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UN Sanctions 

There is no sanctions imposed by the United Nations against Cuba. 

EU Sanctions 

There is no sanctions imposed by the European Union  against Cuba. 

U.S. Sanctions 

The Cuba program of the United States, one of the longest-running sanctions programs of the U.S. government, started in 1960 when the government under the authority of the Export Control Act of 1949, prohibited American exports to Cuba except for non-subsidized foodstuff, medicines, and medical supplies. Those restrictions were further tightened in 1962 through Presidential Proclamation 3447, which prohibited the import of all goods of Cuban origin and all goods imported from or through Cuba.  Later on July 8, 1963, the Department of the Treasury issued the Cuban Assets  Control Regulations, 31 CFR part 515, under the Trading With the Enemy Act. Since then there have been rounds of modifications in this program, some of them aimed at easing some restrictions and the other aimed at ramping up the pressure.

Recently, and in light of the allegations of oppression of the Cuban people and the support of the Cuban government of the Government of Venezuela, which is itself under U.S. sanctions, the U.S. administration increased the scope of restrictions by canceling some of the licenses granted by the previous administration with respect to Cuba. Among those, the most notable ones are removing the authorization for people-to-people educational travels and the U-turn transactions.

The Cuba program is somehow different from other programs as it is not based on IEEPA. The anatomy of the Cuba program is rather complex compared to some other programs. It has been built, developed, and amended by different means and both by congress and the administration. 


 The following restrictions are (currently as of January 21, 2023) ) the main ones in place with respect to Cuba: 

  • Financial Sanctions

    • Prohibition of transfers of credits or payments if done by a U.S. person or done with respect to a U.S. property (which included USD) and if those transactions are related to Cuba, its government, or its nationals (31 C.F.R. §515.202)

    • Prohibition of all FX transactions in the United States if those transactions are related to Cuba, its Government, or its nationals (31 C.F.R. §515.202)

    • Prohibition of transfers outside the United States with regard to any property or property interest subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. (31 C.F.R. §515.202)

    • Blocking any security which belongs to the government of Cuba or its national (31 C.F.R. §515.202)

    • Freezing the assets of the Government of Cuba and its Nationals. (31 C.F.R. §515.205)

      • OFAC has published 111 names in the SDN list with [CUBA] tag as a non-exhaustive list of those whose entities should be blocked. By being mentioned on the SDN list there will be some additional restrictions as stated though-out the regulations.

      • Note that there is another list in the Cuba context, which is called the Cuba Restricted list. The asset of those listed here should be blocked by the virtue of the fact that all those names on the Cuba Restricted list are part of the government of Cuba and not the fact that they are merely listed under the Cuba Restricted list (in other words if the Cuba Restricted list was not there, the obligation to block would still be in place) 

    • Prohibition of providing any type of financing by a U.S. person involving confiscated property the claim to which is owned by a United States national (31 C.F.R. §515.208)

    • Prohibition of direct financial transactions with any person on the Cuba Restricted list (31 C.F.R. §515.209)

  • Trade Sanctions 

    • Import ​

      • Cuban-origin goods; or

      • Goods located in or transported from or through Cuba; or

      • Goods made or derived in whole or in part of any article which is the growth, production or manufacture of Cuba.

    • Export 

      • ​The export and reexport to Cuba of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) require a BIS license unless authorized by a license exception specified in section 746.2(a)(1) of the EAR or exempted from license requirements in section 746.2(a)(2). (See here)

    • Restriction of entry to the United States of the vessels that were engaged in trade with Cuba (31 C.F.R. §515.207) 

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