HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 11 (acn) US President Barack Obama has enough executive powers to modify the policies of the US blockade against Cuba, which has been imposed over the fifty years.
An article published on Granma newspaper on Wednesday, signed by Cuban Foreign Ministry officials Ariadna Cornelio and Gretter Alfonso explains that although the US Congress is the only body able to lift the blockade, Obama could dismount most restrictions of the US anti-Cuba policy, through executive decisions.
The signing into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, also known as the Helms-Burton Law, the blockade and its web of executive orders were put under Congressional decision.
However– the article reads—the same law preserved important prerogatives for the President to still issue licenses allowing transactions related to the blockade as established by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
According to the article the president cannot decide only on four aspects, which require Congressional approval for their elimination or modification, since they are regulated by US legislation.
The prohibition on US subsidiaries in third countries to do business with Cuba, as established by the Cuban Democracy Act or Torricelli Law, is one of these aspects.
Another one is the ban on transactions involving former US property nationalized by Cuba, which is also forbidden by the Helms-Burton Act.
While the other two prohibitions were included in the 2000 Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act, which bans US citizens from traveling to Cuba as tourists and forces the island to pay in cash and in advance for any purchase of agricultural products in the U.S.
Out of those four restrictions under US law, Barack Obama can use his executive powers to modify the US blockade policy against Cuba, the article notes and recalls the announcement by the US President on December 17 on the modification of some regulations related to the US policy.
Following the presidential statements, the US departments of the Treasury and of Commerce announced, on January 15, administrative regulations to implement the measures announced by the president, which went into effect as soon as the following day.
The Granma article suggests that this could be the proceedings to follow in order to put down a large number of economic, commercial and financial restrictions against Cuba.
The modifications undertaken by Obama are still quite far from all he can do, as it is well known by US experts and other sectors in the United States, the article concludes.