"Cuba under Fidel Castro remains a hard-line communist state with a poor record on human rights -- a record that has worsened since 2003. Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba has consisted largely of isolating the island nation through comprehensive economic sanctions. Another component of U.S. policy consists of support measures for the Cuban people, including private humanitarian donations and U.S.-sponsored radio and television broadcasting to Cuba. The Bush Administration has further tightened restrictions on travel, on sending private humanitarian assistance to Cuba, and on the payment process for U.S. agricultural exports 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 the Cuban government until reforms are enacted; others argue for lifting some U.S. sanctions that they believe are hurting the Cuban people. Still others call for a swift normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations. […] Other legislative initiative have provisions related to Cuba broadcasting (P.L. 109-108, S. 600, and H.R. 2601); anti-drug cooperation (H.R. 3057); and U.S. fugitives in Cuba (H.R. 2601, H.R. 332). For additional information, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL31139, 'Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances'; CRS Issue Brief IB10061, 'Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation'; and CRS Report RS22228, 'Cuba after Fidel Castro: Issues for U.S. Policy.'"
CRS Report for Congress, RL32730