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News > Cuba

Cuba: Trump Extends 'Trading With the Enemy Act' Another Year

  • Cubans with masks on observing products in an agricultural market in Havana, Cuba. June 11, 2020.

    Cubans with masks on observing products in an agricultural market in Havana, Cuba. June 11, 2020. | Photo: EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa

Published 10 September 2020

As has happened every year since the early 1960s, the U.S. president Wednesday renewed this legislation, dating back to October 6, 1917, which allows the U.S. government to limit trade and enact economic sanctions against nations it considers hostile. 

Responding via Twitter, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez wrote: "Trump extends for another year the Trading With the Enemy Act that sustains the blockade against Cuba. The blockade and harassment intensify, cruelty and perversity grow. An inhuman and cruel blockade. But here, nobody gives up."

The Trading With the Enemy Act is an instrument of the U.S. administration approved by Congress more than a century ago, which is currently only applied to Cuba. However, countries such as China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Vietnam have also been subject to its application in the past.


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"I hereby determine that the continuation of the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba for one year is in the national interest of the United States," the memorandum for the Secretaries of Treasury and State, published on the White House website, declares.

After the Act was first applied to Cuba, further hostile measures followed, including the announcement of the U.S. blockade against Cuba in 1962 by John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, adopted in 1963.

"Nobody gives up here," the president of Cuba responds to the renovation of the U.S. Trading With the Enemy Act.
In 1977, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act was established, restricting the president's ability to impose new sanctions in times of national emergency; nonetheless, the Trading With the Enemy Act continued to be applied to Cuba, despite never declaring a national emergency with regards to the island.
Thus, the Act forms part of the legal framework for the economic, financial, and commercial siege against Cuba, including, but not limiting to, the Foreign Assistance Act (1961), the Export Administration Act (1979), the Torricelli Act (1992), the Helms-Burton Act (1996) and more. 
The U.S. blockade is a genocidal act against the Cuban people, seeking scarcity, material deficiencies, and interruption of public services, intending to sow discouragement and dissatisfaction by blaming and denigrating the Cuban Revolution for the resulting chaos and difficulties.
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