"Cuba remains a hard-line Communist state, with a poor record on human rights. Fidel Castro has ruled since he ousted 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 to 1993. There has been some improvement since 1994 as Cuba has implemented limited reforms. Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba has consisted largely of isolating the island nation through comprehensive economic sanctions. The principal tool of policy remains comprehensive sanctions, which were tightened with the Cuban Democracy Act (CDA) in 1992 and the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act in 1996. 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."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31740
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/