During 1961, President John F. Kennedy exercised his “discretion” under the Trading with the Enemy Act (see tab below) to impose a naval and economic “embargo” against Cuba. That Act, which since has been repudiated by all of the U.S.’s trading partners, sought to put an economic stranglehold on Cuba, in a cold-war mentality attempt to exert political “compliance” by Cuba with U.S. political and economic objectives, in great part, motivated by the interests of U.S. Multinationals and heads of the former Batista dictatorship, which the Cuban Revolution ousted.
As the Embargo, or the “Blockade” as it is referred to in Cuba, a material cultural differrence, failed to advance U.S. Political and Business interests, additional laws were enacted, many to benefit those same U.S. business interests who were ousted during the Cuban Revolution.
Though a marass of additional laws such as the Torecielli Bill, link below) and the codification of the Blockade/Embargo through the Congressional passage of the Helms Burton Bill (link below), and the imposition of a morass of regulatory conditions for limited trade and travel with Cuba promulgated by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Investigative Services (BIS), trade and travel with Cuba has been highly regulated and in instances, arbitrarily enacted and/or enforced.
The following are links to the frequently cited references to those laws and regulations.