President Obama continues economic stranglehold on Cuba
On Monday, President Obama continued the economic stranglehold on Cuba for another year claiming "...that the continuation for one year of the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba is in the national interest of the United States,...".
““Therefore, consistent with the authority vested in me by section 101(b) of Public Law 95-223, I continue for 1 year, until September 14, 2010, the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba as implemented by the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515,” he added.
Obama is the 11th consecutive US administration to maintain an economic stranglehold on Cuba hoping to force political changes on the island by creating economic difficulties for the population.
Cuba calls the embargo a blockade and has documented over US $93 billion dollars in damage caused over the last half century.
The move to maintain the status quo is characteristic of the mixed signals from the administration, despite the president’s campaign promises to engage supposed “US enemies.”
In April, President Obama lifted caps on Cuban-American travel to the island and on the money that can be sent to relatives as part of a broader campaign to warm long-chilled relations between the two nations.
But the Raúl Castro administration in Cuba has described as “cosmetic” the United States position.
“This is a cosmetic coat of paint slapped over brutal US sanctions,” said the Cuban government in a statement.
In signing the extension of the embargo, analysts say Obama was taking a “symbolic step” because the existing law, the Helms-Burton Act, requires the US Congress to take action specifically ending the embargo.
However, "Political analysts in Washington say the one-year extension was expected and has been the practice of all US presidents dating to the 1970s under a section of the so-called "Trading With the Enemy Act"." Sometimes abbreviated as TWEA, it is a United States federal law, enacted in 1917 to restrict trade with countries hostile to the United States.
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