By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 30 – With the US travel ban on Cuba persisting into the 10th month of the Obama administration, numerous groups demanding its repeal have called for a national action day today, Wednesday, to pressure Congress to approve legislation that has been sitting in committees for a good part of the year.
Several bills have been submitted to allow ordinary US citizens to visit neighboring Cuba as well as others to chip away at the nearly 50-year economic blockade that stifles the islands growth and development.
On Wednesday the focus is on two: In the House of Representatives (HR 874) and in the Senate (S 428). Both are known as the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act.”
According to organizers, dozens of activists from around the nation (of both political parties) will meet on Capitol Hill with key members of Congress to obtain additional support for the legislation.
Thousands of participants are expected to make use of telephones and e-mails to flood their district representative and senators’ offices with the message that all Americans should have the right to travel to Cuba.
Meanwhile, President Obama has not said whether he would sign or veto legislation lifting the travel ban or other aspects of the US blockade.
Observers in Havana note that one of the biggest obstacles to lifting the travel ban, and subsequently the economic stranglehold, is the disproportionate lobbying power of hardliner Miami based Cuban-American exile groups that have donated heavily to both Republican and Democratic party candidates.