United States Embargo of Cuba and Other Countries; U.S. Export Controls; Travel to Cuba

The Firm assists numerous U.S. and third-country clients in coping with U.S. restrictions on transactions with Cuba, as well as other sanctioned countries, and U.S. export controls.  It advises and represents tour operators and travel agencies, commercial companies, not-for-profits, foundations, software developers, air charter companies, remittance forwarders, entertainment and news organizations, colleges and universities, cultural institutions, and artists and art galleries, among others.

The firm’s attorneys are widely considered among the leading experts on U.S. embargo laws and regulations.


The Firm deals extensively with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), the two principal agencies that administer U.S. embargo laws and export controls. It has secured OFAC and BIS licenses for scores of its clients seeking to pursue a wide range of activities, both commercial and non-commercial, with sanctioned countries.  The Firm has successfully represented clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by OFAC.


The Firm has obtained “people to people” licenses for organized travel to Cuba for over 30 clients since this category of authorized travel was reinstated in 2011, including both commercial operators and not-for-profits.

The Firm represents several OFAC-licensed travel service and charter service providers.

It has obtained licenses for U.S. cultural institutions to perform and organize events in Cuba, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) and The Florida Orchestra.

The Firm has obtained OFAC licenses for environmental, cultural, educational and other not-for-profit organizations that have expanded the scope of permissible, Cuba-related transactions.

The Firm litigated the case that established an exemption for art from the U.S.’s embargo (Ashton v. Newcomb).

The Firm helped draft the 1994 Congressional legislation (Free Trade In Ideas Act) that exempts the Internet, television broadcasts and other electronic transmissions of informational material from the U.S.’s embargo programs.

After establishing the constitutional status of the right to travel abroad (Kent v. Dulles), the Firm litigated each of the Supreme Court challenges to the U.S.’s prohibitions on travel to Cuba (United States v. Laub; Zemel v. Rusk; Regan v. Wald), as well as the major post-Cold War challenge (Freedom to Travel Campaign v. Newcomb).

Michael Krinsky, one of the Firm’s principals, authored, with another of the Firm’s lawyers, UNITED STATES ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST CUBA: PROCEEDINGS IN THE UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL LAW ISSUES (Michael Krinsky & David Golove eds., Alethia Press 1993).   Supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the book was praised by both the American Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs.


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