Christian A. Herter. “Memorandum From Secretary of State Herter to President Eisenhower.” In “Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963, Volume X, Cuba, January 1961–September 1962 – Office of the Historian.” Accessed May 2, 2021. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v10/d61.
This document is a memorandum written by President Dwight Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, Christian Herter, about the possibility of invoking further sanctions against Cuba. The document was written just after the Cuban revolution, at a time when the United States was deeply worried about Cuba as a ‘security concern,’ as it was a new communist government in close geographical proximity to the United States. Further, the Cuban revolution represented not just a blueprint for communist revolution in Latin America, but an example of a country which had been securely controlled by the United States throw off its sphere of influence.
For this reason, the State Department wanted to move to cripple Cuba as fast as possible, and prevent it from becoming an obstacle to US geopolitical interests. This document sees Herter recommending that Cuba be put under even more economic sanctions, a move deliberately intended to cripple the Cuban economy. To this day Cuba remains under economic sanctions by the United States, a historical reality that affects the lives of Cubans to this day.
“On the import side you have already exercised your authority to eliminate imports of Cuban sugar, which constitute approximately 70% of Cubaʼs exports to the United States. The principal economic effect of the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act would therefore be to limit the remaining 30% of Cubaʼs exports to the United States, consisting principally of tobacco, molasses, fruits and vegetables. Cuba obtains about $100 million a year for these items…”