The embargo is a government order to restrict business or exchanges with one or more countries. During the embargo, no goods or services may be imported or exported from the embargoed country. Unlike the military blockade that may be considered a war act, the embargo is a trade barrier enforced by law. The embargo is a government mandate to prohibit the exchange of goods or services with a particular country or region. In foreign policy, the embargo is usually designed to force embargoed countries to change specific social or political policies. The effectiveness of the embargo is a continuing foreign policy debate, but historically most embargoes have failed to achieve their original goals. In foreign policy, the embargo is usually caused by intense diplomatic, economic or political relations between the countries concerned. For example, since the Cold War, the United States has been imposing an economic embargo on Cuba’s human rights violations against the Communist government of the island nation.