U.S. GAO Cuba Sanctions Study Based on Outdated Thinking, Selective Review of Law, Policies

Late last month the General Accounting Office (GAO) published a report requested by Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-New York), “Economic Sanctions: Agencies Face Competing Priorities in Enforcing the U.S. Embargo on Cuba.” Statements such as the “48-year U.S. embargo” or “For nearly five decades the U.S. has maintained” U.S. sanctions on Cuba figure prominently in …

Congress Approves Sudan Divestment Legislation, Constitutional Issues?

As the 110th Congress winds down for 2007, it has approved a set of export control and economic sanctions items that are sprinkled throughout various pieces of legislation.  Yesterday, the Senate approved the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act that had been approved in the House earlier by a vote of 411-0. The law provides a …

Context Matters

During a Senate Finance Committee hearing on U.S./Cuba policy last week, Chairman Max Baucus opened with a Publilius Syrus quote, “It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire when you live next door.”  The claim is that the U.S. is punishing Cuba with economic sanctions.  As with any quote used in this manner, context matters. …