Tags: Cuba | Cuba Lobby | Washington | U.S. policy

Cuba Lobby in Washington: Notable Efforts to Influence U.S. Policy

By    |   Friday, 13 Nov 2015 09:21 PM

In the nearly six decades since Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba, the United States has maintained a strict policy toward the Communist country. An embargo placed on Cuba shortly after has restricted trade and travel between the two countries. The U.S. also has limited to no diplomatic relations with the country.

A driving force behind the endurance of this policy was the Cuba Lobby, the name given to a group of anti-Castro influencers and decision-makers in the United States. Many are Cuban exiles or the children of people who left Cuba, and some serve in government at the federal and state levels. Others lead lobbying and advocacy groups such as the Cuban American National Foundation and the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC. During the years, the Cuba Lobby has used its influence to keep the embargo in place until Cuba improves its human rights record and meets other requirements.

Vote Now: Should the US End the Embargo Against Cuba?

In 2014, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) vowed to block President Barack Obama's efforts to establish an embassy in Cuba and appoint an ambassador, CNN reported. The son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio is one of the Castro regime's most outspoken critics and has repeatedly spoken out against lifting restrictions against Cuba without demanding it make significant changes to how it treats its people.

Prior to that, lawmakers ensured lifting the embargo wouldn't be easy. As noted on the Foreign Policy website, in 1996 Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Representative Dan Burton (R-Ind.) authored the Cuban Democratic and Solidarity Act. The act, also called the Libertad Act and the Helms-Burton Act, required congressional approval to lift the embargo.

The site also noted that, as of 2013, the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC had contributed more than $3 million in campaign funds during the preceding five national elections. Further, in 1993 the Cuba Lobby was against President Bill Clinton appointing Mario Baeza as assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs. Their reason was that Baeza had made a visit to Cuba. Clinton subsequently abandoned his endorsement of Baeza.

Tell Us: What Do You Think About the US Trade Embargo Against Cuba?

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In the nearly six decades since Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba, the United States has maintained a strict policy toward the Communist country. An embargo placed on Cuba shortly after has restricted trade and travel between the two countries.
Cuba Lobby, Washington, U.S. policy
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2015-21-13
Friday, 13 Nov 2015 09:21 PM
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