"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, including restrictions on travel, private humanitarian assistance, and payment terms for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba. A second 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. As in past years, the main issue for U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 110th Congress will be how to best support political and economic change in one of the world's remaining communist nations. Unlike past years, however, Congress is now examining policy toward Cuba in the context of Fidel Castro's temporary, and potentially permanent, departure from the political scene because of health conditions. Over the past several years, one or both houses have at times approved legislative provisions that would ease U.S. sanctions on Cuba, but ultimately these provisions have been stripped out of the final enacted measures. President Bush has regularly threatened to veto various appropriations bills if they contained provisions weakening the embargo."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33819
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/