US President Donald Trump has renewed the Trade with the Enemy Act for one more year, a statute dating back to 1917 that sets the basis of the economic blockade imposed on Cuba.
This is the second time that the Republican President does it. He also extended the restrictions for one more year in 2017. Now, he decided to keep it in force until September 4, 2019.
The renewal made by Trump implies that he has authority over some of the sanctions through executive decrees, which would also allow him to eliminate some restrictions if he were interested, although the total lifting of the hostile policy against Cuba requires a decision by Congress.
Section five of the Act empowers the President to apply economic punishments in time of war or in any other period of national emergency, and ban trade with the enemy or its allies during armed conflicts.
In 1962 the then president John Kennedy resorted to that statute to impose the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which has been renewed ever since by succeeding heads of State.
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 restricted the powers of the president to impose sanctions alluding to situations of national emergency, however, the previous legislation continued to be applied to Cuba.
Trump renewed the Act when Havana is preparing to present at the end of October for the twenty-seventh consecutive time at the UN General Assembly the resolution that calls for the US Government to halt its economic war it’s waged against the island for over 55 years.
On November 1, 2017, of the 193 members of the international body 191 backed the demand of Cuba, while only the United States and its ally Israel opposed it.
At the same time, diverse sectors in the US want the government to put an end to that hostile policy, that the predecessor of Trump in the White House, Barack Obama, called it several times obsolete. (Taken from Prensa Latina)