Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuba Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 20001. When the embargo reached its fiftieth anniversary, there are arguments both in favor of and against it. While some people claim that it is the only way for the U.S to bring Cuba to respect democracy and human rights, some others think that it only hinders Cuba from converting to democracy. This paper argues that lifting the embargo would promote democracy and free trade markets in Cuba.
When Batista was overthrown in Cuba in the Cuban Revolution, the new revolutionary government, under the leadership of Castro, started seizing U.S properties in the island and nationalizing them. As a response, the U.S reduced the Cuban import quota of brown sugar through the Sugar Act of 1948. However, the revolutionary government of Cuba gained support from the Soviet Union, which offered to purchase sugar from Cuba2.
The situation grew worse when Cuba supported the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Infuriated, the Kennedy government extended the embargo measures. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, travel restrictions to Cuba came into force in 1963 and as a response to the Cuban hosting of Soviet nuclear weapons, Cuban Assets Control Regulations came into force, freezing Cuban properties in the U.S. Though the restriction on the U.S citizens from visiting Cuba expired in 1977, it is still illegal for U.S citizens to spend money or receive gifts in Cuba without a U.S government issued license. That is, it is not possible for the U.S citizens to pay airfare ticket taxes at a Cuban airport. In essence, though the travel restriction was removed, it is not possible for U.S citizens to visit Cuba without breaking the monetary transaction rule. However, by the year 2009, a change came as the Obama administration eased the ban, allowing Cuban-Americans to travel freely to Cuba3.