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Cuba and the Affects of the Embargo The island nation of Cuba located just ninety miles off the coast of Florida is home to 11 million people and has one of the few remaining communist regimes in the world Cubas leader Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 and immediately instituted a communist program of sweeping economic and social changes Castro allied his government with the Soviet Union and seized and nationalized billions of dollars of American property US relations with Cuba have been strained ever since A trade embargo against Cuba that was imposed in 1960 is still in place today Despite severe economic suffering and increasing isolation from the world community Castro remains committed to communism Close Up Foundation The United States and Cuba share a long history of mutual mistrust and suspicion All aspects of US policy with Cuba such as the current trade embargo immigration practices and most recently the possibility of a free exchange by members of the media provoke heated debates across the United States While most Americans agree that the ultimate goals should be to encourage Castros resignation and promote a smooth transition to democracy experts disagree about how the US government should accomplish these aims Some believe that the countrys current policy toward Cuba is outdated in its Cold War approach and needs to be reconstructed However many still consider Fidel Castro a threat in the hemisphere and a menace to his own people and favor tightening the screws on his regime even more Close Up Foundation For almost forty years the United States has not imported any Cuban products nor allowed any American food medical supplies or capital to enter Cuba President Clinton like each of his predecessors supports the trade embargo Two recent pieces of legislation have tightened the economic restrictions on Cuba Close Up Foundation The Cuban Democracy Act passed by Congress in 1992 further isolates
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