CUBAN DEMOCRACY ACT (“CDA”)
UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 22. FOREIGN RELATIONS AND INTERCOURSE
Section 6001. Findings
The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The government of Fidel Castro has demonstrated consistent disregard for internationally
accepted standards of human rights and for democratic values. It restricts the Cuban people's
exercise of freedom of speech, press, assembly, and other rights recognized by the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December
10, 1948. It has refused to admit into Cuba the representative of the United Nations Human Rights
Commission appointed to investigate human rights violations on the island.
(2) The Cuban people have demonstrated their yearning for freedom and their increasing opposition
to the Castro government by risking their lives in organizing independent, democratic activities on
the island and by undertaking hazardous flights for freedom to the United States and other countries.
(3) The Castro government maintains a military-dominated economy that has decreased the
well-being of the Cuban people in order to enable the government to engage in military interventions
and subversive activities throughout the world and, especially, in the Western Hemisphere. These
have included involvement in narcotics trafficking and support for the FMLN guerrillas in El
(4) There is no sign that the Castro regime is prepared to make any significant concessions to
democracy or to undertake any form of democratic opening. Efforts to suppress dissent through
intimidation, imprisonment, and exile have accelerated since the political changes that have occurred
in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
(5) Events in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have dramatically reduced Cuba's external
support and threaten Cuba's food and oil supplies.
(6) The fall of communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the now universal
recognition in Latin America and the Caribbean that Cuba provides a failed model of government and
development, and the evident inability of Cuba's economy to survive current trends, provide the
United States and the international democratic community with an unprecedented opportunity to
promote a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba.
(7) However, Castro's intransigence increases the likelihood that there could be a collapse of the
Cuban economy, social upheaval, or widespread suffering. The recently concluded Cuban
Communist Party Congress has underscored Castro's unwillingness to respond positively to increasing
pressures for reform either from within the party or without.
(8) The United States cooperated with its European and other allies to assist the difficult transitions
from Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Therefore, it is appropriate for those allies to cooperate
with United States policy to promote a peaceful transition in Cuba.
Sec. 6002. Statement of policy
It should be the policy of the United States--
(1) to seek a peaceful transition to democracy and a resumption of economic growth in Cuba through
the careful application of sanctions directed at the Castro government and support for the Cuban
(2) to seek the cooperation of other democratic countries in this policy;
(3) to make clear to other countries that, in determining its relations with them, the United States will
take into account their willingness to cooperate in such a policy;
(4) to seek the speedy termination of any remaining military or technical assistance, subsidies, or other
forms of assistance to the Government of Cuba from any of the independent states of the former
(5) to continue vigorously to oppose the human rights violations of the Castro regime;
(6) to maintain sanctions on the Castro regime so long as it continues to refuse to move toward
democratization and greater respect for human rights;
(7) to be prepared to reduce the sanctions in carefully calibrated ways in response to positive
developments in Cuba;
(8) to encourage free and fair elections to determine Cuba's political future;
(9) to request the speedy termination of any military or technical assistance, subsidies, or other forms
of assistance to the Government of Cuba from the government of any other country; and
(10) to initiate immediately the development of a comprehensive United States policy toward Cuba
in a post-Castro era.
Sec. 6003. International cooperation
(a) Cuban trading partners. The President should encourage the governments of countries that
conduct trade with Cuba to restrict their trade and credit relations with Cuba in a manner consistent
with the purposes of this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 note].
(b) Sanctions against countries assisting Cuba.
(1) Sanctions. The President may apply the following sanctions to any country that provides
assistance to Cuba:
(A) The government of such country shall not be eligible for assistance under the Foreign
Assistance Act of 1961 or assistance or sales under the Arms Export Control Act.
(B) Such country shall not be eligible, under any program, for forgiveness or reduction of
debt owed to the United States Government.
(2) Definition of assistance. For purposes of paragraph (1), the term "assistance to Cuba"--
(A) means assistance to or for the benefit of the Government of Cuba that is provided by
grant, concessional sale, guaranty, or insurance, or by any other means on terms more
favorable than that generally available in the applicable market, whether in the form of a loan,
lease, credit, or otherwise, and such term includes subsidies for exports to Cuba and favorable
tariff treatment of articles that are the growth, product, or manufacture of Cuba;
(B) includes an exchange, reduction, or forgiveness of Cuban debt owed to a foreign country
in return for a grant of an equity interest in a property, investment, or operation of the
Government of Cuba (including the government of any political subdivision of Cuba, and any
agency or instrumentality of the Government of Cuba) or of a Cuban national; and
(C) does not include--
(i) donations of food to nongovernmental organizations or individuals in Cuba, or
(ii) exports of medicines or medical supplies, instruments, or equipment that would
be permitted under section 1705(c) [22 USCS § 6004(c)].
As used in this paragraph, the term "agency or instrumentality of the Government of Cuba" means
an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state as defined in section 1603(b) of title 28, United States
Code, with each reference in such section to "a foreign state" deemed to be a reference to "Cuba".
(3) Applicability of section. This section, and any sanctions imposed pursuant to this section, shall
cease to apply at such time as the President makes and reports to the Congress a determination under
section 1708(a) [22 USCS § 6007(a)].
Sec. 6004. Support for the Cuban people
(a) Provisions of law affected. The provisions of this section apply notwithstanding any other
provision of law, including section 620(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 USCS § 2370],
and notwithstanding the exercise of authorities, before the enactment of this Act [enacted Oct. 23,
1992], under section 5(b) of the Trading With the Enemy Act [50 USCS Appx § 5(b)], the
International Emergency Economic Powers Act [50 USCS §§ 1701 et seq.], or the Export
Administration Act of 1979.
(b) Donations of food. Nothing in this or any other Act shall prohibit donations of food to
nongovernmental organizations or individuals in Cuba.
(c) Exports of medicines and medical supplies. Exports of medicines or medical supplies,
instruments, or equipment to Cuba shall not be restricted--
(1) except to the extent such restrictions would be permitted under section 5(m) of the Export
Administration Act of 1979 [50 USCS Appx § 2404(m)] or section 203(b)(2) of the
International Emergency Economic Powers Act [50 USCS § 1702(b)(2)];
(2) except in a case in which there is a reasonable likelihood that the item to be exported will
be used for purposes of torture or other human rights abuses;
(3) except in a case in which there is a reasonable likelihood that the item to be exported will
be reexported; and
(4) except in a case in which the item to be exported could be used in the production of any
(d) Requirements for certain exports.
(1) Onsite verifications.
(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), an export may be made under subsection (c) only
if the President determines that the United States Government is able to verify, by
onsite inspections and other appropriate means, that the exported item is to be used
for the purposes for which it was intended and only for the use and benefit of the
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to donations to nongovernmental organizations
in Cuba of medicines for humanitarian purposes.
(2) Licenses. Exports permitted under subsection (c) shall be made pursuant to specific
licenses issued by the United States Government.
(e) Telecommunications services and facilities.
(1) Telecommunications services. Telecommunications services between the United States
and Cuba shall be permitted.
(2) Telecommunications facilities. Telecommunications facilities are authorized in such
quantity and of such quality as may be necessary to provide efficient and adequate
telecommunications services between the United States and Cuba.
(3) Licensing of payments to Cuba.
(A) The President may provide for the issuance of licenses for the full or partial
payment to Cuba of amounts due Cuba as a result of the provision of
telecommunications services authorized by this subsection, in a manner that is
consistent with the public interest and the purposes of this title [22 USCS §§ 6001
et seq.], except that this paragraph shall not require any withdrawal from any account
blocked pursuant to regulations issued under section 5(b) of the Trading With the
Enemy Act [50 USCS Appx § 5(b)].
(B) If only partial payments are made to Cuba under subparagraph (A), the amounts
withheld from Cuba shall be deposited in an account in a banking institution in the
United States. Such account shall be blocked in the same manner as any other account
containing funds in which Cuba has any interest, pursuant to regulations issued under
section 5(b) of the Trading With the Enemy Act [50 USCS Appx § 5(b)].
(4) Authority of Federal Communications Commission. Nothing in this subsection shall be
construed to supersede the authority of the Federal Communications Commission.
(5) Prohibition on investment in domestic telecommunications services. Nothing in this
subsection shall be construed to authorize the investment by any United States person in the
domestic telecommunications network within Cuba. For purposes of this paragraph, an
"investment" in the domestic telecommunications network within Cuba includes the
contribution (including by donation) of funds or anything of value to or for, and the making
of loans to or for, such network.
(6) Reports to Congress. The President shall submit to the Congress on a semiannual basis
a report detailing payments made to Cuba by any United States person as a result of the
provision of telecommunications services authorized by this subsection.
(f) Direct mail delivery to Cuba. The United States Postal Service shall take such actions as are
necessary to provide direct mail service to and from Cuba, including, in the absence of common
carrier service between the 2 countries, the use of charter service providers.
(g) Assistance to support democracy in Cuba. The United States Government may provide
assistance, through appropriate nongovernmental organizations, for the support of individuals and
organizations to promote nonviolent democratic change in Cuba.
Sec. 6005. Sanctions
(a) Prohibition on certain transactions between certain United States firms and Cuba
(1) Prohibition. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no license may be issued for any
transaction described in section 515.559 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect
on July 1, 1989.
(2) Applicability to existing contracts. Paragraph (1) shall not affect any contract entered into
before the date of the enactment of this Act [enacted Oct. 23, 1992].
(b) Prohibitions on vessels.
(1) Vessels engaging in trade. Beginning on the 61st day after the date of the enactment of
this Act [enacted Oct. 23, 1992], a vessel which enters a port or place in Cuba to engage in
the trade of goods or services may not, within 180 days after departure from such port or
place in Cuba, load or unload any freight at any place in the United States, except pursuant
to a license issued by the Secretary of the Treasury.
(2) Vessels carrying goods or passengers to or from Cuba. Except as specifically authorized
by the Secretary of the Treasury, a vessel carrying goods or passengers to or from Cuba or
carrying goods in which Cuba or a Cuban national has any interest may not enter a United
(3) Inapplicability of ship stores general license. No commodities which may be exported
under a general license described in section 771.9 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations,
as in effect on May 1, 1992, may be exported under a general license to any vessel carrying
goods or passengers to or from Cuba or carrying goods in which Cuba or a Cuban national
has an interest.
(4) Definitions. As used in this subsection--
(A) the term "vessel" includes every description of water craft or other contrivance
used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation in water, but does not
(B) the term "United States" includes the territories and possessions of the United
States and the customs waters of the United States (as defined in section 401 of the
Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1401)); and
(C) the term "Cuban national" means a national of Cuba, as the term "national" is
defined in section 515.302 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as of August 1,
(c) Restrictions on remittances to Cuba. The President shall establish strict limits on remittances to
Cuba by United States persons for the purpose of financing the travel of Cubans to the United States,
in order to ensure that such remittances reflect only the reasonable costs associated with such travel,
and are not used by the Government of Cuba as a means of gaining access to
United States currency.
(d) Clarification of applicability of sanctions. The prohibitions contained in subsections (a), (b), and
(c) shall not apply with respect to any activity otherwise permitted by section 1705 or section 1707
of this Act [22 USCS § 6004 or 6006] or any activity which may not be regulated or prohibited under
section 5(b)(4) of the Trading With the Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. App. 5(b)(4)).
Sec. 6006. Policy toward a transitional Cuban government
Food, medicine, and medical supplies for humanitarian purposes should be made available for Cuba
under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance
Act of 1954 if the President determines and certifies to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the
House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate that the government
in power in Cuba--
(1) has made a public commitment to hold free and fair elections for a new government within 6
months and is proceeding to implement that decision;
(2) has made a public commitment to respect, and is respecting, internationally recognized human
rights and basic democratic freedoms; and
(3) is not providing weapons or funds to any group, in any other country, that seeks the violent
overthrow of the government of that country.
Sec. 6007. Policy toward a democratic Cuban government
(a) Waiver of restrictions. The President may waive the requirements of section 1706 [22 USCS §
6005] if the President determines and reports to the Congress that the Government of Cuba--
(1) has held free and fair elections conducted under internationally recognized observers;
(2) has permitted opposition parties ample time to organize and campaign for such elections,
and has permitted full access to the media to all candidates in the elections;
(3) is showing respect for the basic civil liberties and human rights of the citizens of Cuba;
(4) is moving toward establishing a free market economic system; and
(5) has committed itself to constitutional change that would ensure regular free and fair
elections that meet the requirements of paragraph (2).
(b) Policies. If the President makes a determination under subsection (a), the President shall take the
following actions with respect to a Cuban Government elected pursuant to elections described in
(1) To encourage the admission or reentry of such government to international organizations
and international financial institutions.
(2) To provide emergency relief during Cuba's transition to a viable economic system.
(3) To take steps to end the United States trade embargo of Cuba.
Sec. 6008. Existing claims not affected
Except as provided in section 1705(a) [22 USCS § 6004(a)], nothing in this title [22 USCS §§ 6001
et seq.] affects the provisions of section 620(a)(2) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 USCS
Sec. 6009. Enforcement
(a) Enforcement authority. The authority to enforce this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 et seq.] shall be
carried out by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury shall exercise the
authorities of the Trading With the Enemy Act in enforcing this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 et seq.]. In
carrying out this subsection, the Secretary of the Treasury shall take the necessary steps to ensure that
activities permitted under section 1705 [22 USCS § 6004] are carried out for the purposes set forth
in this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 et seq.] and not for purposes of the accumulation by the Cuban
Government of excessive amounts of United States currency or the accumulation of excessive profits
by any person or entity.
(b) Authorization of appropriations. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the
Treasury such sums as may be necessary to carry out this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 et seq.].
(d) Applicability of penalties. The penalties set forth in section 16 of the Trading With the Enemy Act
[50 USCS Appx § 16(a)] shall apply to violations of this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 et seq.] to the same
extent as such penalties apply to violations under that Act.
(e) Office of Foreign Assets Control. The Department of the Treasury shall establish and maintain a
branch of the Office of Foreign Assets Control in Miami, Florida, in order to strengthen the
enforcement of this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 et seq.].
Sec. 6010. Definition
As used in this title [22 USCS §§ 6001 et seq.], the term "United States person" means any United
States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States, and any corporation,
partnership, or other organization organized under the laws of the United States.