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The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba and imposed sanctions against the Island in 1962, shortly after Cuba's former President, Fidel Castro, decided to nationalize all US businesses without compensation. The sanctions aimed to weaken Cuba's economy and accelerate the end of communism in the region. On February 19, 2008, Raul Castro peacefully assumed power after the 50 year reign of his brother. This page provides information about the US relationship with Cuba, including the US sanctions against the country


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2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004
 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000



Cuba USAID Program Gets Overhaul (May 7, 2008)

USAID's initiatives to "smuggle" communications equipment into Cuba and “influence public opinion� have run into trouble. The Government Accountability Office found that USAID gave the majority of funds for "democracy promotion" to Cuban Americans in Miami, who spent only seventeen percent of the grants on undermining the Castro regime. The rest went on "questionable purchases" like Belgian chocolates and cashmere garments. Yet Congress has tripled the budget to promote democracy in Cuba, and approaches Latin Americans NGOs for help to channel funds for anti-Castro propaganda. (Los Angeles Times)

Getting Smart About Cuba (March 7, 2008)

This article from Foreign Policy in Focus explains why the retirement of Fidel Castro broke neither Communist rule nor US opinion towards Cuba. US misperceptions of Cuba persist due to a multimillion dollar "embargo industry" which beams anti-Castro propaganda and employs thousands. In Cuba, the Castro regime has brought leaps in public services, including the largest medical school in the world. Cuba also provided a core disaster relief team when Hurricane Katrina struck - all unacknowledged. Civil liberties are poor in Cuba but propaganda attacks hamper reform. If the US expects change, it should cull the "embargo industry."


UN Spurns Cuba Embargo for 17th Year (October 31, 2007)

The US once again faces massive opposition from other UN members, as 184 countries voted in favor to end the 45-year-old US embargo against Cuba. The General Assembly has adopted 16 similar resolutions since 1992. Beside the US, only three countries voted against the resolution: Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau. Speaking on behalf of the EU, Portuguese delegate Jorge de Lemos Godinho said the US embargo is "not acceptable." (Inter Press Service)

US Cuba Policy Not Improved Under Democrats (August 24, 2007)

The US embargo against Cuba will not disappear with a change of administration in Washington. The article contrasts US policy on Cuba with its approach to "other communist governments," such as China. There, US policymakers argue trade promotes democracy. The author states that the US will continue its Cuba policy as long as the "small but active voting bloc" of Cuban-Americans in Florida supports the embargo. In past US Presidential elections, Florida has played a key role in settling the election result. (Baltimore Sun)

US Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba (May 26, 2007)

In his new book, investigative reporter James Bamford writes on the US covert plans to take potentially fatal, offensive action in the 1960's against its own military personnel, civilians, and Cuban emigrants, and to put the blame on Cuban President Fidel Castro. The documents that contained the plans "were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents," says Bamford. The Joint Chiefs of Staff along with high-ranking military officials wanted to incite outrage among US citizens and get public support for US military intervention and regime change in Cuba. (ABC News)



After 46 Years of Failure, We Must Change Course on Cuba (November 1, 2006)

In November 2006 the UN General Assembly will have its annual vote on the US embargo against Cuba. The 2005 poll registered 182 opposition votes while only four states voted in favor. This Guardian article argues that by threatening Cuban sovereignty, aggressive US policies prompt the Communist-led government to tighten its grip on Cuban civil society and increase calls for discipline. These outcomes run counter to the purported US desire for "internal liberalization." The author concludes that the international community's opposition demonstrates the widespread recognition that the US embargo works against rather than for positive change on the island.

US Steps Up Anti-Castro TV (August 17, 2006)

The Christian Science Monitor reports on "the newest front in Washington's propaganda war against Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul" With Cuban leader Fidel Castro in frail health, the US steps up efforts to "encourage" Cubans to remove their leader. Six evenings a week, a small plane leaves Florida to broadcast over Cuba" a US Spanish-language television network known as TV Marti." While US officials claim the broadcastings help support democracy, critics argue that TV Marti­ only attempts to further US interests over Cuba.

US in $80m 'Cuba Democracy' Plan (July 11, 2006)

US President George Bush has approved US $80 million to cultivate a US-friendly democracy in Cuba after Cuban President Fidel Castro dies. The funding will be used mainly to support Cuban political "opposition leaders;" once again intervening in Latin American political affairs. (BBC)

Resist This US Backlash (June 6, 2006)

Frustrated by the Bolivian, Venezuelan, and Cuban alliance against US influence in Latin America, the US government petitioned European leverage in the region. The EU will consider a unified official stance on Cuba, possibly involving a diplomatic freeze or even sanctions. This Guardian article points out the inconsistencies in how Western countries deal with human rights abuse, arguing that the EU should resist US pressure to isolate Cuba.



US Changes Position on Cuba's Weapons (September 8, 2005)

The Bush administration backed away from its former claim that Cuba has "an active biological warfare program." In 2002, the US Undersecretary of State at the time, John Bolton, stated that "Cuba had biological weapons capabilities and was sharing them with rogue nations." A State Department document released in August 2005, however, made public that "it was unclear whether Cuba has an active biological weapons effort now, or even had one in the past." This document is important in showing the "split view" between the "intelligence community" and the "policy community," and how "policymakers interpret the information in whatever way suits them at a particular moment." (Christian Science Monitor)

How Should US Prepare for a Post-Castro Cuba? (November 23, 2005)

The Bush administration has developed a 400-page plan for dealing with Cuba after the death of Fidel Castro. The detailed plan includes issues ranging from managing the environment to drafting a new constitution for hastening "Cuba's transition toward democracy." Many Cuba experts find this "blueprint of US action" alarming because the plan calls for direct action to bring "democracy" to the country. (Christian Science Monitor)

UN Resolution Calls on US to Repeal Embargo on Cuba (November 9, 2005)

The UN General Assembly approved a resolution calling on the US to end its 44 year-old economic embargo against Cuba. Although the majority of the General Assembly has approved the resolution for 14 consecutive years, US President George Bush actually increased restrictions on the island in 2005. The embargo, aimed at deteriorating Cuba's economy, has cost the island $80 billion since 1962 says this Xinhuanet article.



Cuba Seeking Support to End US Embargo (September 24, 2004)

Cuba seeks new support from the UN and the US public to end the four-decade US embargo. Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque stated that Cuba would push for a UN General Assembly vote against US sanctions in October. The General Assembly has passed a resolution every year for the past thirteen years denouncing the embargo. (Associated Press)



Record UN Vote Against US Embargo on Cuba (November 4, 2003)

Addressing the General Assembly, US Ambassador Sichan Siv spoke of Cuba's "evil Communist dictatorial regime" to justify continued US sanctions against the country. Despite Siv's fiery Cold War-era rhetoric, 179 delegations voted to end the unilateral sanctions. (Associated Press)

Cuba in the Cross-Hairs (October 24, 2003)

TomDispatch provides an excerpt from Noam Chomsky's book "Hegemony or Survival, America's Quest for Global Dominance." The excerpt deals with US intervention in Cuba, focusing on the latter half of the 20th century. Chomsky discusses the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban missile crisis, the US imposed economic embargo and numerous attacks on Cuban targets including "fishing boats, embassies, and hotels." Chomsky concludes that US motivation to oust Cuban leader Fidel Castro resulted from his open defiance of "US hegemony" in Latin America.

Poverty Pushes Cuban Women into Sex Tourism (March 26, 2003)

Since the fall of the Soviet Union halted the flow of aid and investment to Cuba, the relentless US embargo has had an even more devastating effect on Cuba's economy. Many men choose to find work abroad, leaving women with few options to support their families aside from the booming sex tourism industry. (Digital Freedom Network)

Senators Form Group to Fight Cuba Embargo (March 21, 2003)

The Cuban embargo costs US businesses and farmers nearly $1 billion per year in lost exports, says a group of US Senators. However, the Bush administration has also said it will veto any bill or amendment that seeks to roll back sanctions. (Reuters)

Why the Cuban Embargo Should Be Lifted (March 12, 2003)

The US policy toward Cuba is "counterproductive, nonsensical, and immoral," says Tufts Daily. As the poor country does not represent any threat, this article discusses the rationale of continuing harsh sanctions that simply hurt innocent people.

US Opponents of Cuba Embargo Optimistic on Chances (February 26, 2003)

Opponents in the US Congress and Senate feel that the pro-embargo camp is getting weaker and they stand a good chance of getting sanctions eased during 2003. However, the embargo counts on a "true ally" in President George Bush, who promised not to loosen sanctions against Castro. (Dailytimes)



UN General Assembly Calls for End to US Economic Embargo Against Cuba (November 13, 2002)

For the eleventh time, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling for an end to the US embargo against Cuba, in place since 1992. Only Israel and Marshall Islands support the US. (Palestine Chronicle)

Cuba Condemns Bush over Embargo (May 21, 2002)

In a "new initiative", President Bush makes lifting the embargo on Cuba conditional on free and fair elections in 2003. The President's speech also aims to organize support from Florida's Cuban electorate for the upcoming congressional elections and, especially, the elections for governor. (BBC)

US Farmers Lose More Than $1 Billion from Sanctions Against Cuba, Study Says (January 28, 2002)

A study commissioned by the Washington-based Cuba Policy Foundation estimates that US farmers loose more than $1 billion annually because of sanctions against the Caribbean nation. (Associated Press)



 UN Again Chastises US on Cuba Trade (November 28, 2001)

For the 10th year in a row, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for an end to US sanctions against Cuba. (New York Times)

Czech Ministry Unlikely to Submit Another Cuba Resolution (April 3, 2001)

A Czech draft resolution condemning human rights violations in Cuba is to be submitted for the third year in a row to the UN Human Rights Commission. The difference this year is that it would also criticize the uni-lateral US sanctions on Cuba. But, this would also be the last of the Czech resolutions on Cuba. (BBC)


UN Passes Cuba Resolution Calling for an End to US Embargo - Again (November 9, 2000)

The resolution passed with 167 votes in favor - the widest margin in the nine years that Cuba has brought the initiative to the United Nations. Only the United States, Israel and the Marshall Islands voted against it. Four countries abstained. (Associated Press)

Bill Clinton on Cuba (November 8, 2000)

Clinton says he has no more flexibility on policy regarding Cuba. After all, the Helms/Burton act wouldn't have happened if Castro hadn't shot those planes down out of the air... (Democracy Now - Pacifica Radio)

An Evil Embargo (November 6, 2000)

MPs from the House of Commons in Britain have urged in a letter that the British government condemn US sanctions against Cuba in the General Assembly vote. (Daily Telegraph)

End Cuban Embargo: Call From ICC (October 19, 2000)

The Vice-President of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is calling for the lifting of the US trade embargo. But rather for the moral reason of the sanctions being "counterproductive...hurting the civilian population of Cuba", the interests of the US business moguls are more likely the voice behind the call. (ICC Press Release)

How Elian Helped Poke a Hole in Cuba Embargo (June 29, 2000)

Has the stubborness of the US administration finally begun to crumble? Has 'the Hill' finally been beat in its own political game by Castro? Changing attitudes of the US towards trade with China, and sanctions against North Korea, Iran and now Cuba could possibly indicate a sea-change on sanctions. (Time)

US Deal to End Cuba Sanctions (June 28, 2000)

The ice is beginning to thaw as the US agreed to allow US food and medicine to be exported to Cuba. However, Cuban politicians remain skeptical about how this move will contribute to the struggling economy. (BBC)

US Sanctions May Be Robbing Cuban Women of Rights, UN Expert Says (March 24, 2000)

A look at the detrimental effect on Cuba's women, who currently enjoy more access to positions of responsibility than in most other developing countries. (Associated Press)

Witness to a Crime (January 3, 2000)

An article from In These Times about the US sanctions on Cuba.





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