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Kennedy Bans Most Trade with Cuba

Feb. 3, 1962 - President Kennedy ordered a ban on almost all trade with Cuba today to deprive Premier Fidel Castro’s regime of an annual income of about $35 million. The embargo will go into effect next Wednesday morning, stopping the remaining purchases of tobacco and some industrial molasses and vegetables from Cuba. The ban will reduce the capacity of the Cubans to engage in acts of aggression and subversion in the Americas, the White House declared. On humanitarian grounds, the President will allow some foods and medicines to be shipped to Cuba. To a small extent, the ban will hurt the United States as well. Most severely affected will be the Tampa cigar industry, which relies exclusively on Havana fill tobaccos. About 1,500 workers are thought to depend on the industry. Efforts to find substitutes for Havana tobaccos have been unsuccessful so far.

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