Plugging The Embargo Loophole

How cigars played a starring role in the U.S. embargo on Cuba, tightening sanctions that remain 60 years
| By Peter Kornbluh | From Cuba After The Embargo, July/August 2022
Plugging The Embargo Loophole
President Kennedy and former president Eisenhower, at Camp David in April, 1961. Eisenhower signed the first embargo on Cuba. Kennedy made it far tougher.
Only a month after John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, in February 1961, the new president asked his Secretary of State for recommendations on instituting a “full embargo” against Cuba. In an effort to undermine Cuba’s revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, Kennedy’s predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had already terminated U.S. exports to Cuba and cut imports of Cuban sugar. Now, Kennedy wanted to know if an embargo on all Cuban imports would “make things more difficult for Castro,” and “be in the public interest?” “The principal items still imported from Cuba are tobacco, molasses and fresh fruits and vegetables,” Secretary of State Dean Rusk responded in a secret …
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