Cuba Document Archive | Executive Discretion


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Restoring Executive Authority over U.S. Policy toward Cuba

(Cuba Study Group, February 2013)

The current U.S. policy toward Cuba has not only failed to achieve its goals of restoring democracy to Cuba, but has become counter-productive. The Cuba Study Group thus advocates for the Helms-Burton Act and related provisions to be repealed, allowing the executive branch the power to respond to developments on the Island flexibly and strategically. 

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Presidential Authority to Modify Economic Sanctions Against Cuba: A Legal Analysis

By Stephen F. Propst (Brookings Institution February 2011)

While the termination of economic sanctions against Cuba is predicated on the implementation of a Cuban transition government, the President does have power to ease specific provisions of those sanctions without Congressional approval. Propst reviews statutory regulations and the precedents set by successive U.S. presidents starting with President Clinton in 1996 in easing specific provisions.

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U.S. Embargo on Cuba: Recent Regulatory Changes and Potential Presidential or Congressional Actions

(GAO Report 09-951R, September 2009)

In September 2009, President Obama eased several restrictions of the embargo including travel for family members, limitations on remittances, and U.S. provision of telecommunication services. This report describes the changes that were made, options available to the President to further modify the embargo, actions that the President can or must take in the event of certain changes in the Cuban government, and possible congressional actions to end the embargo.

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Office of Foreign Assets Control Regulations Regarding Cuba

This website offers an online version of rules and regulations about who can and cannot travel to Cuba. It also details restrictions regarding what can and cannot be brought to and from Cuba and how remittances are managed.  

OFAC Cuba regulations website