Could the US be the most sanction-happy country in the world?


On Monday the 1st of February 2016, French President François Hollande received at the  Élysée Palace Cuba’s President Raul Castro to talk about how economic relations between the two countries can be improved.  During this official visit Hollande asked Barrack Obama to put an end to Cuba’s embargo. Despite relations between the Caribbean island and the United States improving, restrictions still exist. Moreover, Cuba is not the only country to have suffered from US sanctions in the past few decades.

Here are other examples.

  1. North Korea

Since the 1950s, because of the pursuit of a nuclear program the country had to face sanctions.  In the early 2000s improvements in relations with the US were finally made, largely thanks to North Korean disarmament. Nonetheless, relations are still very complicated.

  1. Iran

These sanctions started in 1979 with the hostage crisis and currently concern trading and business restrictions.  A recent agreement that took place in 2015 improved the situation and lifted most of the sanctions. However, as in the case of Cuba, certain restrictions still remain.

  1. Burma

This Asian country had to fight off sanctions after being accused of acts of repression against political rivals in 1997. Recently, relations have been getting better thanks to a democratic evolution in the country.

  1. Sudan

Sanctions started in 1997 with an accusation of trying to destabilize neighbouring countries’ governments, getting worse with the crisis in Darfur (2006) which increased the sanctions as a consequence. Nevertheless, signs of improvement have been seen recently.

  1. Syria

Relations between Syria and the USA are still very complicated today. In fact, sales, supply, or services from Syria are outlawed. The first bout of sanctions originated in 2004 when the Syrian Government was accused of various hostile activities, including aiding terrorism, having weapons of mass destruction and developing missile programs.

  1. Ukraine/Russia

The most recent recipients of sanctions carried out by the USA in response to the annexation of Crimea and the related violence, crisis and conflict.



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