subsidiaries of United States companies from trading with Cuba, travel to Cuba by United States citizens, and prohibited families from sending money to Cuba. The law allowed private groups to deliver food and medicine to Cuba. The Cuban Democracy Act was signed into law by President Bush on October 23. 24
6 The United Nations recommended an end to the embargo for the fourth consecutive year by a vote 117 to 3. Uzbekistan, Israel, and the United States said no to ending the embargo, and thirty eight countries abstained. Each time the vote came up at the United Nations in future years, the number of votes against the embargo increased. 25 On March 12, 1996, President Clinton signed the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, also known as the Helms-Burton Act. This penalized foreign companies that conducted business in Cuba by preventing them from doing business in the United States. The European Union did not agree with the provisions of the Helms-Burton Act, and they felt that the United States was attempting to dictate how other countries should conduct their trade. 26 In 1996, Cuba shot down two unarmed Brothers to the Rescue planes and killed three Americans. In response, Congress approved the Helms-Burton Act. 27 Title III of the law states that any non-United States company that “knowingly traffics in property in Cuba confiscated without compensation from a U.S. person” can be subjected to litigation and can be banned from the United States. The restrictions also applied to shipping, and ships docking at Cuban ports were not allowed to dock at United States ports for six months. Title III of the law also included a waiver authority so that the President could suspend its application. 28 On September 12, 1998, the Clinton administration charged five Cuban counterintelligence officers in the United States with conspiracy to commit espionage. These five individuals were sent by Castro to infiltrate Cuban-American exile groups based in Miami. After their 1998 arrest, they were found guilty in 2001. 29
7 In response to pressure from American farmers, the embargo was relaxed by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act in 2000. This was signed by President Clinton and allowed agricultural goods and medicine to be sold in Cuba for humanitarian reasons. Cuba initially declined to accept goods from the United States, but following Hurricane Michelle in November 2001, they began allowing food from the United States. 30 On November 28, 2001, the United Nations voted to end the embargo for the tenth consecutive time—this time by a vote of 167 to 3 with three nations abstaining. Only the United States, Israel, and the Marshall Islands voted in favor of the embargo. 31 In 2002, the House of Representatives voted to end the travel ban to Cuba and to allow the sale of American goods in Cuba with a 262 to 167 vote. The New York Daily News stated, “Slowly but surely, the tide is turning in favor of lifting travel and trade sanctions against Cuba. More and more Republicans are not willing to let the larger interests of the U.S. and their own constituents be sacrificed to the gods of electoral
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- Fall '13
- Fidel Castro, President of the United States, United States embargo against Cuba, Cuba – United States relations