US senators introduced a bill on Thursday that would lift the more than 50-year-old American embargo against Cuba, a sign that US-Cuba relations continue to thaw.
The bill is introduced about two months after US President Barack Obama revealed he would be taking steps toward normalizing relations with the communist Caribbean country. The president can take steps to peel back restrictions, but only Congress can repeal the embargo.
According to reports, this bill would allow US companies to start doing business in Cuba, if passed. Another Senate bill is expected to repeal the travel ban. Thursday’s bill does not address human rights of property claims against Cuba’s government, Reuters reported.
The embargo began in 1960 and was extended in 1962 to block almost all imports and exports between the US and Cuba.
In a bipartisan effort, the bill is sponsored by Republican senators Jeff Flake and Mike Enzi, and Democrat senators Amy Klobuchar, Patrick Leahy and Richard Durbin. Some reports claim that Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow also sponsored the bill, but this couldn't be confirmed before publication.
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