HAVANA TIMES, May 12 – The Orbitz Worldwide Travel Agency launched an Internet petition campaign this week at the www.opencuba.org website to request that the US Congress lift the ban on travel to Cuba. The petition will go to President Obama, VP Biden and members of the US Congress.
“We call on you to reverse our failed policy of isolation and end the 50-year ban on travel to Cuba in the United States. We believe that every American should have the freedom to travel to any country in the world, including Cuba, because the interaction between peoples from different countries is the single most powerful way to advance the causes of peace and prosperity,” states the campaign.
Successive US governments have maintained a travel ban on ordinary US citizens from visiting the neighboring island only 90 miles from Florida. A bill known as HR 874 would end that prohibition and is currently working it’s way through the House of Representatives and has 138 co-sponsors.
Meanwhile, for Cuba and Latin America the nearly half century US blockade on the island is the biggest issue. President Raul Castro has made repeated overtures to the Obama administration offering to take part in discussions to put an end to the hostile relations between the two countries.
The biggest snag for advancing is Obama’s failing to agree to talks based on mutual respect and sovereignty, and instead asking Cuba to make unilateral concessions to US interests.
In statements to CNN, Cuba’s parliament chair Ricardo Alarcon said yesterday: “Cuba doesn’t have to do absolutely anything” to resolve its disagreement with the United States, “except take note and recognize the rectification steps when they are taken.”