An embargo in general means that some kind of restriction has been placed upon a country. In the case of Cuba, it means that it is illegal for anyone to trade with Cuba, or even visit the country (though recently some visits are permitted for family of Cuban citizens). The US maintains a military base at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba in order to enforce the embargo and to serve as a legal no man's land in which to imprison without trial so-called foreign combatants abducted throughout Afghanistan, Iraq , Pakistan and other countries.
The embargo is widely supported by people of Cuban origin in the US who wish to see Cuba liberated and returned to its pre revolutionary state (ie an island on which the Mafia is free to operate gambling ,drug dealing and whorehouses without interference.)
The main reason the United States put an embargo on Cuba was because of pressure from US business whose property had been nationalized by the Cuban government without payment. Another reason for the embargo was pressure from refugees and immigrants from Cuba, who favored actions taken against Castro's government. There is a link below to an article on the embargo.
Yes. The US still has a trade embargo against Cuba. There has been one in place since March of 1958, and recently became more strict by adding that it is illegal for American's to consume Cuban cigars outside of the United States. This was added in 2004. There is currently no end in sight for the embargo to end, but it will most likely continue until Fidel Castro dies and the Cuban government becomes non-communist.
An embargo has the effect of prohibiting some activity, generally economic activity. The effect of an embargo is that goods and services are prevented from flowing across embargo lines even where there is a market for those goods. For example, there is an embargo preventing U.S. companies from exporting technology with military applications into terrorist-sponsoring countries. The effect is that businesses are prohibited from doing so. Similarly, there is a general trade embargo imposed by the U.S. on Cuba. As a result, goods from Cuba can not be imported into the U.S. The effect is that one can not legally sell Cuban cigars in America.
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