"Congress has played an active role in shaping policy toward Cuba, including the enactment of legislation strengthening and at times easing various U.S. economic sanctions. Since the early 1960s, when the United States first imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, the centerpiece of U.S. policy has consisted of economic sanctions aimed at isolating the Cuban government. In December 2014, however, the Obama Administration initiated a major Cuba policy shift, moving away from sanctions toward a policy of engagement and a normalization of relations. The policy change included the restoration of diplomatic relations (July 2015), the rescission of Cuba's designation as a state sponsor of international terrorism (May 2015), and an increase in travel, commerce, and the flow of information to Cuba. To implement this third step, the Treasury and Commerce Departments eased the embargo regulations five times (most recently in October 2016) in such areas as travel, remittances, trade, telecommunications, and financial services. The overall embargo, however, remains in place, and can be lifted only with congressional action or if the President determines and certifies to Congress that certain conditions in Cuba are met, including that a democratically elected government is in place. The outlook for U.S. policy toward Cuba under the Trump Administration is uncertain. According to U.S. officials, the Administration is conducting a full review of U.S. policy toward Cuba, with human rights at the forefront of those discussions. Statements by President Trump before his inauguration suggest that he could reverse some of the policy changes taken by the Obama Administration to normalize relations."
CRS Report for Congress, R44822
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html