U.S. Policy Towards Cuba
When discussing the economic effect of U.S. Immigration policy on Cuba, it is necessary to look into the United States policy towards Cuba. Since the 1960's the United States has continued its policy of isolating Cuba both politically and economically. The objective of this isolation is to ensure that the basic human rights of the Cuban citizens are respected and that some democratic reforms are enacted. The United States took a number of measures too ensure their intentions.
In October 1992, the Cuban Democracy Act was enacted. The principle tool of the United States policy was the trade embargo, which was made stronger by the Cuban Democracy Act. The CDA prohibits U.S. subsidiaries from engaging in trade with Cuba. This act prohibits entry of any vessel into the United States to load or unload if it has engaged in trade with Cuba within the last 180 days.
The Cuban Democracy Act also included support for the Cuban people. Because of the CDA the phone service between Cuba and the United States was improved. According to the administration of the CDA, the two-track policy of isolating Cuba, but reaching out to its people meets both the U.S. strategic and human rights interests. In 1995 the president made the CDA stronger. He announced a measure to limit the ability of the Cuban government to accumulate foreign exchange. Previously, U.S. citizens could provide up to $300 quarterly to their Cuban relatives. It is estimated that this amounted to as much as $400 to $500 million annually for the Cuban economy. A second measure dealt with travel between Havana and Miami. Travel now had to be consistent with the CDA and could only accommodate legal migrants.
On February 24, 1996, Cuban fighter jets shot down American planes in the Florida straits. The planes were flown by the Cuban American group, Brothers to the Rescue. The group was known primarily for its humanitarian missions of spotting Cuban refugees trying to escape Cuba by raft. The four crewmen were killed. Cuban spokesman claimed that the plains were shot down within Cuban airspace, and the pilots were repeatedly warned. The United States was told that the...