US House Bill to Lift Cuba Travel Ban

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 5 —A bipartisan bill that would restore the right of US citizens to travel to Cuba was presented in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. Four Democrats and four Republicans were the initial co-sponsors of H.R.874.

During his campaign President Obama promised to ease restrictions on Cuban-Americans to travel to Cuba and send home remittances. While he did not commit himself to taking the ban off the rest of US citizens from traveling to the island, many analysts believe he would not veto such legislation if passed by Congress.

The bipartisan nature of the bill stems from a desire of a growing number of legislators and governors to open up trade with Cuba. Restoring Americans right to travel is considered to be a first step in that direction.

Currently US citizens need hard to get special permission to legally visit the island from an office of the US Treasury Department. They are subject to heavy fines or possible imprisonment for going illegally.

The four Democrats and four Republicans co-sponsoring the bill submitted by William Delahunt (D-MA) are Rosa L. De Lauro (D-CT); Donna F. Edwards (D-MD); Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO); Sam Farr (D-CA); Jeff Flake (R-AZ); Jerry Moran (R-KS); Ron Paul (R-TX) and James P McGovern (D-MA).

4 thoughts on “US House Bill to Lift Cuba Travel Ban

  • i hope I will be able to go to Cuba this year and every year. I have been a Cuban Baseball fanatic and I have always had the best interest in mind for my people there even though I was born in the States. I hope that one day I can live there and enjoy everything I have not been able to enjoy since I was not born or raised there. I love Cuba and I love my Cuban people !!! Go Cuba in the WBC, Hasta La Victoria Siempre !!!

  • The embargo as we Americans of Cuban origin know it, was at one time the best way to try to sway the Cuban Regime to change their way. The ideology at the time was correct and the measures taken I believe where the best way to passively instill and effect change in a Country with a young radical leadership.

    That said, If we as human beings, we as a Republic which considers itself an instrument of change for the advancement of Democracy, world peace, defenders of human rights and liberators of oppressed Nations; If we The United States of America can not recognize and amend our failures in our foreign and domestic Policies, How can we can we expect to be recognized as a good influence in the world theater.

    The Embargo when enacted against Cuba, can be compared to a lashing and a beating like a youngster would have received in the olden days as a tool to teach obedience, respect and overall to keep a troubled youth in line and help instill in him/her the righteous moral standards that society expects all adults to possess. In this day and in the age of Idealists Intellectuals and advancements in information and innovations most semi-educated people of most cultures would agree that beating down on another human being animal or entity, will not help him or her gain your respect, and certainly it is not an affective tool when trying to convince anyone that you are being sincere and have their best interest at heart….. “Embargo” and “Old School Idiosyncrasies” are one and the same….(PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE INNOVATIVE THINKING WITH STUPIDITY) There are times when a good smack across the face is warranted, my own Father taught me that.!!!! Perhaps this is not the best applicable analogy, but I believe it fits the occasion.

    The Cuban people are a resilient people like any other in the world. I do not mean the Cubans are like children I mean adversity has been a friend to the populous of the Island. It has taught them to unite against any common foe, whether real or perceived. The Us by the rhetoric and inflexibility of some of our leader has further antagonized the Cuban public fulled the Communist Government’s own agenda causing the opposite effect of what the Embargo was expected to do.

    This Great Nation of ours the USA, has been a beacon of hope, most other Nations have tried to follow in our footsteps in one way or another. This Nation has been at it’s strongest at times as a sleeping giant, none wants to wake a sleeping giant anymore. The world learned that lesson from Japan, it was many years until US would have to teach the same lesson again in Afghanistan…. THAT IS A SUBJECT FOR ANOTHER TIME. That said, Communities large and small will rally to get rid of a troublesome bully…This perhaps is also not a good analogy.

    To the point of Embargo, since it obviously has failed, the return constructive dialog perhaps with conditions I believe would be the best course of action at this time. I would recommend we start at least limited trade agreements with Cuba. The US is currently trading with Vietnam and China which are both Communist Countries, both have Horrendous Human rights records Back to my first analogy positive reinforcement of sorts. Resilience, innovation and eventually free markets will take care of the rest.
    Cuba is now at a time where the Population is seeing both inside and outside of its borders. We are now in an information age in Cuba as well as the rest of the World. Cuba will eventually change with or with out the help of the US. It would be in our best interest to be instrumental in a positive way in helping a still young Country effect those changes, not as a Parent or big Brother but as a new partner and guidance counselor perhaps. The Ideological and Cultural differences between the Peoples is hardly none existing when compared to other allied countries.

    In short it will be beneficial both to US Peoples / Economy and to Cuba’s people and Economy to start to normalize relations.

    This is the opinion of a large number of American Citizens, Citizens by Birthright and Naturalized.

    It would be a pleasure to see in my lifetime some positive attitudes and legislation leading to normalizing relations with Cuba.

  • This United States-Cuba bilateral embargo is a waste of time for all pragmatic effects. If it was planned to assist in overthrowing the Castro’s regime, it has been an absolute failure as means of persuasion as in foreign policy. The main political effect, in the elapse of these 48 years, has been to create a favorable environment to enrich the anti American speeches of Cuban’s government leaders, accusing the United States Administrations for their own economic crisis and its consequence in the lives of more than 11 million innocent people. Also it has been in detriment of the U. S. agricultural traders, among others U. S. economic sectors, not to sell hundred of tons of rice and beans to the largest consumer of all countries in the Americas.

    This embargo is immoral, because it has been maintained against a nation which, no longer after the cold war, represent any threat to the national security of the United States and or his neighbor’s countries. A country that always has been solidary when disasters occurs in any part of the world, sending doctors, medical personnel and equipment wherever is needed; including in the tragic events of 9/11 terrorist attacks, it was one of the first countries to assist by shutting down all his own air operations (airports & airspace) to cede to U S. Airliners in case they had need it. Also in the Katrina’s hurricane catastrophe aftermath they tried to send all type of medical asistant to the people of New Orleans and the U. S. A. goverment rejected it. In contrast, the United States mantains an economic trade of $10 billion/year with communist Vietnam and has full diplomatic relations with Ambassadors in Ho Chi Minh City and Washington D. C,. We have to remember that in Vietnam’s War were killed more than 58,000 American soldiers including the high figure of 153,000 wounded and disables for life.

    Even worse, this embargo, penalizes the U.S. citizens by depriving us the natural right to travel wherever we want; restricting us the basic freedom right of free movement and in its ultimate worse case U. S. citizens are not allowed to visit their Cuban families in the island.(only, once every three years/calendar). We can not conceive and support this situation in a nation that it claimed to be of greater freedoms of all nations in the XXI century.

    We have to let clearly remarked that this embargo has been the biggest one any powerful country of the world had imposed to an island (by its duration & economic repercussions both countries) in our history. An embargo than had been democratically rejected by the rest of the world in the United Nations Organization for 17 consecutive times, including the last one in a 185-3 vote, on October 29, 2008.

  • I sincerely hope I will be able to visit Cuba Legally in 2010, because a Cuban friend has told me how beautiful Cuba is.

    I have collected CD’s of Cuban Jazz for some time. I listen to them often.

    Very Sincerely,

    Robert Cowdery
    Spokane, WA

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