U.S. President Joe Biden has decided to extend trade restrictions in place for Cuba for another year – until September 14, 2023, the White House press service announced.
“We have determined that it is in the national interest of the United States to extend these measures against Cuba for one year,” the document said. With the same decision, Biden extended his powers that give him a free hand in enforcing this embargo and issuing authorizations for individual transactions.
The law in question is one that went into effect in 1917 and allows the restriction of trade with countries that Washington considers hostile to the United States.
The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 in response to the nationalization of U.S. property on the island and subsequently announced the imposition of a trade and economic embargo.
In December 2014, then-U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged that Washington’s previous policy toward Havana was not working and announced the beginning of a normalization of bilateral relations and an easing of sanctions. In 2015, the Obama administration announced the removal of Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The rapprochement between the two countries was suspended after Republican Donald Trump took over the U.S. government in January 2017. He tightened rules on U.S. travel to Cuba and introduced a ban on doing business with organizations controlled by the Cuban military.
The Trump administration also reintroduced Cuba to the list of states that support terrorism. Democrat Joe Biden’s administration has said it will reconsider its Cuba policy, but has not yet removed the country from the list.