"Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba has consisted largely of isolating the communist nation through economic sanctions, which the Bush Administration has tightened significantly. A second policy component has consisted of support measures for the Cuban people, including private humanitarian donations and U.S.-sponsored radio and television broadcasting to Cuba. As in past years, the main issue for U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 110th Congress has been how to best support political and economic change in one of the world's remaining communist nations. Unlike past years, however, Congress is examining policy toward Cuba in the context of Fidel Castro's departure from heading the government because of poor health. Raúl Castro, who had served as provision head of government since July 2006, was selected on February 24, 2008 by Cuba's legislature to continue in that role officially. […] Two initiatives, H.R. 1306 and S. 749, would amend a provision of law restricting the registration or enforcement of certain Cuban trademarks; five initiatives -- H.R. 217, H.R. 624, H.R. 2819, S. 1673, and S. 1806 -- would repeal the trademark sanction. H.R. 5627 and S. 2777 would award the congressional gold medal to Cuban political prisoner Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet. H.Res. 935 would commemorate the anniversary of the 1996 shootdown of two U.S. civilian planes by Cuba. For more information, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RS22742, 'Cuba's Political Succession: From Fidel to Raúl Castro' and CRS Report RL31139, 'Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances.'"
CRS Report for Congress, RL33819