"Cuba remains a hard-line Communist state, with a poor record on human rights. Fidel Castro has ruled since he led the Cuban Revolution, ousting the corrupt government of Fulgencio Batista from power in 1959. With the cutoff of assistance from the former Soviet Union, Cuba experienced severe economic deterioration from 1989-1993. There has been some improvement since 1994 as Cuba has implemented limited reforms. […] Legislative initiatives introduced in the 107th Congress reflect these divergent views on the direction of U.S. policy toward Cuba and also cover a range of issues including human rights, food and medical exports, travel restrictions, drug interdiction cooperation, and broadcasting to Cuba. On July 25, 2001, in action on the Treasury Department Appropriations for FY2002 (H.R. 2590), the House approved an amendment that would prohibit the Treasury Department from using funds to enforce restrictions on travel to Cuba. Ultimately, the Cuba travel provision was not included in the conference report to the bill. The Senate version of the 'Farm Bill,' S. 1731 (Harkin), would strike language from U.S. law that prohibits private financing of agricultural sales to Cuba."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30806
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/