Adios Embargo: The Case for Executive Termination of the U.S. Embargo on Cuba
American Business Law Journal, Forthcoming
45 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2016 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016
Date Written: June 3, 2016
The United States and Cuba have a long history of tumultuous relations, including overt and covert interventions, trade disputes, and migration crises. Yet it was the rise of the Castro regime on the island that cemented the frustration of relations between the neighboring countries. Shortly after Castro’s seizure of power, the United States began using executive power to reinstall some form of democratic governance. And though each subsequent administration modified their approach toward Cuba, some form of executive embargo has existed since the Kennedy regime. But as with all executive power, a new administration maintains the flexibility to modify previous acts in light of new circumstances. Only congress can remove this control through the promulgation of statutes, which is what they did with two statutes enacted in the 1990s. This codification effectively cemented the U.S.-Cuba embargo and tied the executive’s hands in managing relations with the island. In this article, I contend that the foreign affairs power laid upon the executive through the Constitution grants that office broad control over political and economic relations with foreign states, including power over embargos. Thus, I posit that no congressional approval is required for the executive to lift the embargo against Cuba and normalize relations with the island.
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