Several bills could chip away at Cuba embargo

When it comes to crafting Cuba policy, Congress has been in the back seat of late. The sweeping new rules released last month that loosen the 49-year-old U.S. embargo against the island came from the executive branch and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Among those measures were rules that allow Cuban-Americans to make unlimited visits and send an unlimited amount of remittances.

In addition, the regulations also give U.S. telecommunication companies the green light to offer fiber-optic cable, roaming cellular service, and satellite TV and radio in Cuba. But it's up to Cuba to decide whether it wants to do business with the U.S. companies.

As deep as the changes are, free-trade advocates want more. There are a handful of bills that have been filed that propose completely dismantling the embargo — though few believe the measures have the political backing to pass.

More realistic, perhaps, are a handful of bills designed to take strategic bites out of the embargo. Whether they will gain traction, only time will tell.

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