"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. In the second session, the Senate version of the 'Farm Bill,' H.R. 2646, included a provision that would strike language from U.S. law that prohibits private financing of agricultural sales to Cuba; the House version had no such provision, and ultimately the provision was not included in the conference report. The House version of the FY2003 Treasury Department appropriations bill, H.R. 5120, included three Cuba provisions that would prohibit funds from being used to enforce regulations on travel, remittances, and U.S. agricultural sales to Cuba; the Senate version of the bill, S. 2740, as reported out of committee, would prohibit funds from being used to enforce Cuba travel regulations. Final action on FY2003 Treasury Department appropriations was not completed before the end of the 107th Congress. This report will be updated regularly to track legislative initiatives and developments in U.S. relations with Cuba."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30806
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/