With Fidel Castro now handing over the reigns of power to his brother Raoul, I fell into conversation today with a Canadian who enlightened me as to the somewhat "sledgehammer to crack a nut" approach that America took to keep Cuba in its place.
I'm told that under its Constitution, America can't actually prevent its citizens from visiting Cuba. Instead, whilst its visitors can travel there, they're not actually allowed to spend any American currency whilst on the island. In case this doesn't work, American ships are prevented from visiting with a law that says if you land in Cuba, you cannot dock in any US port for two years.
Lastly, Cuba has always been fairly "hand to mouth" with its fiscal policies, and depends on imported oil to run its power supplies. When Cuba orders another tanker full of oil then, America apparently waits for it to be enroute, then often buys up the entire cargo for twice the market price. Since Cuba cannot afford to pre-purchase the oil, this is entirely legal, resulting in a last-minute non-delivery, and another blackout in Havana.
And the point is...?