Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Will Trump End 56 Years of US Embargo on Cuba?

Will Trump End 56 Years of US Embargo on Cuba?
By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, November 22, 2016
Region: Latin America & Caribbean, USA

Will Trump seek more cooperative relations with other countries,
prioritizing diplomacy over confrontation?

Promised outreach to Russia is encouraging. Days earlier, he and Chinese
President Xi Jinping spoke by phone – Xi telling him cooperation is the
only choice between both countries.

He responded saying he's willing to work with Beijing cooperatively,
believing bilateral relations can "definitely achieve greater
development." Both leaders agreed to meet soon.

Trump's intended relations with Cuba remain to be seen. Campaigning in
September, he said he'd reverse Obama's (dubious) diplomatic outreach by
executive order unless its government meets US demands – not an
encouraging sign.

For 24 consecutive years, General Assembly members voted overwhelmingly
for ending US-imposed embargo on Cuba, begun in October 1960 by the
Eisenhower administration – violating UN Charter provisions and other
international laws, affirming free trade and navigation.

Obama's 2014 pledge about "charting a new course on Cuba" concealed
continuing dirty business as usual, minor easing of restrictions too
little to matter – clear from US policies so far.Strategy and tactics
alone changed, not objectives to exploit the island state. Embargo,
limited travel and other restrictions remain unchanged. So does
longstanding hostility against Cuban sovereign independence.

Normalized relations aren't possible without ending 56 years of lawless
embargo – congressional authorization not needed, as falsely claimed.

As head of state, Trump can act on his own. Jack Kennedy formalized
embargo in 1962 by executive order, using the 1917 Trading With the
Enemy Act (TWEA) as authorization, prohibiting trade with US enemies –
defined as "any individual (or) government of any nation" at war with

Cuba isn't a US enemy as defined under TWEA. Neither country declared
war on the other. No legal authority exists for applying TWEA to
US/Cuban relations.

Trump can reverse 56 years of hostile US/Cuban relations with a stroke
of his pen – responsibly beginning a new era of political, economic,
commercial and financial normalization. It's long overdue, both nations
standing to benefit.

Obama went the other way, showing little changed after his heralded
March 2016 visit. Days earlier, the US Treasury Department fined
National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and its Dreco Energy Services (NOV Elmar)
subsidiary nearly $6 million for doing business with Cuba.

From 2007 – 2009, NOV had 45 transactions totaling about $1.7 million,
NOV Elmar two sales for around $103,000 in revenue – the combined total
minor compared to potential billions of dollars in bilateral trade
between both nations if embargo conditions were lifted.

Since 1960, sanctions cost Cuba $753.7 billion, according to a report
its government prepared – punishment for instituting social justice rule
under Fidel Castro, ousting brutal despot Fulgencio Bastista, a man
Franklin Roosevelt called "our son-of-a bitch."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached

Source: Will Trump End 56 Years of US Embargo on Cuba? | Global Research
- Centre for Research on Globalization -

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