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Helms-Burton Essay

Helms-Burton Essay

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Helms-Burton Act of 1996 is a U.S. federal law. Its purpose is to strengthen and continue the U.S. embargo against Cuba. It extended the territorial application of the initial prohibition for all the foreign companies trading with Cuba. It penalized then for allegedly trafficking property that the American citizens previously owned. Cuba had confiscated the goods after the Cuban revolution.

The United States named the Helms-Burton Act after its first sponsors. They were Senator Jesse Helms from North Carolina and Representative Dan Burton from Indiana. They were both Republicans. The 104th United States Congress passed it on March 6, 1996. President Bill Clinton enacted it into law on March 12, 1996 (Gerhard et al. 1996).

Senator Hems had tabled the bill in late 1995. However, he did not overcome several Democratic filibusters. The Helms-Burton Act includes a range of provisions that intend to bring a peaceful move to a representative democracy and economic market in Cuba. It states that any non-American company that trades with Cuba is subject to legal action. It can also bar its leadership from entering the United States.

The Act also outlines U.S. opposition against the membership of Cuba in the International Financial Institutions. There is a clause on television broadcasting from America to Cuba. The authorization of the U.S. support of human rights groups and observers is also present (Hillyard et al. 1998).

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