On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced a change with respect to US policy towards Cuba. The changed policy envisions the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, a review of Cuba’s status as a state-sponsor of terrorism, and a relaxation of the current US embargo of Cuba. While the tone and tenor of the announcement was certainly striking, our review of the concrete changes proposed would suggest that only incremental changes to the US embargo will be made in the short term. This likely reflects the fact that much of the existing US embargo was “codified” into US law by acts of Congress passed in 1992 and 1996. The ability of the Administration to unilaterally relax certain key features of the present US embargo is therefore open to question.
If you have questions about these changes to the US embargo against Cuba or are contemplating commercial opportunities in Cuba, please contact us to discuss these developments further.