New Challenge to Cuba Travel Ban

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, July 18 – The US Center for Constitutional Rights presented a lawsuit before a Federal Court in New York questioning the US government policy that forces people to report on their expenditures when they travel to Cuba, reported IPS.

The disclosure requirement is one of the ways that the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) enforces the decades old travel ban that prohibits -under threat of heavy fines- ordinary US citizens from visiting neighboring Cuba and spending money there.

The travel ban has been around since 1962 except for a brief lapse during the Carter administration (1977-1980).  Today, Cuba is the only country in the world off-bounds for US citizens.

US House of Representatives legislation (HR 874) would end the travel ban completely freeing US citizens to travel to the island.   It currently has 160 co-sponsors but has yet to make it out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

President Obama has not indicated whether he would sign the bill if it was to pass in the House and Senate,  or take the Bush administration’s veto approach to squash it.