Trivia Questions About the United States-Cuba Embargo

On October 19th, 1960, the United States imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba. See how much you know about the rocky US-Cuba relationship over the years with some trivia questions...


What is the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba and does it still exist? The embargo, known among Cubans as "el bloqueo" or "the blockade," consists of economic sanctions against Cuba and restrictions on Cuban travel and commerce for all people and companies under US jurisdiction. On Mar. 15, 2016, the Obama administration announced that two Cuba embargo restrictions would be relaxed, allowing easier travel to Cuba and more commerce between the countries. Most other embargo restrictions remain in effect.  Despite the existence of the embargo, the United States is the fifth largest exporter to Cuba (6.6% of Cuba's imports are from the US). Cuba must, however, pay cash for all imports, as credit is not allowed.

Who Bought 1,200 Cuban Cigars Right Before That Embargo Went into Effect? # Don't get us wrong, we're not questioning the guy's patriotism. Just look at these beauties. The US government was adamantly opposed to trade with Cuba in the 1960s and they would not tolerate it on any leve ... well, except maybe one last time. Just before the embargo went into effect, JFK had his press secretary buy as many H. Upmann (his favorite brand) Cuban cigars as possible. That number turned out to be a whopping 1,200. But after that, no more trade!


How Much is the Check for That the US Sends Cuba Every Year to Lease Guantanamo Bay? # This was a rough day for people who liked vacationing in beautiful places. The US hasn't completely severed ties to Cuba, there's still Guantanamo Bay. According to the original US-Cuba agreement made back when we were entering the 20th century, both sides have to decide they don't want the US to have a naval base there before Guantanamo can close down. And while Cuba has adamantly said they want out of the deal, the US hasn't.

So every year the US keeps the base open, then sends a check for what we're sure seemed like a reasonable amount of money back in 1901: $4,085. And every year since 1959, Cuba has refused to cash the check. In Cuba's defense, there is one other line in that original agreement that seems kind of relevant. According to the agreement, the only thing the US can use that base for is refueling ships.


True or False: The US Once Tried to Kill Castro by Offering Him a Wetsuit Infested with Poisonous Bacteria During the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Uh, yeah, that's true. And it's probably not even the most ridiculous attempt by our government to take the guy out. They've tried to give him an exploding cigar, hide a bomb in a really attractive looking conch shell in the hope that he would see it and pick it up, and accidentally bump into him with a poisonous ballpoint pen. Perhaps the most famous attempt against Castro didn't even involve killing him, it just involved getting thallium salt into his bloodstream which would make his hair fall out and would, if we're getting this right, make him lose the respect of all of his followers.  In fact, there was even a documentary called 638 Ways to Kill Castro, detailing the numerous ways our government has tried to kill Castro.

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