http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/bush-administration-to-further-strengthen-failed-plan-a-embargo/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Bush Administration to further strengthen failed Plan A Embargo

Posted October 15, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer

Original title: Fed Task Force to Enforce Cuba Sanctions

The federal government on Tuesday announced the formation of a new law enforcement task force that will aggressively pursue violators of the U.S. trade and travel sanctions that have been in effect against Cuba for more than four decades.

Miami-based U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said the task force will focus on prosecuting violators of laws governing such things as commercial business with Cuba, currency reporting requirements, money laundering and travel to the island.

The task force’s formation comes about a month before U.S. elections in which Cuban-American voters in South Florida — most of them fervently anti-Castro — form an important Republican Party constituency.

It also comes as Cuba faces political uncertainty due to the illness of President Fidel Castro, who in July temporarily ceded power to his brother, Raul.

Acosta, however, would say only this is “an appropriate time” to announce the task force to put people on notice that “we intend to enforce these laws aggressively.”

“The purpose of the sanctions is to isolate the Castro regime economically and deprive the Castro regime of the U.S. dollars it so desperately seeks,” Acosta told reporters.

The task force includes the Treasury Department, FBI, and departments of Homeland Security and Commerce.

The group, to be coordinated by two senior prosecutors in Acosta’s office, will bring greater emphasis to existing Cuba sanction enforcement efforts that are scattered among several federal agencies, he said.

It is the latest move by the Bush administration to tighten restrictions that were first imposed in the early 1960s and expanded frequently since. In 2004, for example, President Bush limited family travel to Cuba to once every three years instead of annually and imposed new limits on the flow of currency to the island.

Violators of the Cuba sanctions can face up to 10 years in prison, $1 million in corporate fines and $250,000 in individual fines. The government can also seek up to $55,000 per violation in civil penalties.

Under U.S. law, the sanctions will remain in place until multiparty Cuban elections are planned, political prisoners are released and both Castro brothers are out of power.

Member Comments

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On October 15, 2006, publisher wrote:

The failed Plan A Embargo has worked so well since JFK started it that Bush now thinks it’s time to “get tough on Cuba” which means getting tough on Americans further limiting our freedom of travel.

Makes a lot of sense, right?

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On October 16, 2006, run abh wrote:

I am very concerned about this new announcement; I would like to hear input from others, especially regarding how you think this new plan will be implemented.  Specifically, do we have any hard evidence that anything concrete is being changed, or do we think that this is simply posturing?

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On October 16, 2006, Curt wrote:

According to Gandhi, man has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. This is certainly a perfect example. Kudos to Pastors of Peace & the Venceremos Brigade!

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On October 16, 2006, publisher wrote:

The Embargo has needed a Gandhi for many years!

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On October 23, 2006, J. Perez wrote:

Unjust laws is just one accurate adjective to describe these measures, more than that, it is MONUMENTALY STUPID!

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On November 07, 2006, Bob Reiber wrote:

You know, its too bad that most american people don,t have the access to visit this beautiful country. The people are the most caring,generous,honest people that a person could ever meet and the country is fabulous.Maybe they should take the embargo off and let the american people travel there freely to see if the embargo is such a good thing.

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On November 12, 2006, bobbi wrote:

That Embargo is their for one reason and one reason only to stop the spread of Socialism that spreading in Latin America, United States and accross the world. Socialist want to become just like European Countries that are Socialist. To Bush the Socialist are the Terrorist and to see some of his old enemies like Daniel Ortega re-emerge agian and The CIA did everthing to wipe out Socialist everywhere in the United States and Latin America and to see now Socialism spreading everywhere with the United State only have least than 40 year left of existance before it break up and become a socialist state and combine with Mexico and Canada. As Socialist was are target daily by the CIA and the Republicians, who are racist, and selfish and only themselve and not the working class or minorities in this country. We socialist want Social Justice, We want protection for a Unions, We want Unversial Health Care, We want government Control of Our government that work for us, the working class, We want Military the will fight for Justice not just for Israel for relegious reason. We want Justice the Palestinian people,  We want a Parliment type government like Europe. We want to improve our school the Socialist way not the Capitalist way.  We want a foriegn policy that protect Socialist countries not seeking to destroy them. We were a more reflexion of Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Racial society. We great right for women, and more tolerant society for people of different sexual orientations. We want to more like Europe. We are not the emenies of the United States just because we are socialist. We should not be oppress in the United State or anywhere in the world because we are socialist.