San Diego International Law Journal


Brian Eiselman

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article examines the nature of the history and origins of hostilities between the United States and Cuba leading up to the Embargo, and the Constitutional issue regarding the possible termination of the Embargo in view of the Helms-Burton Act. While President Kennedy enacted the Embargo unilaterally, the Helms-Burton Act usurped the power to regulate and conduct international affairs from the President, requiring a two-thirds Senate majority in order to lift or modify the Embargo.[] Arguably, this provision violates both the United States Constitution as well as International Law.[] Under the Obama Administration there was a new attitude towards Cuba, but the Embargo remains in place.[] This Article will address political and economic aspects of the Embargo and will examine the various interests in enforcing the Embargo on the part of both the United States and its impact upon Cuba. As a tool of United States foreign policy, the Embargo actually enhances the Castro government’s authority by giving it a convenientjustification for the economic failures of socialism under the Castro regime.[] Since its inception, the Embargo has failed to influence any change on the structure of the Cuban Government. The Embargo that was designed to bring an end to the Castro regime is the very thing that has empowered it over the course of decades.