CubaBrief: Why JFK placed an Embargo on Cuba. Cuba food crisis caused by communist policies. José Martí warned communism would lead to generalized serfdom

Two articles have been published in 14ymedio recently on the topic of U.S. sanctions on Cuba that dispel the Castro regime’s criticism of the American policy: “The True History of the United States Trade Embargo on Cuba” by former Cuban political prisoner Luis Zúñiga and “Is There Really a U.S. Embargo?” by Cuban economist Elías Amor Bravo. Both are required reading.

Havana claims that the U.S. economic embargo has been hurting Cuba for six decades, but that was not what the regime, and their maximum leader, said during the first 30 years of the Cuban dictatorship. Here are some of the statements made by Fidel Castro between the 1964 through 2000 related to the economic embargo.

“We are going to have, within ten years, a milk production higher than the Netherlands and a cheese production higher than France. That is the great goal that we propose to achieve. By that date we think that the amount of 30 million liters of milk will be exceeded. So there will be to export … you can imagine.” said Fidel Castro, in an interview with Eddy Martin from the official Hoy newspaper on March 2, 1964.

“The great battle of the eggs has been won. From now on the people will be able to have sixty million eggs each month,” said Fidel Castro in a speech on January 2, 1965.

“In 1970 the Island will have 5,000 experts in the cattle industry and around 8 million cows and calves that will be good milk producers” ….  “There will be so much milk that the Bay of Havana will be able to be filled with milk,” said Fidel Castro in his December 1966 speech during the Assembly of the Federation of Cuban Women, a mass organization of the dictatorship.

Fidel Castro, speaking at the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in December 1975 bragged about the unimportance of economic sanctions saying,“at first (the United States) their cancellations were quite annoying … but when luckily, we did not depend on them for anything, neither in trade, nor in supplies, nor in anything. If we are already victorious now, after victory, what can they threaten us with? With canceling what … what? ”

“The United States has less and less to offer Cuba. If we could export our products to the United States, we would have to start making plans for new production lines … because everything that we produce now and everything that we are going to produce in the next five years has already been sold to other markets. We should deprive other socialist countries of these products in order to sell them to the United States. But the socialist countries pay us much better prices and have much better relations with us than we have with the United States. There is a popular saying that goes: ‘Don’t trade a cow for a goat.'” said Fidel Castro in his interview with Playboy published in April 1985

“Cuba will not buy an aspirin or a grain of rice. They have put a lot of restrictions (on the permission to sell food and medicine) that make it humiliating for the country, but also make it impossible in practice,” said Fidel Castro, in front of the United States Interests Office, in Havana, Cuba on October 18, 2000.

The Castro regime would go on to purchase billions in American agricultural products between 2000 and the present, but to do so they defaulted on what they owed to others. The peak year of trade between Cuba and the United States was in 2008, the last full year of the George W. Bush Administration. Press accounts of the U.S. Embargo on Cuba do not mention how it saved American taxpayers from billions in bad debt by the Cuban government. Nor do they discuss the circumstances that drove the United States to impose an embargo on the Castro regime.

How the U.S. Embargo on Cuba came to be imposed

U.S. policy towards Cuba has not been static over the past six decades but has been changing and driven by various interests, including U.S. national interests. There is a lot of disinformation about how the U.S. Embargo was first imposed on Cuba, and how and why the U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Havana. Here is a brief breakdown of what happened between January 1, 1959 and February 3, 1962.

Fidel Castro overthrew the Fulgencio Batista regime on January 1, 1959 following a U.S. arms embargo being imposed on the military dictator in the spring of 1958. The United States had actively pressured Batista to leave office since 1958. On January 7, 1959 the United States recognized the new Cuban government ushered in by the Castro brothers. It took just seven days to recognize the new regime. In comparison it had taken the United States 17 days to recognize the government of Fulgencio Batista following his March 10, 1952 coup.

Richard Nixon met with Fidel Castro in April 1959 and sought a detente with Havana in 1974.

In April 1959 Fidel Castro visited the United States on an eleven day trip that concluded with a three hour meeting with Vice President Richard Nixon on April 19, 1959.

Within three months of U.S. recognition of the revolutionary government in Cuba the new regime began targeting American interests on the island and allying itself with the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and plotting the overthrow of several Latin American governments.

  • On March 3, 1959 the Castro regime expropriates properties belonging to the International Telephone and Telegraph Company, and took over its affiliate, the Cuban Telephone Company.

  • On May 17, 1959 the government expropriated farm lands over 1,000 acres and banned land ownership by foreigners.

  • Havana beginning in 1959 sent armed expeditions to Panama, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic to overthrow their governments.

  • On February 6, 1960 talks began publicly between the U.S.S.R and Fidel Castro. The Soviet Union agreed to buy five million tons of sugar over five years. They also agreed to support Cuba with oil, grain, and credit.

  • On July 6, 1960 the Castro regime passed a nationalization law authorizing nationalization of U.S.- owned property through expropriation. Texaco, Esso, and Shell oil refineries were taken.

  • In September 1960 the Cuban government diplomatically recognized the People’s Republic of China.

  • On November 19, 1960 Ernesto “Che” Guevara heading a Cuban delegation in Beijing met with Mao Zedong between 4:20pm and 6:30pm and discussed revolutionary objectives in Latin America.

The Eisenhower State Department in response to the above actions imposed the first trade embargo on Cuba on October 19, 1960, and it “covered all U.S. exports to Cuba except for medicine and some foods.”

Tens of thousands of Cubans were lined up outside of the U.S. embassy in Havana seeking visas to flee the communist dictatorship, and this became a source of embarrassment for the communist regime. Fidel Castro communicated with the Eisenhower Administration on January 3, 1961 and demanded the expulsion of 67 U.S. diplomats, within 48 hours, reducing their number to 11, the same number at the Cuban embassy in Washington DC. The Americans had over 50,000 visa applications to process when the ultimatum was delivered.

On January 3, 1961 at 8:30 p.m. EST President Eisenhower issued a statement stating: “There is a limit to what the United States in self respect can endure. That limit has now been reached,” and severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.

President Kennedy takes office on January 20, 1961.

On April 15, 1961 Brigade 2506 members invaded Cuba seeking to end the communist dictatorship then being consolidated by Fidel Castro. Outnumbered and outgunned they fought between April 17-19, 1961 and one hundred and four Brigade 2506 members died fighting to liberate Cuba, and eight were executed by firing squad.

On February 3, 1962 President John F. Kennedy declared in Proclamation 3447 an “Embargo on All Trade with Cuba” in which it was “resolved that the present Government of Cuba is incompatible with the principles and objectives of the Inter-American system; and, in light of the subversive offensive of Sino-Soviet Communism with which the Government of Cuba is publicly aligned, urged the member states to take those steps that they may consider appropriate for their individual and collective self-defense.”

President John F. Kennedy signs Proclamation 3447 an “Embargo on All Trade with Cuba”

The Castro regime also has a six decades long track record of sponsoring and engaging in terrorism and guerilla warfare in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. It is an outlaw regime.

On October 22, 1962 President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on Cuba in response to the discovery of offensive Soviet nuclear missiles placed on the island by Nikita Khrushchev. This blockade ended less than a month later, on November 22, 1962. However, Fidel Castro did all he could to provoke a violent outcome during the crisis, unnerving the Russians. ( The only blockade applied by the United States on Cuba was this one, and it lasted less than a month.)

Kennedy and Khrushchev reached a peaceful outcome, but the Castro regime continued to protest and was unhappy with their Soviet allies. Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s essay “Tactics and strategy of the Latin American Revolution (October – November 1962)” was posthumously published by the official publication Verde Olivo on October 9, 1968, and even at this date was not only Guevara’s view but the official view: 

“Here is the electrifying example of a people prepared to suffer nuclear immolation so that its ashes may serve as a foundation for new societies. When an agreement was reached by which the atomic missiles were removed, without asking our people, we were not relieved or thankful for the truce; instead we denounced the move with our own voice.”

In the same essay, the dead Argentine declared: “We do assert, however, that we must follow the road of liberation even though it may cost millions of nuclear war victims.”

Cuba’s food crisis and communist agricultural policies

Tons of tomatoes rot in Cuba due to communist central planning.

According to the Cuban Studies Institute between 1952-1958 there was “a successful nationalistic trend aimed to reach agricultural self-sufficiency to supply the people’s market demand for food.” Despite the efforts to violently overthrow the Batista regime in the 1950s, “the Cuban food supply grew steadily to provide a highly productive system that, in daily calories consumption, ranked Cuba third in Latin America.”

This ended when the Castro regime seized and collectivized properties, and prohibited farmers selling their crops to non-state entities, in the early years of the revolution. Farmers no longer decided how much to produce, or what price to sell. The Cuban government established production quotas and farmers were (and are) obligated to sell to the state collection agency, called Acopio. The most recent law on agriculture in Cuba ( Decreto Ley 358 de 2018) continues to prohibit private sales of agricultural products to non-state entities. The dictatorship began rationing food in 1962 as a method of control and continued the practice over the next six decades. Rationed food is not free, but sold at subsidized prices. Rationed items are not enough to feed a person.

Meanwhile, Cubans are eating chicken and fresh fruit exported from the United States to Cuba.

Carlos Eire, a professor at Yale University, Cuban born and a Pedro Pan, put it more succinctly in Babalu Blog on February 7, 2022:

Every leftist on earth — especially those who run the news media — loves to constantly blame the U.S. “embargo” for all of Cuba’s shortages. Today, for instance, the world’s major news outlets are full of stories about the suffering caused to Cubans by the “embargo”. But the real culprit for Cuba’s descent into a sub-third-world destitute country is none other than Castro, Inc.’s centralized communist economy, run by the state monopoly ACOPIO, which has never been able to produce enough food to feed the Cuban people.

Samuel Farber, an American academic, writer and socialist born in Marianao, Havana, Cuba, who as a high school student was part of the student movement against Batista has spent a life time writing about the island. This is what he wrote about the Acopio on July 27, 2021 in the publication In These Times, a progressive magazine founded by a lifelong socialist.

Acopio, the state agency in charge of collecting the substantial proportion of the crop that farmers have to sell to the state at prices fixed by the government is notoriously inefficient and wasteful, because the Acopio trucks do not arrive in time to collect their share, or because of the systemic indifference and carelessness that pervade the processes of shipping and storage. This creates huge spoilage and waste that have reduced the quality and quantity of goods available to consumers.

Diario de Cuba in their February 7, 2022 article, “Cubans go hungry and Acopio leaves 22 tons of tomatoes to rot, farmers denounce,” cites Cuban agronomist Fernando Funes-Monzote who has stated on numerous occasions that “Cuban agriculture does not need to produce more food,” because “50% of what is grown today is lost before reaching the consumer.”

Internal Embargo

The above practice is part of what Elías Amor Bravo defines as a “severe internal embargo” in his February 3, 2022 article in 14ymedio, and describes it as follows.

“It is the embargo practiced by the communist regime against Cubans, preventing them from having a modern and efficient economic system in which the right to property can be exercised, free elections, the accumulation of assets and wealth, the market as an instrument of resource allocation and free enterprise. This embargo is the one that keeps the Cuban economy impoverished and without a future.”

This blog has described it as an internal blockade and examined various aspects of it, and the Cuban dictatorship continues to tighten it.

Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on February 6, 2022 that “Cuba on [ February 5, 2022] announced a new 10 per cent tax on retail food sales, as the country endures economic woes marked by rampant inflation. The levy taking effect Monday [ February 7, 2022] will target self-employed people and small- and medium-sized companies in the retail food sector, said the decree published in the official government gazette. These sales were only allowed starting in August of last year as part of reforms in the communist-run island. Cuban economist Pedro Monreal wrote on Twitter that the new tax will probably have two effects: higher food prices and more inequality among the Cuban people.”

The regime tries to counter this bad news with exaggerated healthcare claims, but reality often intrudes.

Despite claims made in the press about Cuba’s high vaccination rates, “the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on [February 7, 2022] advised against travel to six countries including Japan, Cuba, Libya, Armenia, Oman and the Democratic Republic of Congo over COVID-19 cases.” This also means that Cuba’s tourism industry will not be rebounding as hoped, due to realities on the ground.

How does the Cuban government suppress dissent over such disastrous policies?

Frida Ghitis in her February 7, 2022 column “Cuba chooses mass trials and repression over the needs of its citizens” compares the Castro regime with the hermit kingdom of North Korea. She also found that although “Cuba is not the only place where a regime that calls itself communist remains in power using repression to maintain its grip (see China). But it is almost alone in failing to deliver any meaningful measures of economic freedom and prosperity to its people.”

The problem in Cuba is communism, not the US embargo

José Martí warned in 1884 how communism would turn workers into slaves of govt bureaucrats.

Writing in 14ymedio, on January 30, 2022 Cuban writer Ariel Hidalgo, cites the book The Future Slavery by Herbert Spencer and the article by José Martí, with the same title, in which the Cuban independence leader reviewed the book.

“In his 1884 article, written several decades before these regimes began to be established, Martí warns about an economic-social system where officials would acquire disproportionate power over workers: “All the power that the caste of civil servants, bound by the need to maintain themselves in a privileged and lucrative occupation, would be gradually lost to the people.” In that system, he says, the worker “would then have to work to the extent, for the duration, and performing tasks that the State wishes to assign to him.” This path led to a new form of social injustice, a new mode of exploitation of human beings by other humans. “From being a servant to himself, man would become a servant of the State. From being a slave to the capitalists, as it is now called, he would become a slave to bureaucrats.” And he concluded: “Autocratic functionaries will abuse the tired and hard-working masses. Serfdom will be unfortunate and generalized.”

What José Martí warned against in 1884, is what Cuba under the Castro brothers has been turned into today.


The Washington Post, February 7, 2022

Opinion: Cuba chooses mass trials and repression over the needs of its citizens

People in Havana show photos of relatives imprisoned for participating in anti-government protests last year. (Ramon Espinosa/AP)
By
Frida Ghitis

Contributing columnist

Last summer, amid worsening economic conditions, Cubans took to the streets in what became the biggest antiregime demonstrations in decades. Spontaneous marches spread around the country on July 11 and 12, joined by young people who happened to see them or learned about them on social media. Before the authorities could react, the fury of the people had spread as fast as the frustration of living under long-standing food and medicine shortages, made worse by the pandemic.

But since then, the regime has unleashed its repressive apparatus — and now a new generation of protesters is facing mass trials and lengthy prison terms.

More than 60 years after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, the regime is reverting to the most primitive forms of control as it struggles again — still — to find a way to keep the economy afloat and the Communist Party in power. The party and its leaders reflexively blame the island’s struggles on the U.S. embargo, which unquestionably makes the situation worse, but is far from the main reason for the crisis. For Cubans, it has never been more apparent that the communist experiment has failed yet again, and they are tired of living with the consequences of that failure.

With the exception of the hermit kingdom of North Korea, many nominally communist countries, such as Vietnam, have come to the conclusion that market forces, human drive and initiative must be unleashed to improve living standards.

Cuba is not the only place where a regime that calls itself communist remains in power using repression to maintain its grip (see China). But it is almost alone in failing to deliver any meaningful measures of economic freedom and prosperity to its people.

The combination of escalating repression and plummeting living conditions brought to mind a conversation I had many years ago with a Cuban government official. Speaking privately at a time when Russia’s post-Soviet economy was unraveling, he told me that Cuba would likely emulate China, maintaining full political control while loosening the economic reins to improve lives and ease pressure for change.

So, what happened?

Cubans embraced Castro’s revolution in part because a corrupt regime had kept the vast majority living in poverty for the benefit of a small elite. But today, the revolution can’t claim victory — instead, the regime must rely on repression because plummeting living standards threaten its hold on power.

When the Obama administration decided to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, there was a lot of hope that the regime would embrace much-needed reforms. But it’s clear the regime has no interest in evolving. The current crackdown has kept President Biden from reengaging with the Cuban government, which he had promised to do.

The calls for the resignation of President Miguel Díaz-Canel and the chants of “¡libertad!” that echoed in the streets of Havana and other cities in July have since been drowned. The protests may have caught the authorities by surprise at first, but now the regime seems fully in control.

More than 700 people have been charged. More than 50 of whom are between the ages of 16 and 18, according to human rights groups. These are not the old dissidents or pro-democracy activists. These are everyday Cubans from all walks of life who had never even participated in a protest.

Eloy Barbaro Cardoso’s mother says the 18-year-old was leaving his grandmother’s house when he ran into a crowd of protesters. It was his first demonstration. Now he’s been charged with sedition and faces years in prison. Maykel Rodríguez was out buying food when he saw and joined a crowd in the city of Holguín. The father of three now faces up to 28 years in prison.

This doubling down of repression is not what many Cubans expected when Díaz-Canel became president in 2018, replacing Raúl Castro. Many hoped he would begin a more determined march toward liberalization. But the economy remains tightly under regime control.

But even as it deploys more repression, the regime cannot completely ignore the public discontent. A new law relaxes rules to open a small business, but it remains a bureaucratic maze leading to a deeply restrictive market space. And the Communist Party-controlled National Assembly has also passed laws that in theory improve the rights of citizens.

It won’t be enough. The regime must face the reality that must Cubans painfully endure day in and day out: The current system does not work. Throwing people in jail for saying so is a shameful move in the wrong direction.

Frida Ghitis is a former CNN producer and correspondent who writes about world affairs for the Washington Post, CNN.com and World Politics Review.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/07/cuba-chooses-mass-trials-repression-over-needs-its-citizens/


Babalu Blog, February 7, 2022

Tons of food spoils in Cuba due to inefficiency of government control of farms

February 7, 2022 by Carlos Eire

cuban embargo

By their fruits you shall know them

From our Joys of Socialism and Communism Bureau

Every leftist on earth — especially those who run the news media — loves to constantly blame the U.S. “embargo” for all of Cuba’s shortages. Today, for instance, the world’s major news outlets are full of stories about the suffering caused to Cubans by the “embargo”.

But the real culprit for Cuba’s descent into a sub-third-world destitute country is none other than Castro, Inc.’s centralized communist economy, run by the state monopoly ACOPIO, which has never been able to produce enough food to feed the Cuban people.

Abridged and loosely translated from Periodico Cubano

More than 22 tons of tomatoes have rotted for a farmer in Artemisa, due to delays in collection by the State, which, while demanding producers, fails to comply with contracts and allows large amounts of food to spoil.

The usufructuary Humberto Martínez Lara told the local newspaper El Artemiseño that he suffers the same situation every year. “Acopio has not given me a single box since the start of the harvest on December 25. Today it is too ripe and I can only send it to the industry, but then it costs half of what goes to consumption”.

After losing part of his seedbed due to the September rains, he planted again and achieved high yields. By his own means, he managed to carry out production “without fertilizers, herbicides or other products, protected by biological means such as beauveria (foliar application that works as a biological insecticide or biopesticide) and efficient microorganisms.”

Humberto Martínez is one of the largest producers of the vegetable in Artemisa thanks, among other reasons, to its tradition of guaranteeing seedbeds. In addition, he has onions, eggplants and various crops on 13.4 hectares on his land.

His tomato is mainly destined for the State Agricultural Market of that province for the production of sauce and Vita nova, which are then sold at 40 CUP per liter and are widely accepted by the population.

However, despite the demand for these products, tomatoes are also spoiling due to organizational and investment problems, as happened in the VillaRoja UEB. “The boiler had blockages and leaks, which had to be fixed before the start of the campaign.” However, it did not happen and they have received over 200 boxes to process. What will happen to them?

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

https://babalublog.com/2022/02/07/tons-and-tons-of-food-spoil-in-cuba-due-to-inefficiency-of-government-control-of-farms/



AFP, February 6, 2022

Cuba slaps new tax on food sales as economic woes hit hard

AFP

Havana, Cuba Published: Feb 06, 2022

A man with a banana cart in Havana, Cuba on January 26, 2022. Photograph: ( AFP )

Cuba on Saturday announced a new 10 per cent tax on retail food sales, as the country endures economic woes marked by rampant inflation.

The levy taking effect Monday will target self-employed people and small- and medium-sized companies in the retail food sector, said the decree published in the official government gazette. These sales were only allowed starting in August of last year as part of reforms in the communist-run island.

Cuban economist Pedro Monreal wrote on Twitter that the new tax will probably have two effects: higher food prices and more inequality among the Cuban people.

Monreal said it will hurt “lower-income households that spend a relatively higher percentage of their resources on food.”

Monetary reforms applied last year caused prices of goods and services to shoot up in Cuba, mainly those of food. Inflation last year came in at 70 per cent.

People have to wait in long lines for scarce supplies of food and medicine.

Cuba imports 80 per cent of the food it consumes. Its purchases have declined drastically due to a shortage of hard currency and because of international transport problems stemming from the Covid pandemic.

https://www.wionews.com/world/cuba-slaps-new-tax-on-food-sales-as-economic-woes-hit-hard-450938


Reuters, February 7, 2022

U.S. CDC urges Americans to avoid travel to Japan, Cuba, Armenia over COVID cases

By Reuters

Travelers push their luggage past baggage claim inside the United Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during the holiday season as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Omicron variant threatens to increase case numbers in Los Angeles, California, U.S. December 22, 2021. REUTERS/Bing Guan

Feb 7, 2022

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday advised against travel to six countries including Japan, Cuba, Libya, Armenia, Oman and the Democratic Republic of Congo over COVID-19 cases.

The CDC now lists more than 130 countries and territories with COVID-19 cases as “Level Four: Very High.” It lists just over 50 countries as “Level Three: High,” discouraging non-essential travel by unvaccinated Americans.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Mark Porter)

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-cdc-urges-americans-avoid-travel-japan-cuba-armenia-over-covid-cases-2022-02-07/

14ymedio, 7 de febrero de 2022

Jose Marti: Excerpt from ‘The Forbidden Book’

José Martí did not stop lashing out at those who, in the name of the workers, tried to put themselves on a pedestal and lord it over them. (University of Miami)

14ymedio, Ariel Hidalgo, Miami, 30 January 2022 — 19th-century English philosopher Herbert Spencer warned what the consequences of this kind of supposedly socialist project might be. In his book The Future Slavery, he described this conceivable future society as “despotism of an organized and centralized bureaucracy.” And indeed, a notable Cuban analyzed this book in an article of the same name. This Cuban’s name was José Martí.

To understand it properly, it is necessary to read – or reread – the critical analysis of his article. This way we realize that both Spencer and Martí are referring to a specific type of “socialism,” if it can be called that, later known as “real socialism,” based on the State as owner and administrator of the majority of production assets.

In his 1884 article, written several decades before these regimes began to be established, Martí warns about an economic-social system where officials would acquire disproportionate power over workers: “All the power that the caste of civil servants, bound by the need to maintain themselves in a privileged and lucrative occupation, would be gradually lost to the people.” In that system, he says, the worker “would then have to work to the extent, for the duration, and performing tasks that the State wishes to assign to him.”

This path led to a new form of social injustice, a new mode of exploitation of human beings by other humans. “From being a servant to himself, man would become a servant of the State. From being a slave to the capitalists, as it is now called, he would become a slave to bureaucrats.”  And he concluded: “Autocratic functionaries will abuse the tired and hard-working masses. Serfdom will be unfortunate and generalized.”

Martí did not stop lashing out at those who, in the name of workers, tried to exalt themselves and lord it over them. Ten years later, in 1894, in a letter to his friend Fermín Valdés Domínguez, he spoke to him about “the dangers of the socialist idea.” What were these dangers? He warned him, above all, about “the arrogance and hidden rage of the ambitious, who in order to rise up in the world, start out pretending, feigning to have shoulders to stand on, as frantic defenders of the helpless.”

The other criticism is based on interpretations that could arise from “foreign and confused” theories. He was probably referring to the later misrepresentations given to the role of the Revolutionary State in the process of socialization of wealth: Should that State limit itself to fulfilling its role as an instrument of empowerment of the workers?

As we already know, the imposed interpretation, both in Russia and in the other countries that followed the same path, was different: to maintain control over that wealth indefinitely as the supposed representative of those workers, and consequently it led to that model that Martí feared and that he called “autocratic functionalism.”

Martí clarified to Valdés Domínguez that his criticism did not mean abandoning the ideal of social justice, because “an aspiration must be judged by what is noble: and not by this or that wart that human passion puts on it.” And then he concluded with his desire to carry out a future struggle of ideas in the Republic to avoid these dangers and finally be able to achieve what he called sublime justice: “explaining will be our job, and smooth and deep, as you will know how to do it… And always with justice, you and me, because the errors of its form do not authorize souls of respectable birth to desert its defense.”

The Active Calm

Martí rejected the path of violence and, in particular, the Marxist theory of class struggle, which is why, although he justified Marx’s indignation at “the bestializing of some men for the benefit of others,” he preached a “soft remedy to the damage.” For him, a process of development of civic consciousness was essential to achieve a just social order, convinced that social justice can be achieved through non-violent means: “Just rights, intelligently requested, will have to be overcome without the need for violence.”

In another text he speaks of the “final triumph of active calm.” For this reason, he adds a criticism to his praises of Marx. According to him, Marx “was in a hurry and somewhat in the shadows, not seeing that children who have not had a natural and difficult gestation are not born viable, neither of a country in history nor of a woman at home.

Martí, heavily influenced by American transcendentalists, in particular Emerson and Thoreau, was convinced of the need to develop civic consciousness, and reiterated it in various ways, such as when he stated that what was important was not “the sum of weapons in hand but the sum of stars on the forehead.”

He spoke of an awareness that is not a “class consciousness,” as Marx preached in order to dissent and seize the means of production, but a much deeper radical transformation in human consciousness.

https://translatingcuba.com/jose-marti-excerpt-from-the-forbidden-book/

14ymedio, February 3, 2022

Cuba: Is There Really a U.S. Embargo?

While the communist revolution was nourished by huge annual subsidies from the USSR during the height of the cold war, no one spoke of the embargo. (EFE)

14ymedio, Elías Amor Bravo, Valencia, 3 February 2022 — With regard to the embargo, which the official Castrist press has converted into a lightning rod, it is interesting to share some reflections which, for obvious reasons, will be very different from those launched by communist propaganda.

The truth is, taking advantage of the 60th anniversary of the provision that marked the beginning of this United States policy, which has been maintained for a long time though few remember its origins, the official press has organized a coven of propaganda that never fails to attract attention.

For this reason, without wishing to pontificate on a topic on which thousands of articles, books, reports, statements, etc. have been written, my proposal for this blog entry centers on a simple and easy-to-explain decalogue related to the embargo.

1. From 1960 to 1990 no one remembered the embargo.

While the communist revolution was nourished by huge annual subsidies from the USSR during the height of the cold war, no one spoke of the embargo or blockade, except for those days around the time the Soviet missiles arrived in Cuba, which the U.S. Marines forced to be sent back. When the millions dried up, then, with the Special Period in tow, the old embargo argument was dusted off. And so it is today.

2. There is a much more severe internal embargo.

It is the embargo practiced by the communist regime against Cubans, preventing them from having a modern and efficient economic system in which the right to property can be exercised, free elections, the accumulation of assets and wealth, the market as an instrument of resource allocation and free enterprise. This embargo is the one that keeps the Cuban economy impoverished and without a future.

3. An embargo, as such, does not exist; Cuba maintains economic relations with the whole world.

One only needs to observe the data on commercial relations, exports and imports, foreign investment, tourism, etc. Cuba is not limited in establishing economic relationships with whomever it wants,as long as it has a need and can offer something in return. Even with the United States, in the form of food and medical equipment for $200 million a year, and more importantly, remittances, valued at $5 billion, from Cubans who had to flee the regime. That has nothing to do with an embargo or a blockade.

4. There has never been an acknowledgment of the events that gave rise to the claims. 

One could argue that the revolutionary regime offered to pay legitimate owners for their confiscated property in “junk bonds” backed by the sugar quota provided to the United States, which at that time, could not be met. That is why there has never been a recognition of the damages caused to the legitimate owners by the confiscation of property and much less a willingness on the part of the regime to pay the value of the expropriated assets, as in any other country in the world. The property rights which were the object of nationalization have not died and without a doubt, the claims and acknowledgment of the original owners or their heirs will be fundamental for the return of democracy to Cuba.

5. The United States continues to be the only defender of democracy in Cuba.

The United States has staunchly provided refuge to almost two million Cubans who fled the lack of freedom and prosperity of the communist regime, making it possible for many of them to realize their dreams. Thanks to the United States it is possible to tell the regime in Havana what it is, and what it represents, while observing the shameful and fickle behavior of other democracies, like those of Europe, which sometimes are against and sometimes in favor of the regime. The United States has always stood its ground and that should be recognized. Even bringing Cuban-Americans to the nation’s political institutions, which instills pride and recognizes the value of minorities in that great nation.

6. Three generations of Cubans have grown up with the embargo and they know why.

Escaping the country has been the only outlet for those who detest a forcefully imposed economic and social model which is resistant to change and evolution. For that reason, as soon as people are able to leave the country, they establish themselves in the United States, because despite having been educated about the evils of imperialism, the United States still is and will continue to be, the main reference point for many Cubans. As much as it pains the communist regime.

7. Ideology and propaganda are less and less capable of arguing against the embargo.

The official discourse is being extinguished. The new generations of Cubans do not believe the official language and the obsolete propaganda it exudes. Despite the continuous attacks on the United States and its institutions by the official Cuban press or whomever desires to unburden themselves, Cubans dream of living in the neighboring North, where in addition, they have acquaintances, family, and friends who can help them get ahead. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t occur to any Haitian, Honduran, or Salvadorean to migrate to Cuba; everyone aspires to establish themselves in the United States.

8. The histrionics at the United Nations results in hilarious and irresponsible calculations.

If the calculation of the damages caused by the embargo were actually $144 billion, the revolutionary regime would be making the ridiculous even more absurd by proposing this figure. Let’s think about what that represents, in 60 years, $2.4 billion annually, which is less than one-third of what Cuba receives annually in remittances from the United States. If they wanted to provide figures, they could have put more effort into it.

9. The embargo exists because that is how the communist regime wants it.

There is no room for doubt. It has generated rivers of ink that have allowed Cuba to have something to say to the world, occupy a media space in some newscast. And, above all, to be heard by those who want to fall for it. The David and Goliath of the Bible function in politics and if we consider that neither the end of the cold war, nor globalization, nor the fourth industrial revolution have altered the messages, there is no doubt that the conceptual authors of the embargo, who had an exceptional teacher in Fidel Castro, have been successful in adapting the concept to the times. The regime needs the embargo, just as it needs to identify the United States as an enemy. It is profitable.

10. The embargo served so that some Cubans live much better than others, within Cuba.

There is no doubt about it. The top leaders live oblivious to hardships of an unproductive economy and their pay is more than sufficient to justify the false submission to orders of the singular party. Those with access to dollars, around 30% of the Cuban population with family abroad, may live even better and the regime’s creation of MLC stores [stores that sell goods in hard currency] clearly indicates that it wants to make them privileged so as to access that hard currency.

All these considerations could raise the primary question, which is none other than, is there really a United States embargo on Cuba? Review other similar situations throughout history and you will see how much difference could be produced and which masterful techniques could be used to take advantage of things. The best thing about this is that the embargo, if it exists, has an expiration date: a democratic and free Cuba. And this has never been recognized by the communist revolutionaries. Why would that be?

This article was originally published in the author’s blog, Cubaeconomía.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez

https://translatingcuba.com/cuba-is-there-really-a-u-s-embargo/

14ymedio, February 5, 2022

The True History of the United States Trade Embargo on Cuba

14ymedio, Luis Zúñiga, Miami, 5 February 2022 — On June 5, 1960, Fidel Castro ordered the nationalization of the Texaco company’s oil refinery in Cuba.  The following month, on July 5, he ordered the seizure of the two remaining US refineries, Shell and Esso. Castro let the owners know that there would be no monetary compensation for the nationalizations. The response of the president of the United States was to cancel the sugar quota of 3 million tons that the US bought annually from Cuba.

A month later, in August 1960, Castro ordered the nationalization without compensation of 38 US companies, including the 36 sugar mills they owned and the telephone and electricity companies. In addition, he imposed an extraordinary increase in tariffs on imports of American products.  Washington then made the decision to suspend the export of merchandise to Cuba, with the exception of medicines and food. Two months later, in October 1960, Castro ordered the nationalization of all foreign banks and the confiscation of all remaining US companies in Cuba. The total value of those seizures was assessed at the time at just over $1 billion [translator’s note: roughly $9.4 billion today].

On January 3 of the following year, 1961, diplomatic relations were severed. A few months later, in March, the US Congress passed the Foreign Assistance Act and President John F. Kennedy, based on it, ordered a trade embargo on Cuba.

By excluding the United States from payments for nationalized properties and businesses while giving payment guarantees to the rest of the affected countries, Fidel Castro demonstrated that his action was based on hatred of that country and the desire to start a confrontation with it. The explanation given by President Kennedy to Congress for imposing the embargo on Cuba was to defend the interests of US citizens arbitrarily dispossessed of their legally established companies in Cuba.

LEGALITY OF THE EMBARGO

With very small differences, all the legislation of the democratic countries of the world coincide in the definition, conception and application of the laws related to the nationalization of foreign properties and businesses. The classic definition states: “The nationalization measures entail an obligation on the part of the nationalizing State to pay fully for the damages to the injured foreign owner. The expropriation must be followed by a prompt, adequate and effective compensation to the owners.”

Numerous governments around the world have nationalized foreign properties, but generally those governments have compensated the owners adequately. Russia, Venezuela and Brazil nationalized the oil industries, Bolivia the natural gas industry and Chile the copper industry, just to mention a few examples of countries in the region.

CORRECT DEFINITION: BLOCKADE OR EMBARGO?

The Castro regime calls the embargo a “blockade” with the evident purpose of magnifying its impact and presenting itself as a victim, which, logically, arouses sympathy or pity in the world because Cuba is a small country and the United States is a large and powerful one. This propaganda manipulation has been used with remarkable efficiency and has been replicated by all the world’s leftist governments. But what is true and undeniable is that the aggressor was the Castro regime and the US embargo was the response to the confiscatory aggression, which, by the way, is still maintained to this day. Castro persistently refused to pay the Americans whose property was confiscated while he compensated all other foreign businesspeople.

In addition to false, the use of the word “blockade” is bombastic. Historically, the economic blockade of a country implies measures that have not been used in the case of Cuba, such as surrounding the country with warships and blocking the airspace to prevent goods and supplies from reaching that country. The United States did this against Haiti in 1993, seeking to force the Haitian military regime to return political power to the last democratically elected president in that country, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Cuba has no US ships or planes surrounding it.

A blockade also implies that the country cannot trade — that is all access to the country is blocked — and Cuba trades with the entire world. A blockade must include the impossibility of carrying out banking and financial transactions with other countries. Cuba conducts normal transactions with other countries. The only such transactions that are limited or controlled are those directly with the United States or those subject to restrictions for suspected links to terrorist groups, money launderers or their front people.

In short, the island of Cuba is not subject to any blockade.

THE EMBARGO BETWEEN 1962 AND 1991

In that nearly 30-year period, between 1962 and the disintegration of the USSR, Castro rarely referred to the US embargo in his speeches. From the beginning of 1960, Castro began to receive economic and financial aid from the Soviet Union and from all the communist countries of Eastern Europe. Politically, Castro mocked the sanctions, implying that they did not affect him and that they had no impact on his national or international decisions.

In addition to free economic and military aid, the Soviets extended extensive lines of credit to Castro. In 2015, the amount of the debt for these lines of credit with the former Soviet Union, today Russia, was officially known: just over 35 billion dollars. That figure confirms why Castro did not even mention the US embargo. With the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, the subsidies and credits that kept the regime afloat economically ended. From that moment on, the embargo became the subject of constant complaint by Fidel Castro and his regime.

RELAXATIONS TO THE COMMERCIAL EMBARGO

Some presidents of the United States have modified the restrictions imposed by the embargo, seeking with these incentives to get the Cuban regime to improve the situation of human rights on the island. In 1975, Gerald Ford issued an executive order that allowed foreign subsidiaries of United States companies to sell their products to Cuba. The volume of trade between the subsidiaries of the United States and Cuba reached, in 1991, the figure of 718 million dollars.

President Jimmy Carter also introduced changes to the embargo. In 1977, he authorized trips to Cuba by exiles who had relatives on the island. That change meant an important economic injection for the Cuban regime and Castro then allowed those trips that were previously prohibited for Cuban exiles. This Carter modification is what makes it possible for billions of dollars in remittances to reach Cuba every year. In 2018, the year before the coronavirus pandemic, exiles sent some $2.5 billion to their relatives in Cuba.

Bill Clinton, in 1992, increased the limits on sending of money remittances to Cuba up to 300 dollars per month and authorized the visits of groups of religious, students and academics to Cuba. The then president also authorized the Castro regime to buy any amounts of medicine and food if they were paid for in cash. The measure was later expanded to include clothing, shoes, and a wide range of items.

The figures of the volumes of food purchases that the Castro regime began to import from the United States varied according to the economic situation. The following are the rounded figures from the United States Department of Commerce regarding the values of food exports to Cuba between 2000 and 2021:

Year 2000: 498 million dollars;
2001: $532 million;
2002: $553 million;
2003: $395 million;
2004: $392 million;
2005: $350 million;
2006: $560 million;
2007: $641 million;
2008: $710 million;
2009: $528 million;
2010: $363 million;
2011: $363 million;
2012: $464 million;
2013: $359 million;
2014: $299 million;
2015: $185 million;
2016: $241 million;
2017: $291 million;
2018: $271 million;
2019: $286 million;
2020: $176 million;
2021 (through September): $235 million.

Some imports to Cuba are striking. In 2020, the Castro regime imported $70.6 million worth of beer from the United States. In 2015, it imported whiskey worth $61.3 million. In 2003, newsprint for $4.4 million.

The United States is Cuba’s fifth largest trading partner in terms of trade volume. In addition, according to the US Department of Agriculture, that country supplies about 96% of the rice and 70% of the poultry products consumed in Cuba. It also exports wheat, corn, soybeans and their derivatives on a large scale.

Additionally, between 2014 and 2020, the US authorized the sending to Cuba of donations of a wide range of medical products, special foods and medical equipment worth almost 36 million dollars.

With these exports and donations from the United States to Cuba, what blockade is the regime talking about? In reality, the remaining restrictions of the Act are not even consistent with the concept of a trade embargo.

OTHER AMERICAN COLLABORATIONS WITH CUBA

Due to the serious epidemiological crisis that the Island is suffering, in November 2021 President Joe Biden authorized the US airlines IBC Airways and Skyway Enterprises to carry out charter flights with humanitarian aid. The planes would transport up to 7,500 pounds of medical supplies, food, medicine, hygiene items and other supplies that cannot be purchased on the Island.

In August 1960, Castro ordered the nationalization without compensation of 38 US companies, including telephone and electricity companies. (Archive)

A revealing fact about the falsehoods of the Castro regime regarding the embargo occurred on July 15, shortly after the massive protests in Cuba. That day, the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, issued an order lifting, until the end of the year, the restrictions on the entry of food and medicine that travelers may bring to Cuba through the airports. That restriction on the entry of these products from the United States had not been imposed by the United States but by the Castro regime itself.

THE PROPAGANDA OF THE EMBARGO REGIME IS MASSIVE AND DISTORTED

The propaganda about what the regime calls the “blockade” is constant, identifying it as the cause of all the country’s problems, the shortages of both food and medicine as well as construction materials, buses, trains, electric light bulbs and even paper. Many wonder, what do things Cubans don’t have available to them — such as the raising of pigs, chickens and cows, the cultivation of potatoes and vegetables and the fishing of shrimp and lobsters — have to do with the embargo?

The propaganda is so intense that even educated Cubans who are not sympathetic to the regime say that “the embargo must be eliminated in order to remove the constant excuses that the regime’s officials use so as not to be responsible for their failure.”  Unfortunately, these people do not understand that the regime does not sustain itself with “excuses,” but with terror and police repression.  They do not understand that the communist dialectic is always looking for scapegoats to blame for the mistakes and failure of its centralized economic system. If a factory does not meet the production plans, the culprit is not the communist economic system, but the official in charge of fulfilling the plans. If the country does not progress, the cause is that other nations deny it loans, but they never mention that they do not pay their debts…

When Barack Obama restored diplomatic relations with the Cuban communist dictatorship, the regime began to prepare for the possibility that the US would lift the embargo. And what did they do at that time? Well, they carried out a “study” on the damage caused by the “blockade” to the Cuban economy.  The calculated amount was $822.28 billion. Thus, if the United States lifted that sanction, the regime’s next demand would be that it compensate “Cuba” with that amount. Of course, the United States would not do it, and there they would have the next excuse ready for the economic and financial disasters that Cuba would continue to suffer under Castroism. Shortages would be “justified” then by alleging that the United States did not want to pay the damages and we have to work many years to ‘heal’ the economy… The dialectic capacity of communists to create excuses is infinite.

The economic, financial and productive disaster of the Castro regime is identical to the one that was suffered and is suffered by all the communist regimes that have existed. Their economic system simply doesn’t work, but the communists will never accept it. That is part of their dogmas. Whoever does not understand it, gets confused and may end up believing in those absurd excuses.

THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IMPOSED BY PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

All of the above information supports the conviction that the US trade embargo on Cuba has been more theoretical than practical. The only prohibition that has had an impact on the Castro regime has been to give it access to credit in the United States.

This has prevented the Castros from plunging future generations of Cubans even further into debt. This reality becomes clearer to understand when we investigate the gigantic amount of money that the Castros have borrowed on behalf of the nation and that they have not repaid. The regime has never informed the people how those funds were used. The list of money (in dollars) received by the regime (and never repaid) is as follows:

– Russia : 35 billion. That country forgave 90% of the debt in 2014.

– Paris Club : 11.1 billion. The Club forgave 8.5 billion in 2015.

– China : 6 billion. That country forgave 100% of the debt in 2011.

– Argentina : 2.7 billion. Foreign Minister Felipe Solá demanded payment from Cuba at the last CELAC summit.

– London Club : 1.4 billion in commercial debts. They have already sued the regime in an English court.

– Romania : 900 million. None of it has been repaid.

– Brazil : 561 million. The Bolsonaro government has tried to collect the debt, but without success.

– Mexico : 487 million. That country completely forgave the debt in 2013.

– Spanish companies in Cuba : 325 million. They haven’t been repaid.

– Czech Republic : 276 million. They haven’t been repaid.

– Hungary : 200 million. They haven’t been repaid.

– South Africa : 137 million. That country completely forgave the debt in 2012.

A total of more than $59 billion dollars that the regime has received, that it has not returned to the lenders and that was not used to solve any of the multitude of needs that Cubans have suffered for decades, such as the lack of housing, transport problems, water supply and rural electrification, among others.

It is well known that the priority of the regime in the use of the country’s resources is what it needs to stay in power. Thus, for example, the last credit that Russia has granted the Castro regime for 50 million dollars, in October 2018, will be used, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, to acquire armored vehicles and helicopters. With the severe food crisis that Cuba is experiencing, this is one of the priorities of the regime.

Many will have seen the photographs that the Government published of the fleets of patrol cars that they bought for the Police and State Security, but they have not bought a single ambulance, despite the terrible lack of them. The Mercedes Benz agency in Cuba “took pity” on the people’s suffering and made a gift of 18 ambulances last March.

The priority is to strengthen the repressive and military apparatus that keeps them in power. For that indisputable reason, it is necessary to apply economic sanctions that cut off their income. Based on these premises, the ones that then President Donald Trump imposed on the Castro regime had the objective of cutting off the income of the regime’s military companies that, as we know, have appropriated businesses that produce dollars, including hotels, gas stations, hotel shops and restaurants, currency exchange offices, food markets taking payment only in dollars, rental cars, tourist taxis, etc.

The sanctions imposed by Trump were:

– Cancellation of cruise ship trips to Cuba: Each ship that arrives on the island must pay, on average, 13 dollars per passenger for the right to dock at the port and thousands of dollars more in supplies and services to the ship, including fuel. All this money goes to the coffers of military companies and it is money that is used, primarily, for repression (purchase of patrol cars for State Security and the Police, protection and attack equipment for Special Troops, electronic means for surveillance of opponents, to pay for high salaries and benefits for the police to help in the repression and for the enormous costs of the hundreds of prisons where opponents are imprisoned).

– Application of the Helms-Burton Law: This measure stops the unscrupulous foreign investors who are going to take advantage of the companies confiscated from their legitimate owners and that contribute millions of dollars in investments to the Castro military. In addition, those foreign investors will pay the regime directly for hired labor — and not the Cuban employees — the salaries in dollars, of which the military keep 90%.

– Returned Cuba to the list of countries that do not collaborate in the fight against terrorism: This sanction places the Castro regime in a fair place. In Havana, for example, there are living the leaders of the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN), who organized the attack with a van loaded with explosives at the police school in Bogotá that caused the death of 21 people in 2020. Colombia has requested the extradition of the ELN commanders, but the regime protects them. The same is happening with the FARC, with members of Hezbollah and Hamas, and with so many other terrorist groups that found a safe haven in Cuba.

In addition, this sanction is what has prevented the Cuban military, through its company Fincimex, from taking control of remittances sent from the United States to relatives in Cuba. Fincimex is the main Cuban partner of foreign credit card companies and the Western Union money transfer company that processes the largest volume of dollar shipments to Cuba. The sanction included the recommendation to use non-military Cuban companies to send money to Cuba.

– Personally sanctioned several high-ranking Castro officials and soldiers linked to the repression against citizens who express some form of discrepancy with the regime: This includes individuals such as as the Minister of the Interior, Lázaro Álvarez Casas; General Romárico Sotomayor, head of the Political Directorate of the same ministry; and General Pedro Martínez Fernández, head of the repressive “red beret” troops. It also sanctioned Raúl Castro and his children Alejandro Castro, Nilsa Castro, Deborah Castro and Mariela Castro, as well as Raúl Castro’s former son-in-law, General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, president of Gaesa. The sanctions prohibit entry to the United States for them and their close relatives, as well as the freezing of funds and properties in that country. Many Cubans on the island do not know that several of those sanctioned people have traveled to the United States as tourists or as official and have purchased apartments. Many sons of those soldiers and officials of the regime even have bank accounts and properties there.

None of these measures increases the hunger of the Cuban people. None of them cause shortages of food or consumer goods. They are measures focused on taking income away from the repressive military apparatus that sustains the dictatorship.

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https://translatingcuba.com/the-true-history-of-the-united-states-trade-embargo-on-cuba/


From the archives

The American Presidency,  February 3, 1962

John F. Kennedy

35th President of the United States: 1961 ‐ 1963

Proclamation 3447—Embargo on All Trade with Cuba

February 03, 1962

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Serving as Organ of Consultation in Application of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, in its Final Act resolved that the present Government of Cuba is incompatible with the principles and objectives of the Inter-American system; and, in light of the subversive offensive of Sino-Soviet Communism with which the Government of Cuba is publicly aligned, urged the member states to take those steps that they may consider appropriate for their individual and collective self-defense;

Whereas the Congress of the United States, in section 620(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (75 Stat. 445), as amended, has authorized the President to establish and maintain an embargo upon all trade between the United States and Cuba; and

Whereas the United States, in accordance with its international obligations, is prepared to take all necessary actions to promote national and hemispheric security by isolating the present Government of Cuba and thereby reducing the threat posed by its alignment with the communist powers:

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, acting under the authority of section 620(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (75 Stat. 445), as amended, do

1. Hereby proclaim an embargo upon trade between the United States and Cuba in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of this proclamation.

2. Hereby prohibit, effective 12:01 A.M., Eastern Standard Time, February 7, 1962, the importation into the United States of all goods of Cuban origin and all goods imported from or through Cuba; and I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to carry out such prohibition, to make such exceptions thereto, by license or otherwise, as he determines to be consistent with the effective operation of the embargo hereby proclaimed, and to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to perform such functions.

3. AND FURTHER, I do hereby direct the Secretary of Commerce, under the provisions of the Export Control Act of 1949, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2021-2032), to continue to carry out the prohibition of all exports from the United States to Cuba, and I hereby authorize him, under that Act, to continue, make, modify, or revoke exceptions from such prohibition.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this third day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-sixth.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

By the President:

Dean Rusk,
Secretary of State

John F. Kennedy, Proclamation 3447—Embargo on All Trade with Cuba Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/proclamation-3447-embargo-all-trade-with-cuba