|Obama's move; 'stab in the back'|
Obama's Proclamation 9398 continues the blockade first instituted by President Clinton in 1996 under emergency powers granted to the president by Congress, and prohibits U.S.-registered vessels and aircraft from entering Cuban waters or airspace without authorisation. Under the National Emergencies Act, those emergency powers expire unless the president renews them each year.
There is one substantive change to the Obama blockade policy: Obama authorises the Coast Guard to inspect and seize vessels suspected of violating the blockade, but only "to the extent consistent with international law.” The White House did not immediately explain why the president added that condition.
The Cuba embargo is one of 30 separate national emergencies now in effect. Despite a 1976 law requiring Congress to review those emergencies every six months, legislators have never formally done so.
TeleSUR referred to Obama's move as a "stab in the back" to Cuba.
The Cubans have estimated that the US blockade has cost the country over $831 billion since its introduction, over 54 years ago.