The current foreign policy towards Cuba is almost non-existent. We have a diplomatic mission in Cuba, but very limited contact with the Cuban government. This began in 1961, when the US instituted a two way approach towards Cuba: 1. Economic Embargo and 2. Diplomatic Isolation.
Overall, it is the Cuban people who have suffered, not the Cuban or US Government’s. The Bush II Administration was virulent in its enforcement of trade and travel restrictions. Under the Obama Administration things have not gotten much better.
Any type of diplomatic reconciliation is going to take years, perhaps decades to implement. And it might not start until after the death of both Castro brothers.
The United States has maintained its economic and commercial embargo against Cuba since its initial implementation in October of 1960, making it one of the longest continual embargoes in history.
The 1994-1995 Cuba-U.S. Mitigation Accord signified an attempt at the two governments to agree upon a solution to the issue of Cuban exiles entering the U.S. The American government agreed to allow a minimum of 20,000 Cuban migrants into the country per year.
In 2000, President Clinton authorized the export of “humanitarian” exports to Cuba.
Up until President Obama assumed office, the U.S. maintained a travel embargo against Cuba; American citizens could not legally travel to the country. However, in 2009, the Obama administration announced its decision to relax the restrictions on traveling to Cuba. One can now travel to the country if their trip falls into one of 12 categories sanctioned by the government as a “purposeful reason” to conduct the trip. The Obama administration has also eased up on previous restrictions of remittances being sent from the U.S. to Cuba.
Though the U.S. prohibits imports from Cuba, America exports products to Cuba. The U.S. is the fifth-largest provider of Cuba’s imports.
Since his ascension to the Cuban presidency in 2008 and his subsequent ascension to the leadership of the Communist Party in 2011, it has been speculated that Raul Castro’s implementation of certain pro-capitalist policies has indicated the Cuban government’s willfulness to shift the economy to a more predominantly market-based model. If he continues to reverse policies enacted during his brother’s leadership of the country, a brighter future for U.S.-Cuba relations may be closer than ever.
The United States doesn’t really deal with the Cuban government directly. Ever since the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis during the 1960’s, a trade embargo was enacted in Cuba and has restricted virtually all trade and travel to the country directly from the US. If one wants to travel to Cuba, they must first travel to a way point that is not in United States territory, and then travel to Cuba. Since the embargo, much of the countries infrastructure and vehicles have not changed since the 1960’s, making the country one big time capsule; one will not really find any modern vehicles or technology that would be common in the rest of the world. During the 1980’s, there was a huge surge of political refugees from Cuba to America who wished to escape the Communists.
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