George H. W. Bush (R)
From its early days, the Bush Administration showed the continuity it would follow in line with Reagan’s time. During his term, the Torricelli Act was passed, reinforcing the extraterritorial character of the blockade, and a number of preconditions were set to pursue a “different policy” towards Havana, including capitalizing on the changes occurred in the former Soviet Union to impose restrictions to its links with Cuba and setting forth requirements regarding the organization of the Cuban society. In practice, this “different policy” was intended to achieve Cuba’s economic collapse coinciding with the crisis and the breakdown of the socialist camp, and all the havoc they wreaked on the Cuban economy, particularly in terms of its sudden loss of markets.
However, Bush failed in his much-ballyhooed purpose of becoming the first American president to set foot in Cuba.
24.01.89 Treasury Department’s OFAC issued an additional list of 18 shipping companies identified as specially-designated nationals (SDN) with whom American citizens are forbidden to conduct business. (Federal Register, 24 January, 1989).
10.04.89 Treasury Department’s OFAC issued an additional list of SDN with whom American citizens are forbidden to conduct business. (Federal Register, 10 April 1989).
20.07.89 The U.S. Senate passed an amendment, introduced by Republican Connie Mack, prohibiting subsidiaries of American companies based in third countries to conduct business transactions with Cuba. (ANSA and EFE news dispatches, 20 July 1989).
The new regulations allow travellers to carry $500 every three months in their trips to Cuba for a close relative and one $500-transfer for a close relative. Additionally, every traveller is required to declare how much money they are carrying in their trip to Cuba; if that amount exceeds US$1000, travellers should explain the purpose of that money. (FR, Vol. 54 No.164, 25 August 1989; TSP.FRF Circular No.2, Department of the Treasury, 13 October 1989; TSP.FRF Circular No.3, Department of the Treasury, 18 October 1989 and CubaINFO, Vol.1 No.18, 8 November 1989).
As part of the efforts to tighten the blockade against Cuba in the U.S. Congress, the following actions were taken:
17.05.90 The U.S. Senate passed an anti-Cuba amendment introduced in the Chemical and Biological Weapons Bill of 1989 by Florida Senator Connie Mack, having similar terms used on previous occasions with regards to the prohibition to American subsidiaries in third countries to trade with Cuba.
26.10.90 The U.S. Congress Conference Committee set up to reconcile both versions of the Exports Administration Bill of 1990, okayed the inclusion of the so-called Mack Amendment to form part of the final piece of legislation.
20.02.91 The United States Senate passed the Mack Amendment as part of the Exports Administration Act. The purpose of this amendment is similar to that of previous occasions.
24.07.91 The U.S. Senate, in the context of the debates of the Foreign Assistance Bill, passed several amendments geared to impose a series of conditions on the Soviet Union to be the recipient of American foreign aid. Among these conditions were halting military and economic assistance to Cuba. (UPI news story, 24 July 1991).
27.09.91 The Department of the Treasury announced the reduction to up to US$500 for expenses of Cuban-Americans visiting his relatives resident on the island. This measure also includes the reduction in the amount of money Cuban exiles can send to their relatives in Cuba to US$300 every three months. (EFE news story, 2 October 1991).
18.04.92 President Bush, in a public statement, instructed the Department of the Treasury to further tighten maritime transportation of people and goods to and from Cuba, through regulations prohibiting entry into American ports to third-country vessels engaged in trade with Cuba. This measure was a predecessor to the regulations that were later established by the Torricelly Act. Additionally, it instructs the Treasury Department to start the licensing process to authorize the sending of humanitarian packages aboard “charter” flights from Miami to Havana.
23.10.92 President Bus signed the Torricelli Bill into law, under pressure from the support then-candidate Bill Clinton gave this bill during his campaign trips to Florida.
November 92 OFAC introduced some amendments in its regulations in order to redefine and restrict the exception made to travel restrictions meant for “professional research”; it banned “market research” travel by American private companies and consultants; and it forbade third-country nationals to introduce Cuban cigars and rum in the United States even though they were for personal consumption. Also, OFAC modified its regulations to allow purchases of Cuban stamps by collectors.