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The Economic Embargo -A Timeline

 

1960

The Eisenhower Nixon administration imposed a partial embargo excluding food and medicines.

The formation of a group of Cuban Americans to invade Cuba was a part of the plan along with a propaganda program designed to destabilize the Castro government.

1961....The Bay of Pigs Invasion

1962....The Missiles of October Crisis

1963...February 8.  The Kennedy administration prohibits travel to Cuba and makes financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. Citizens.

1964....July 26.  The Organization of American States (OAS) adopts mandatory sanctions against Cuba, requiring all members to sever diplomatic and trade relations.  Only Mexico refuses to comply.

1975....July 28. The Organization of American States (OAS) votes to end political and economic sanctions against Cuba. This opens the way for each member nation to determine for itself if wants to have diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba, which many had already begun to establish.

August 21. The U.S. announces that it will allow foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to sell products in Cuba, and that it would no longer penalize other nations for trade with Cuba.

1977....March 19. U.S. President Carter drops the ban on travel to Cuba and on U.S. citizens spending dollars in Cuba.

Wayne Smith, Director of Cuban Affairs at the Department of State under Jimmy Carter: "There were three major fields or issues that had to be addressed before there could be a substantial improvement in relations. Number one: Cuban troops had to begin to leave Africa. Number two: There had to be some improvement in Cuba's human rights performance, and specially in terms of releasing political prisoners. And number three: A reduction in Soviet-Cuban military ties." - From the book: "Cuba, Voices of Change," by Lynn Geldof.

1979....January 1. Cuban-Americans are permitted to visit their families in Cuba. More than 100,000 visit in the coming year.

June 19. In the U.S., Rep. Ted Weiss (D-NY) introduces unsuccessful legislation to end the U.S. trade blockade against Cuba and re-establish diplomatic relations.

1981....January. Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as U.S. President, and institutes the most hostile policy against Cuba since the invasion at Bay of Pigs. Despite conciliatory signals from Cuba, the new U.S. administration announces a tightening of the embargo.

1982....April 19. The Reagan Administration reestablishes the travel ban, prohibits U.S. citizens from spending money in Cuba, and allows the 1977 fishing accord to lapse.

1985....October 4. U.S. President Reagan issues a proclamation that bans travel to the U.S. by Cuban government or Communist party officials or their representatives, which also bars most students, scholars, and artists.

1990....October. In alliance with conservative Republicans, Cuban émigrés and the U.S. Congress pass the Mack Amendment, which prohibits all trade with Cuba by subsidiaries of U.S. companies located outside the U.S., and proposes sanctions or cessation of aid to any country that buys sugar or other products from Cuba.

1992....February 5. U.S. Congressman Robert Torricelli introduces the Cuban Democracy Act, and says the bill is designed to "wreak havoc on the island."

June 15. From an editorial in the NY Times: "…This misnamed act (the Cuban Democracy Act) is dubious in theory, cruel in its potential practice and ignoble in its election-year expediency… An influential faction of the Cuban American community clamors for sticking it to a wounded regime… There is, finally, something indecent about vociferous exiles living safely in Miami prescribing more pain for their poorer cousins."

October 15. U.S. Congress passes the Cuban Democracy Act, which prohibits foreign-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies from trading with Cuba, travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, and family remittances to Cuba. The law allows private groups to deliver food and medicine to Cuba. (At this time, 70% of Cuba's trade with U.S. subsidiary companies was in food and medicine. Many claim the Cuban Democracy Act is in violation of international law and United Nations resolutions that food and medicine cannot be used as weapons in international conflicts.)

October 23. President Bush signs the Cuban Democracy Act into law. Congressman Torricelli says that it will bring down Castro "within weeks."

1995....November 2. The United Nations general assembly recommends an end to the embargo (for the fourth consecutive year) by a vote of 117 to 3 (38 abstentions). Only Israel and Uzbekistan join the U.S. in saying no. Since then, each time the vote comes up at the UN, the number of nations voting against the embargo increases.

1996....March 12. President Clinton signs the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act (also known as the Helms-Burton Act) which imposes penalties on foreign companies doing business in Cuba, permits U.S. citizens to sue foreign investors who make use of American-owned property seized by the Cuban government, and denies entry into the U.S. to such foreign investors.

November 12. By a vote of 137 to 3, the United Nations General Assembly recommends, for the fifth consecutive year, that the U.S. end the embargo against Cuba.

1997....November 5. For the sixth straight year, the U.N. General Assembly passes a resolution to end the Cuban embargo. The vote is 143 to 3.

1998....October 16. The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution against the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The vote is 157 to end the embargo and 2 (U.S. & Israel) to keep it.

1999....February 18. Six members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus visit Cuba to evaluate the U.S.-imposed embargo. Among the visitors: Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Julia Carson of Indiana and others.

February 23. The coalition of Americans for Humanitarian Trade With Cuba join the United States Association of Former Members of Congress to call on the Clinton administration to end the embargo on food and medicines to Cuba. "The U.S. embargo on Cuba is the single most restrictive policy of its kind. Even Iraq is able to buy food and medicine from U.S. sources," says George Fernandez, Executive Director at AHTC. "As a Cuban American, I speak for the vast majority of us who do not think the U.S. should be in the business of denying basic sustenance to families and children in Cuba."

November 9. A resolution is passed in the United Nations General Assembly on the need to the the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The vote is 155 in favor and 2 against (U.S. and Israel). This is the 8th time in as many years that the resolution is passed.

2000....November 29. A 23-member task force in the U.S., which includes liberals and conservatives, calls for an end to the embargo to "help the island's transition to a post-Castro era and reduce the chances of U.S. military intervention.

2001....April 18. In Washington, the Cuba Policy Foundation releases a poll in which a majority of Americans are said to support the idea of doing business with Cuba and allowing travel to the island. Most agree with the decision to reunite Elián González with his father in Cuba.

November 28. For the 10th consecutive time the United Nations votes to condemn the four-decade-old trade embargo by a vote of 167 to 3, with three nations abstaining. Voting for the embargo: U.S., Israel and the Marshall Islands.

 

 

  2002

July 23. In Washington, the House votes 262 to 167 to end the travel ban and allow the sale of American goods to Cuba. 73 Republicans vote against the embargo.

July 28. From an editorial in the New York Daily News: "…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 politics."As Rep. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who led the effort to repeal the travel ban, said: "This is all about freedom. Our government shouldn't tell us where to travel and where not to travel."'

July 29. From an editorial in the Boston Herald: "The more travelers there are (to Cuba) the more the truth will spread, and that can only help the transition of Cuba out of tyranny when the tyrant dies."

August 7. In Washington, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) says the U.S. should open trade with Cuba.

August 7. From an editorial in the Boston Globe: "As for human rights, opening travel and trade to the island would improve the monitoring of human rights abuses and expose more Cubans to American values. Bush ought to put the interests of both Cubans and Americans before his domestic political needs."

Editors note:  According to Dr. Wayne S. Smith, the man some say is the top expert on Cuba in the United States, the Cubans are willing to negotiate the issue of expropriated properties with the United States.  Smith says it is the United States refusing to negotiate.  In fact, Cuba has settled with every person from every other country who has had property expropriated.

 

October 15. U.S. Congress passes the Cuban Democracy Act, which prohibits foreign-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies from trading with Cuba, travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, and family remittances to Cuba. The law allows private groups to deliver food and medicine to Cuba. (At this time, 70% of Cuba's trade with U.S. subsidiary companies was in food and medicine. Many claim the Cuban Democracy Act is in violation of international law and United Nations resolutions that food and medicine cannot be used as weapons in international conflicts.)

October 23. President Bush signs the Cuban Democracy Act into law. Congressman Torricelli says that it will bring down Castro "within weeks."

1995....November 2. The United Nations general assembly recommends an end to the embargo (for the fourth consecutive year) by a vote of 117 to 3 (38 abstentions). Only Israel and Uzbekistan join the U.S. in saying no. Since then, each time the vote comes up at the UN, the number of nations voting against the embargo increases.

1996....March 12. President Clinton signs the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act (also known as the Helms-Burton Act) which imposes penalties on foreign companies doing business in Cuba, permits U.S. citizens to sue foreign investors who make use of American-owned property seized by the Cuban government, and denies entry into the U.S. to such foreign investors.

November 12. By a vote of 137 to 3, the United Nations General Assembly recommends, for the fifth consecutive year, that the U.S. end the embargo against Cuba.

1997....November 5. For the sixth straight year, the U.N. General Assembly passes a resolution to end the Cuban embargo. The vote is 143 to 3.

1998....October 16. The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution against the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The vote is 157 to end the embargo and 2 (U.S. & Israel) to keep it.

1999....February 18. Six members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus visit Cuba to evaluate the U.S.-imposed embargo. Among the visitors: Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Julia Carson of Indiana and others.

February 23. The coalition of Americans for Humanitarian Trade With Cuba join the United States Association of Former Members of Congress to call on the Clinton administration to end the embargo on food and medicines to Cuba. "The U.S. embargo on Cuba is the single most restrictive policy of its kind. Even Iraq is able to buy food and medicine from U.S. sources," says George Fernandez, Executive Director at AHTC. "As a Cuban American, I speak for the vast majority of us who do not think the U.S. should be in the business of denying basic sustenance to families and children in Cuba."

November 9. A resolution is passed in the United Nations General Assembly on the need to the the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The vote is 155 in favor and 2 against (U.S. and Israel). This is the 8th time in as many years that the resolution is passed.

2000....November 29. A 23-member task force in the U.S., which includes liberals and conservatives, calls for an end to the embargo to "help the island's transition to a post-Castro era and reduce the chances of U.S. military intervention.

2001....April 18. In Washington, the Cuba Policy Foundation releases a poll in which a majority of Americans are said to support the idea of doing business with Cuba and allowing travel to the island. Most agree with the decision to reunite Elián González with his father in Cuba.

November 28. For the 10th consecutive time the United Nations votes to condemn the four-decade-old trade embargo by a vote of 167 to 3, with three nations abstaining. Voting for the embargo: U.S., Israel and the Marshall Islands.

2002....

July 23. In Washington, the House votes 262 to 167 to end the travel ban and allow the sale of American goods to Cuba. 73 Republicans vote against the embargo.

July 28. From an editorial in the New York Daily News: "…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 politics."As Rep. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who led the effort to repeal the travel ban, said: "This is all about freedom. Our government shouldn't tell us where to travel and where not to travel."'

July 29. From an editorial in the Boston Herald: "The more travelers there are (to Cuba) the more the truth will spread, and that can only help the transition of Cuba out of tyranny when the tyrant dies."

August 7. In Washington, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) says the U.S. should open trade with Cuba.

August 7. From an editorial in the Boston Globe: "As for human rights, opening travel and trade to the island would improve the monitoring of human rights abuses and expose more Cubans to American values. Bush ought to put the interests of both Cubans and Americans before his domestic political needs."

Editors note:  According to Dr. Wayne S. Smith, the man some say is the top expert on Cuba in the United States, the Cubans are willing to negotiate the issue of expropriated properties with the United States.  Smith says it is the United States refusing to negotiate.  In fact, Cuba has settled with every person from every other country who has had property expropriated.

 

   

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