several schools of thought on how to achieve that objective: some advocate maximum pressure on Cuba until reforms are enacted; others argue for lifting some U.S. sanctions judged to be hurting the Cuban people; and still others call for a swift normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations. Fidel Castro's announcement in late July 2006 that he was temporarily ceding political power to his brother Raul in order to recover from surgery has prompted some Members to call for re-examination of U.S. policy. In the 109th Congress, legislative initiatives included the approval of five human rights resolutions: H.Con.Res. 81, H.Res. 193, H.Res. 388, S.Res. 140, and S.Res. 469. P.L. 109-102 funded Cuba democracy projects in FY2006. Action on several FY2007 appropriations measures were not completed, so action will need to be completed in 2007."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32730