Bush administration reviews Cuba trade

Dec. 3, 2004 at 4:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The Bush administration has temporarily halted the transfer of money to U.S agricultural firms selling goods to Cuba.

Congress Daily reported Friday that the move, apparently aimed at discouraging trade with the communist nation, comes amid a review of existing law to investigate whether Cuba is required to make advance payments for U.S. farm products.

Although the farming community has embraced trade with the country to the tune of $400 million a year in sales and there is strong support on Capitol Hill for examining the traditionally adversarial U.S. policy stance on Cuba, the Bush White House has taken a tough stance against the Castro regime, cracking down on travel and remittances to the country.

Reps. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., Sam Farr, D-Calif., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., have written outgoing Treasury Secretary John Snow to protest the actions, while Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has written outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell asserting that there is "no justification" for asserting that cash must be paid before products are shipped.

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